Ralph Potts reviews this Academy Award winning drama about a frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820s that fights for survival after being mauled by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team.
Studio and Year:
The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
20th Century Fox - 2015
Feature running time:
English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
English SDH, Spanish, French
Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter
Alejandro G. Inarritu
Alejandro G. Inarritu & Mark L. Smith based on the novel by Michael Punke
Blu-ray Disc release Date:
April 19, 2016
"Revenge is in God's hands"
follows the story of legendary explorer Hugh Glass (DiCaprio) on his quest for survival and justice. After a brutal bear attack, Glass is left for dead by a treacherous member of his hunting team. Against extraordinary odds, and enduring unimaginable grief, Glass battles a relentless winter in uncharted terrain.
I took in The Revenant
during its theatrical run earlier this year. The film is based on the novel by Michael Punke and is based on a true story. From what I gather although primarily based on Glass the character and some of the events depicted in the film are a composite of more than one. Co-written by the film's director Alejandro G. Inarritu and Mark L. Smith The Revenant
is epic in scope, drawing upon a dark narrative that encapsulates the early 1800's period depicted in the story, as it tells of a father's love, loss, struggle for survival and the indomitable power of the human spirit when motivated by the desire of revenge.
As I watched the film a second time my reaction to it was nearly identical to when I first saw it. In terms of story I found The Revenant
to be good but not wholly gratifying. In context it's character driven which serves it well while the mix of frontier elements (adventure, peril, battling nature) is engaging to say the least. The subplots involving the French and the Indian Chief searching for his daughter didn't seem a cohesive fit, being seemingly interjected to add thematic tension and melodrama. True story or not I couldn’t help but find myself raising an eyebrow every time Glass managed to extricate himself from yet another impossible bid for survival.
Having said that I wouldn't want to give the impression that I found The Revenant
lacking as a film experience. It's truly an amazing film to watch. From start to finish it's visually effecting, drawing you in with the vastness of its scope, high production elements, Emmanuel Lubezki's breathtaking cinematography, Alejandro G. Inarritu's masterful direction and compelling performances, highlighted by Leonardo DiCaprio's Oscar winning turn in the title role.
Taking home three Oscars including Best Actor, Best Director and Best Cinematography, The Revenant
is a memorable and effecting film that for me rises to the top due to the total sum of its parts. In addition to the honors at the Academy Awards, it also garnered, three Golden Globes, five BAFTA Awards, a DGA Award for Best Director (Iñárritu) and SAG Award for Best Actor (DiCaprio). The Revenant
is justly deserving of the accolades it has received and is among the most talked about films of the year.
The rating is for strong frontier combat and violence including gory images, a sexual assault, language and brief nudity.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency effects:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialog Reproduction:
- Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA
- DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element):
The Revenant comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 25 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.5 Mbps.
- Black Level/Shadow Detail:
- Color Reproduction:
This film utilizes a stylized visual design that has a limited color scheme that works aesthetically well for the subject matter. The color range is limited to shades of dark blue, gray and black with splashes of crimson red and forest green hues. Warm golden accents are used throughout to break up the film’s monochromatic essence. This comes in the form of glowing firelight or alternating flesh tones that have lifelike complexional color as opposed to the ashen/blue that is predominant the majority of the time. What enhances the effect is its presence amidst the other dark blue/gray/black elements within the same shot. Contrast is strong and blacks are deep without compromise to delineation. Shadowy areas exhibit excellent depth of field and visible gradational stages. Resolution is excellent as images are crisp, delineated and dimensionally strong. The visual design isn’t such that it offers high gloss, razor sharp quality but that doesn’t keep this presentation from looking great.
The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack has excellent dynamic range, detail rich clarity and makes ample use of the entire surround platform to drive the film’s thematic elements. Ryuichi Sakamoto’s music score, coupled along with well integrated discrete and atmospheric sound effects, plays an intricate role in this sometimes active surround mix. The detection of subtle background sounds, off camera cues and spatial dimension within the room’s acoustic environment is excellent. The low frequency effects channel is active as the subwoofer works in tandem with the rest of the system to convey the palpably rich bass and dynamic impact associated with the “sounds” of the frontier world it depicts. Dialog is firmly planted in the center channel and clearly renders voices and effects with appropriate distinction and balance within the front soundstage. I thoroughly enjoyed this audio presentation and found that it accentuated the feeling of “being there” while complimenting the film’s recorded elements.
- (HD) "A World Unseen": A Documentary of The Revenant – 44 minutes
- (HD) Gallery
- Digital HD Copy
Based on the novel of the same name by Michael Punke The Revenant
is an epic, award winning frontier adventure that rewards on multiple levels, including Alejandro G. Inarritu's masterful direction, Emmanuel Lubezki's superb cinematography, and Leonardo DiCaprio's compellingly committed performance. It comes to Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring top notch high definition audio/video and a minimal but worthwhile documentary that offers an inside look at the making of the film. The Revenant
is one of the most talked about films of the year and deserves serious consideration for inclusion in the video collections of film enthusiasts.
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JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8802A 13.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player
Samsung UBD-K8500 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and In-Ceiling series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package