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The Green Knight (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

One of the year’s finest films, The Green Knight is making its way on to the 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray format, to hopefully continue build audience on this nifty little Arthurian tale. Regardless of whether you liked it or didn’t, its certainly one of the most interesting films of 2021 to check out that got a wider, more mainstream release in the the theater. The Dev Patel film comes with an Atmos track and a nice handful of featurettes to round out the release. Lionsgate is putting out the A24 film as per usual, and you’ll be able to have it to own on October 12th. Preorder links are already live, and you are very welcome to use the paid Amazon Associates link that follows this review at the bottom of the page.

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Film

An epic fantasy-adventure based on the timeless Arthurian legend, The Green Knight tells the story of Sir Gawain (Dev Patel), King Arthur’s reckless and headstrong nephew, who embarks on a daring quest to confront the eponymous Green Knight, a gigantic emerald-skinned stranger and tester of men. Gawain contends with ghosts, giants, thieves, and schemers in what becomes a deeper journey to define his character while proving his worth in the eyes of his family and kingdom by facing the ultimate challenger. From visionary filmmaker David Lowery comes a fresh and bold spin on a classic tale from the Knights of the Round Table.

The Green Knight is an all encompassing wonderful hybrid of weirder abstract arthouse cinema with the grander scale of bigger, visionary blockbuster fare. Coming from A24, there’s a certain expectation of strangeness to accompany the film, but the surprise with The Green Knight is how not that it is. Yes, it does brush upon that kind of material, but nothing that isn’t easily accessible or hard to understand. The film is rather straight forward, the visual experience to take in is where it has its time to play with wonder.

Dev Patel has the film on his shoulders to carry really from start to finish. There’s some nice support from Alicia Vikander, which she absolutely crushes in a sort of dual role, but Patel is asked for a lot of lifting to get this film across. And that’s not on the cast, he’s literally on his own journey by himself for a lot of the film. Not many a frame in it doesn’t include him. And he portray such a fabulous journey in just watching him grow and evolve physically throughout the film. Its pretty tremendous and the movie hinges on him being able to do this and he pulls it off and then some.

Some of the fun in this film lies in the serialization touch on the narrative. Sir Gawain faces challenges on his way to find the titular Green Knight. Each little stop on this journey plays like a fable, complete with its own set of characters, challenges and unique vibe. You get strange, spooky, mystery, erotic, all sorts of different genres provide some brush strokes on this canvas. It makes for fun and plays like a collection of tales put together in an anthology with common wraparound. Having these really makes this one have a nice relaxed pace that also sort of flies by at the same time.

David Lowery’s adaptation of The Green Knight is a fabulous film and one of the year’s very best, potentially my favorite one off the top of my head without thinking too long and hard. While A24 films may prove weird and alienate a sect of filmgoing audiences, I think this one might actually appeal to more of that crowd. As low budget as it is, the sets, costuming and overall visual landscape of the film is impressive and pretty breathtaking (A wonderful film on the big screen). While your modern fantasy films tend to obsess on word building or big sword battles, something like The Green Knight is a breath of fresh air and a standout, showcasing so much more that you can pull off with the genre.

Video

Disclaimer: Screen captures used in the review are taken from the standard Blu-ray disc, not the 4K UHD Blu-ray disc.

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Layers: BD-66

Clarity/Detail: The Green Knight arrives on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray as a native 4K title having been shot in 6.5K and finished with 4K digital intermediate. Probably the top thing about this film is its cinematography and the disc really translates it quite beautifully. Its a stunner in terms of details, color, black levels and depth. Fans of the film should be incredibly happen with how its physical media release has turned out.

Depth:  Spacing is quite grand here and the depth of field quite a site to behold. The scale on the film really translates in this transfer feels quite big even if your home screen is a pale comparison to the theater. Movements are natural and smooth. No issues occur from motion blur or jitter from any rapid movements.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep and natural. The film showcases excellent shadowing and the contrast really helps the colors pop out in the image. No information appears to struggle to be seen and no crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: Color is so specific and gorgeous in this transfer. The golds, greens, reds, purples and more really strike with great saturation. The film looks very bold thanks to its distinct and specific color choices and design on display. The HDR really helps things to pop and appear really full.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are a hair cold and stay consistent from start to finish of the film. Facial features, texture and all information is clear as day as if looking through a piece of glass at the actors. Pores, stubble, sweat both wet and dried, make-up lines and more are all clear as day.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean.

Audio

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English Descriptive Audio

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

Dynamics: The Green Knight’s home video debut has a rousing little Atmos track to accompany the stellar video. While the film isn’t a thunderous one, it does have plenty of sound design specialties to make this lossless track a bit of a treat. It has great room building and terrific depth and layering combined with a nice vocal/music/effects balance.

Height: From above you get some more soundscape like contributions or actual things floating or coming from above as per suggested by what is happening in the frame.

Low Frequency Extension: Low tones are really in tune with the movements, stomps and such of the Green Knight himself, also with soundscape moments, doors slowly opening and other more natural deepened sounds.

Surround Sound Presentation: This track really does the work here, bringing to life every environment from quieter winds to more creaks and cracks inside a castle. Ambiance feels like a fine tune harmony. Sound travel is big and the rolling impact of that natural is easily felt.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are rich, clear and crisp.

Extras

The Green Knight comes with the standard Blu-ray edition and a redeemable digital code for the film.

Boldest of Blood and Wildest of Heart: Making The Green Knight (HD, 35:23) – Director David Lowery takes on a beautiful looking journey through the making of the film that also features interviews with Dev Patel, Alicia Vikander and Joel Edgerton. There is a lot of on set, behind-the-scenes footage in this and a rather detailed look at how this film came together.

Practitioners of Magic: Visual Effects (HD, 14:39) – This featurette takes a look at many of the visual effects in the film and showcases how they were pulled off through plenty of on set footage, before and after shots, pre-visualization art/models/photographs and more.

Illuminating Technique: Title Design (HD, 7:53) – The guy who did the titling/fonts and such for the film goes over his inspirations, research and how he was directed and how he accomplished it in the final film.

Theatrical Trailer (HD, 2:28)

Summary

The Green Knight is both a gorgeous film and a gorgeous 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray release. The breathtaking cinematography is matched and done justice with its transfer to the best physical media home video format. The Dolby Atmos track rollicks in to match wits with it and fill the room. Extras here are limited to only 3 featurettes, but each one features a lot of depth, background and the people you’d want to have interviewed reflecting on the film. The Green Knight is one of 2021’s must see movies and must own 4K titles.

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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