The Great Gatsby (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

The Great Gatsby 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray ReviewBefore visiting The Great Gatsby theatrically, I strongly held the opinion that this was either going to be one of those films you’d love or you’d hate with absolutely no middle ground in the equation.  I know I found myself seriously conflicted in how I felt about it for months before I saw it.  The first trailer did nothing to persuade me that this was a film I must-see.  Other than my infinite love for Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge masterpiece, I had not one ounce of desire to partake in a viewing.  And then came the second theatrical trailer and it totally erased all the negativity I had surrounding the picture.  Despite not being the biggest fan of Carey Mulligan, I found myself longing to see this spectacular unfold on screen.  And then boom!  A third trailer was released and I felt a little uneasy again until I saw a preview for the film on the Cloud Atlas Blu-ray I was reviewing at the time here.  Talk about indecisiveness, eh?  All I know is that after seeing this many times now I continuously melt over the heart wrenching love story, but I do know this…if you are not a fan of Moulin Rouge, this is not a movie for you.  Be warned and move on below with caution.


So I guess it goes without saying that you all already know that The Great Gatsby is an adaptation of the classic novel of the same name written by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  Although I can’t remember back that far, I’m sure most of us have fond childhood memories of reading this one back in school.  So while the nucleus of the story may not have changed all that much, the look and feel of the source material sure has thanks to the unique pioneership of Mr. Baz Luhrmann (we will touch upon this in the Extras section below).  And while I may not like everything the man has made throughout his illustrious career (I’m looking at you Romeo & Juliet), there’s certainly no argument to make that this guy’s a visionary and is able to bring extraordinary things, high concepts and raw emotions to the big screen.  By golly The Great Gatsby ain’t no exception to his craft either.  The beautiful period romance was both co-written by Luhrmann and directed by him.  I say, respect the man.  He’s got mad skillz.

Fitzgerald’s novel gets energized and breathes new life into your screen with performances by crowd pleasers such Leonardo DiCaprio (you know he’s going to always bring his A-game), Tobey Maguire (he’s Spider-Man no more) and Carey Mulligan.  Much to my surprise, Joel Edgerton also stars in this one.  Ever see The Warrior?  If not, make sure to do so!  This guy, much like the other aforementioned leading men, demands your attention.  The Great Gatsby rounds off with performances by Elizabeth Debicki, Jason Clarke and the beautiful Isla Fisher.

Much to my chagrin with the the majority of reviews from the critics out there, I have nothing but praise and good things to say about this Luhrmann production.  Maybe I’m the only one who has a heart?  Maybe I’m the only one who understands love?  Maybe I care too much?  I don’t know, but I do know this much.  From the unbridled energy and the exhumed emotion to the stunning visuals and images, Baz brings the literary masterpiece to life on your 4K Ultra HD TV screen like only he can deliver the goods.   Think Moulin Rouge on steroids!

I don’t feel like I’d really be spoiling a lot in regards to discussing the plot since the majority of us were probably forced to read this one at one point in time anyway, but for the sake of my review audience I’ll stick to my moral reviewing code of not spilling any beans as I tread on lightly here.  So in a nutshell, I guess you can say The Great Gatsby follows the life and times of the mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby (DiCaprio) and his poor neighbor, Nick (Maguire), who recounts his engagements, dealings and associations with Gatsby in the 1920’s.  Essentially, Maguire’s character is the narrator here as he is encouraged to write everything down…hey…much like McGregor’s character in…Moulin Rouge!!!

As Maguire’s character, Nick Carraway, settles into his new humble abode on the outskirts of New York City, conveniently located right next to Gatsby’s monstrous place, he rekindles a friendship with his cousin, Daisy (Mulligan) and her husband, Tom Buchanan (Edgerton).  At this point not much at all is known about Gatsby other than his large, flamboyant and over-the-top parties he throws every week.  The weird thing is you don’t even need an invitation to attend, but why did Nick receive one?  That’s odd, huh?  Well, for lack of a better term, Nick and Gatsby form quite the bromance as the pair looked like they were best friends all throughout life.

But what about that invitation?  That still bothers me.  Does it bother you?  It should!  Do you think there’s a possibility that Gatsby might want something from Nick?  I think so!  Use the Force and search your feelings you shall.  So needless to say, parties go by, celebrations are had, but Gatsby has a master plan he obsesses to achieve, a love of his life that he once let slip away and he’ll stop at nothing to reclaim her and overturn the past.  Now here’s a delicate subject.   What’s so difficult about overturning the past?  Everything!  Even though it sounds so easy, we as humans often inadvertently forget about the ripples caused in time gone by and ultimately can’t deny the way certain events went down, words that were said or just about anything else no matter how hard we try to shut them out.  You have to live and accept because there’s no such thing as complete forgetting until they invent a voluntary clinical amnesia treatment in the medical field that is.

So where were we before I went off on a tangent?  Oh yeah!  We were talking about how The Great Gatsby is an irresistible feast and orgy of sight and sound and how all the other critics and naysayers are dead wrong, have no culture or all of the above.  Make no mistake, Baz is a visionary.  If his dialogue doesn’t touch you, then his raw energy and emotion he expresses through his visuals and sound will.  From the high octane, crowd pleasing songs to the roar of the 1920 auto engines racing through the digital landscape, Baz crafts a world that I want to be part of, whether it’s Moulin Rouge or The Great Gatsby.

My word of advice here is don’t be intimidated by the film’s 142-minute runtime.  If you like it, the time will fly by.  When I first saw it I was giddy as a school kid as I felt like I was re-living the magic of the masterpiece Baz created with Moulin Rouge all over again.  From the elaborate VFX digital sets and grandiose party scenes to the erratic camera pans and zooms I never wanted to leave Baz’s world…even after seeing this body of work over and over now.  Sure by midpoint the energy and excitement started to dial down a bit as we learned precisely what made Gatsby tick and dived deeper into his psychosis to gain an understanding of his story arc, but the slower pace never dissuaded me in any way.  If there’s one thing Baz knows how to hone in on like no one else in the industry, it’s that eternal love story with the utmost of intensity.  And he knocks it out of the ballpark here, in my opinion.  But hey now!  What about those 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray specs?  My God!  I’m glad you asked!


The below video score and related critique of things here are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of The Great Gatsby.  To see how the included 1080p version of the film holds up, please refer to my Blu-ray review of it over here.

  • Encoding: HEVC / H.265
  • Resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Clarity/Detail: The Great Gatsby, like the film itself, makes its way to the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format with a picture-perfect UHD presentation.  I know other reviewers will nitpick this one to death because there is some source noise and extraneous found footage that’s not up to par, but you have to look at the big picture folks.  This one’s a celebration!  I could stop right here and just say things are all spot on, but I’ll press on and explain in further detail why I feel the exuberant way I do about the video here.  Pretty much all the detail here is impeccable and razor sharp throughout the film’s long runtime down to the individual scraps of confetti, glitter and tinsel blowing around everywhere at one of Gatsby’s wild parties.  The glossy JG emblem stamped, wooden floor within the Gatsby mansion sparkles in remarkable brilliance like the shine and allure of diamonds to any female.  Let’s not stop here though let’s count all the ways this 4K Blu-ray etches “green” light images in your mind from pores, stubble, hair follicles, moles and sweat to the intricate set pieces, seamless CGI, tactile textures in furniture, decorations and clothes.  I could go on and on, but I think you get the “picture.”
  • Depth: Here we are.  The wow factor!  The three-dimensional pop!  The characters all pop against their backgrounds, whether real or CG.  Some of the best depth of field scenes to be found are at Gatsby’s wild parties or near the tracks and auto shop where Tom picks up Myrtle at.
  • Black Levels: Deep inky blacks are employed throughout here and nothing gets lost in the shadows with plenty of low light details to be found.
  • Color Reproduction: Here’s where The Great Gatsby truly shines (no pun intended)…the color palettes.  They’re bold, big, rich and simply irresistible.  The contrast in everything just pops.  Think about what Baz did with colors in Moulin Rouge and you’ll understand where I’m coming from here.
  • Flesh Tones: The temperatures of the flesh tones are slightly hot in a couple of scenes, but there’s a lot of exaggeration and artistic intent going on here.  It’s a Baz film after all.  However, for the most part skin tones are natural and authentic looking.
  • Noise/Artifacts: I already mentioned some noise in the print, especially in some darker scenes, but it’s never anything that will distract or discourage you from enjoying this one in 4K to the fullest.  It’s simply pristine and spectacular, spectacular (Moulin Rouge fans will get that reference).  Enjoy this one!


Like I mentioned up above in the video section, the below audio score and critical comments of such are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of The Great Gatsby.  To read about how the included 1080p version of the film sounds, please refer to my Blu-ray review of it over here.  However, it seems the same DTS-HD MA track has been ported over here for this 4K release, although it up-mixes nicely to DTS: Neural X on my AVR.

  • Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD MA 5.1, English Descriptive Audio 5.1, French (Quebec & Parisian) Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish (Castilian & Latin) Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
  • Dynamics: You would expect big and bold things from this one, wouldn’t you?  I was!  That’s why I have to ding the score a little bit slightly because the mix didn’t live up to my demanding expectations all the time like it did with Pacific Rim in 4K UHD over here.  I would have loved to hear the music kick in just a little harder and the rear channels a little more aggressively engaged.  But other than those nitpicks, things were spot on.  The music was brassy and vivacious.  And the haunting themes and vocals of Lan Del Ray’s “Young and Beautiful” were prominent throughout.  God!  That song gives me goosebumps and when it kicked in full force when Daisy went to Gatsby’s house and he was tossing shirts down at her I got goosebumps and I found myself sitting straight up and just literally locked and mesmerized sonically in a euphoria of sight and sound.  Tearjerking and beautiful.  Simply irresistible.  Call it what you want.  I call the song and the selection of it a rousing and triumphant masterpiece here.  So I guess you can say, this a dialogue piece first and foremost with music coming in as a very close second.  What I have like to hear a little more oomph?  Of course I would!  However, I’m fine with what I have here.  It’s not perfect, but it’s not shabby either.
  • Low Frequency Extension: The LFE channel sleeps at times, but when its called upon it delivers big time in moments like the train, Tom and Myrtle doing the nasty in the other room, the parties, fireworks, car exhausts and that lone, fateful gun shot that takes away all my hope and joy I have while watching this one.  Every time I watch this I hope for a different outcome.  Is that sad?  Ha ha.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: I would have loved to feel more immersed in this surround track, but when it comes to life, it’s A-L-I-V-E with music, song and dance like only Baz can deliver.  From ambient effects, score, cork pops, fireworks and rain to the hustle and bustle of the clubs and drag racing the rears are utilized well in this one.  Are they used to the fullest?  Of course not, but that’s why we don’t have a perfect score here in the audio department either.  Catch my drift?
  • Dialogue Reproduction: The dialogue is clear, intelligible and prioritized.


While there may not be any cherished audio commentaries here us Blu-ray/home media cinemaphiles love to chew on and digest, that doesn’t mean all is lost.  Quite the contrary.  Welcome to the Extras department, ladies and gentlemen.  Allow me to show you around if you may as we take a closer look behind-the-scenes at the 90+ minutes of robust and kicking supplemental features you’ll find here in The Great Gatsby 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray set.  With the exception of the Digital Copy, which you can redeem to play with your favorite UltraViolet digital retailer (redeems in UHD on VUDU), all the of the below extras are housed on the included 1080p Blu-ray discs (including the feature film in HD).

  • The Greatness of Gatsby (HD,9:14) – Here we see and hear Director Baz Luhrmann talk about the journey of bring The Great Gatsby to the silver screen, how he conceived the idea to do it and convinced writer Craig Pearce of it, scouting of locations and more.
  • “Within and Without” With Tobey Maguire (HD, 8:41) – I guess reporting on the set is a tradition for a Baz Luhrmann production as we see the torch passed to Tobey Maguire on this feature as he chronicles the making of and captures raw and intimate behind-the-scene moments on the set.
  • The Swinging Sounds of Gastby (HD, 12:17) – I never knew this, but supposedly Fitzgerald was the rockstar of his generation and he actually coined the term Jazz Age.  Baz talks about this as well as the importance of infusing jazz into the film and his rationale for blending hip hop into the period piece.  He also talks about the legendary musicians who helped to recreate, shape and bring the period piece to life in the movie with music.  We also meet Bryan Ferry who started the traditional 20’s jazz band utilized here.
  • The Jazz Age (HD,  15:48) – Baz starts off talking about New York City, but for all intent and purposes…this is really a documentary like piece on Fitzgerald.
  • Razzle Dazzle: The Fashion of the 20’s (HD, 16:22) – Baz talks about his wanting to respect the 20’s, but being able to connect with modern audiences through contemporary fashion, costumes and sets.  It’s also interesting to note how they collaborated with Brooks Brothers, historically also known for working with Fitzgerald himself.
  • Fitzgerald’s Visual Poetry (HD, 6:55) – This one deals with how to deal with the monotony of having a narrative written piece on screen and the ways to break it up and make it visually stimulating through montages of pictures, transitions and words.  To accomplish this Baz referenced great films from the 20’s and the opticals they used.
  • Gatsby Revealed (HD) – This is actually a 5-piece set of separate videos that gives an exclusive look into the actors and the creative processes.
    • Gatsby’s Party (HD, 7:12) – The glamour, style and music of Gatsby’s parties.
    • Disconcerting Ride (HD, 4:53) – A look at where Gatsby reveals his past to Nick in the heavily VFX car ride to the city.
    • Daisy and Gatsby Meet (HD, 7:49) – Recalls the horrible weather conditions and on the film’s most memorable moments.
    • The Plaza (HD, 4:26) – Recreating the Plaza Hotel of the 20’s and the unusual methods filming methods.
    • Pool Scene (HD, 5:47) – The FX created montage when Gatsby reveals more of his past to Nick.
  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 14:24) – There are four scenes here with an option to play them all or separate.
    • Baz Introduction (HD, 2:06)
    • Nick & Jordan (HD, 3:09)
    • Her Voice Was Full of Money (HD, 2:24)
    • Alternate Ending (HD, 6:44) – Gatsby’s father arrives at the house to pay his respects.  I’m glad they excised this.  This did not jive with the movie at all and as Baz says, the information we learn here is already told throughout the story.
  • Trailer (SD, 1:05) – The silent trailer for the 1926 The Great Gatsby movie.  Wow!  Movies have come a long way since then.  Thanks be to God!


Baz Luhrmann brings Fitzgerald’s literary classic to life in your living room in such an exuberant and larger-than-life fashion that only he can pull off.  Like the height of the roaring 20’s that this period piece encapsulates I’m “roaring” to watch this over and over again now on the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format.  I’m drawn to it.  Every ounce of my being longs for it.  From the chemistry of the cast to the raw energy and emotion that propels this nocturnal love story forward, I see the green light across the water and I want to reach out and touch it again and again.  Label me a pessimist or whatever you want, but I’m a firm believer that nothing Baz does will ever top the magic of Moulin Rouge, in my opinion.  However, The Great Gatsby finishes a close second to me in his catalog of works and with exceptional video and banging audio, the all seeing eye watching over Gatsby’s world is a force begging to be seen on the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format.  So I reckon you do so.


DISCLAIMER: This 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review was judged and graded using the following 4K certified A/V gear found here.  Make sure to check out all out 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews archived here.


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Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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