The Prestige [UK Import] (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

The Prestige 4K UHD Blu-rayIs there a secret you would kill to know? In this electrifying, suspense-packed thriller from director Christopher Nolan (Batman Begins, Memento), Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale play magicians whose cutthroat attempts to best each other plunge them into deadly deception. Scarlett Johansson also stars as the stage assistant who’s both a pawn and player in their rivalry. A brilliant supporting cast (including Michael Caine and David Bowie). An ingenious story. An astonishing payoff. Once you see The Prestige, you’ll want to see it again. Watch closely.

The Prestige 4K UHD Blu-ray


The Prestige is the story of a couple of magicians played by Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale, who after a deadly accident, branch out on their own. Their drive being to outdo one another in every way on the coveted stage in front of an audience. One would think that their antics better served them in battle but the way they are showcased — the magician’s stage is its own battlefield. They are cutthroats to the extreme. Making an appearance is David Bowie as Nikola Tesla who has tricks up his own sleeve. Christopher Nolan regular Michael Caine graces us with an appearance serving as a surrogate mentor to both men.

I think what makes The Prestige insanely entertaining is the back and forth banter and antics between Angier (Jackman) and Borden (Bale). They are so set in their magician ways that they will stop at nothing to outdo one another even if it means costing someone’s life.

Co-writer and director Christopher Nolan went right into production after Batman Begins. I remember the film doing ok but it wasn’t gangbusters, but the impression it left behind is undeniable. Like his entire non-Batman filmography, there are always little nuggets of information I failed to notice during my first viewings. Countless viewings later and I’m still finding new bits of information. The Prestige has always been a solid film.

What makes this release special is that you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for the U.S. version. It’s my understanding that the U.S. 4K UHD was pulled due to low sales on a catalog title that was severely overpriced. Seeing as the overseas distribution was different — the price point in the UK is drastically different and it’s not out of print like it may be in states. Being a brand new adopter to 4K UHD, I am building my 4K UHD library now and the sky is the limit when you can easily import from all over the world now.

Again, I say that The Prestige so multi-layered that I don’t doubt that some folks will miss important details, maybe some foreshadowing, but that’s how it goes when you enter the “Nolanverse.” Are you watching closely?


The Prestige 4K UHD Blu-ray


Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 2160p

Dolby Vision: No

HDR: Yes (HDR10)

WCG: Yes

Size: BD-100

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Clarity/Detail: Whereas the Blu-ray, if my memory serves correctly, was a bit on the cool side of the spectrum, the 4K UHD disc brings the warmth. So much so that the 4K UHD presentation is quite cozy. Contrast and sharpness levels are stellar. Come in, pour yourself a libation and take it all in. *Must be 21-older to imbibe.

Depth: The levels of depth are brought to the forefront during the various scenes involving aerial photography and certain scenes involving scale – especially during the theatrical magic shows.

Black Levels: Black levels are deep and inky and there are plenty of instances in which these are used. Crush was never a problem in the many instances involving dark exteriors or darkly lit interiors.

Color Reproduction: The color level can get a bit muted during scenes featuring the chilly winter of the Denver countryside. Back in England, these retain an almost golden sun-kissed sheen.

Flesh Tones: Everyone looks like a nice and healthy bunch. You can now see pore texture and every little blemish that the lights and make-up could not get rid of. There’s nothing wrong with that – the color palette is gorgeous. Banding was a non-issue here.

Noise/ArtifactsThe Prestige is noise and debris-free. Shot in 35 mm, the HDR10 transfer is fantastic.


The Prestige 4K UHD Blu-ray


Audio Format(s): English DTS HD-MA 5.1, French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, German DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, Czech Dolby Digital 5.1, Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1, Italian Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, Mandarin Dolby Digital 5.1, Polish Dolby Digital 5.1, Russian Dolby Digital 5.1, Thai Dolby Digital 5.1, Turkish Dolby Digital 2.0

Subtitles: English SDH, French, German SDH, Italian SDH, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, Cantonese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Korean, Mandarin (Simplified), Mandarin (Traditional), Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Swedish, Thai, Turkish

Dynamics: The original Blu-ray release had an awesome LPCM lossless track. This 4K UHD disc release has a DTS-HD MA 5.1 track and one would be hard-pressed to find any major differences between the two. What I can confirm is that it remains a reference track – especially during the scenes featuring Danton’s teleporting machine.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: The LFE channel rumbles and shakes during the instances featuring magic tricks and during some of the louder musical cues featuring bass. Who would have thought a film about dueling magicians would have so much subwoofer rumble!

Surround Sound Presentation: The rear surround channels offer plenty of ambience and audience chatter, especially during the scenes featuring an audience or crowd taking in a magic show. They are also active during the scenes featuring characters in peril and especially during the scenes featuring the famous teleportation machine.

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue levels are clean and crisp. Even with everyone’s native language accents chattering about – I could hear and understand them all perfectly.



The Prestige 4K UHD Blu-ray


The Prestige UK import is a 3-disc set. The 4K disc is on a BD-100 disc. The standard Blu-ray is on a BD-50 VC-1 encode, and the special features are also housed on a BD-50 mpeg-2 disc. The special features are all housed on their own disc. The entire run time on the special features disc is just over 20-minutes in length along with some photo galleries. I can also confirm that the Blu-ray and special features disc are also region-free. The 4K disc is naturally region-free. The digital copy only works with UK digital streaming services — it won’t port over to any of the services in the United States.

  • Director’s Notebook: The Prestige – The Cinematic Sleight of Hand of Christopher Nolan
  • 5 Making-of Featurettes:  The Art of The Prestige: Production Photos, Costumes/Sets, Behind-the-Scenes Photos and Poster Art Galleries
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Blu-ray (1080p)
  • Digital HD Copy

The Prestige 4K UHD Blu-ray


Almost fifteen years later The Prestige still resonates as one of Christopher Nolan’s best films. It’s sometimes considered one of his “lesser” films, but this 4K UHD Blu-ray is hardly forgettable. If you want to avoid the domestic prohibitive price-point then I would highly recommend the UK import. Remember, the 4K UHD disc is region free, so it will play on your 4K player without issue.


DISCLAIMER: This 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review was judged and graded using the following 4K certified Ultra HD Premium television set found HERE and player HERE.  Make sure to check out all our 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews archived HERE.  The images used above within the review are not actual 4K screenshots. They are for illustrative purposes only.  



The Prestige on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

is available to import from the UK!





The Prestige 4K UHD Blu-ray


The Prestige 4K UHD Blu-ray



Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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