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post #1 of 14 Old 05-13-2020, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Gretel & Hansel Blu-ray Review



Experience the nightmare behind the children’s tale in this terrifying reimagining of the beloved Brothers Grimm fairytale for a new generation. Ralph Potts reviews the Blu-ray release of Gretel & Hansel from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.



The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

89



Details:

Studio and Year: Warner - 2019
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 87 minutes
Genre: Horror

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 2.65:1/1.55:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Alice Krige, Sophia Lillis, Samuel J. Leakey
Directed by: Osgood Perkins
Music by: ROB
Written by: Rob Hayes
Region Code: A

Release Date: May 5, 2020


"Follow the Crumbs"


Synopsis:

“Experience the nightmare behind the children’s tale in this terrifying reimagining of the beloved Brothers Grimm fairytale for a new generation.” – Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

My Take:

A long time ago in a distant fairy tale countryside, a young girl leads her little brother into a dark wood in desperate search for food and work, only to stumble upon a nexus of terrifying evil.

So, we are all familiar of the Brothers Grimm fairytale and its dark foreboding for little ones that like to talk to strangers. I like quirky horror stories, especially those that put a spin on a classic fable. Gretel & Hansel ventures pretty far from the beaten path, beginning with its title and, a narrative that focuses on a young woman who begins her coming of age journey under the tutelage of a witch that resides deep in a dark forest.

There is essentially no real plot development up front other than a brief flashback that kind of alludes to what may be now living in the dark forest, followed by quick introductions to Gretel and Hansel and why they end of wandering through the forest alone. The story gets a bit more interesting once they arrive at the cottage. Most of this is owed to the mysterious and creepy old woman residing within. Her specific motivations and intentions aren’t made clear initially but, its not long before you see where things are headed. The question of why is a little fuzzy and, this isn’t helped by what appears to be quite a bit of editing. Either that, or the idea was to leave quite a bit up to the audience’s interpretation. I couldn’t say for certain.

There were things that I liked about the approach but, for me, there wasn’t enough meat on the bone to make for a wholly gratifying film. Gretel & Hansel eschews typical genre tropes, opting to deliver more of a dark chiller both visually and thematically. To that end it succeeds. Alice Krige is sooo good at portraying these archetypes and handles this one with aplomb. I like Sophia Lillis and hoped that this character would give her a vehicle to showcase her talent but, there wasn’t quite enough here for her to work with.

Gretel & Hansel is a bit of a mixed bag that features a conceptually strong approach that doesn’t reach its potential. I don’t regret sitting down with it but, when the credits rolled my reaction to it would best be described as lukewarm.



Replay Value:


Parental Guide:

The rating is for disturbing images/thematic content, and brief drug material.


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.**



Audio: 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialog Reproduction:
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA



Video: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:



Gretel & Hansel comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound.

This is a solid video presentation that offers lifelike refinement during close ups and discernibly crisp definition within objects during mid-level camera pans. The color range perfectly sets the film’s thematic tone and has a reserved aesthetic that rarely offers bright, eye catching hues. Rendering is clean and depth is appropriate. Fleshtones keep pace with the look of the rest of the film and have a balmy but natural texture. Spot on contrast yielded crisp, bright whites and blacks are stable with discernible detail in shadows and low-level transitions. I didn’t see this as a problem based upon the visual style of the film. This is a clean rendering that showed no obvious signs of video related artifacts or anomalies.

Being a predominantly dialog driven film the ability to clearly render that aspect is an important element of the soundtrack. This DTS-HD Master Audio presentation had no problem in that regard. Voices were reproduced with transparent realism and lucid texture that appropriately held sway over the front soundstage. The surround mix made apropos use of the sound platform to render the films elements. I found it to be subtly engaging as it recreated the many acoustic sounds associated with the environments portrayed onscreen. The soundstage offered a nicely balanced mixture of ambience/background sounds and music that characterized the mood of the scene. There weren’t any sub bass frequencies contained in the mix however the subwoofer was used to provide low bass emphasis where appropriate.


Bonus Features:
  • Storybook: Illustrations that captures the film’s cinematography and reimaging of Gretel & Hansel
  • Digital Code


Final Thoughts:

Based on the fairytale by the Brothers Grimm Gretel & Hansel’s reimagined tale is a bit of a mixed bag that features a conceptually strong approach that doesn’t reach its potential. It comes to Blu-ray from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition audio/video quality. Gretel & Hansel will probably make for decent coffee table banter for curious genre fans. In that light I will give it a rental recommendation on Blu-ray.






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 14 Old 05-13-2020, 05:03 PM
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I thought it was decent.

That’s about all I gotta say about that lol.

I liked the darkness crazy humor. Like the mom with the ax
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A little mystified by:

Video Aspect: 2.65:1/1.55:1

The trailer seems to show black bars on all sides of the screen, but perhaps that is the way it is displayed in the YouTube box. The presentation there (here) was all 1.55:1, I think, so does the feature itself have shifting aspect ratios? An unusual choice for certain, any insights as to the motivation for this?
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post #4 of 14 Old 05-14-2020, 07:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emaych View Post
A little mystified by:

Video Aspect: 2.65:1/1.55:1

The trailer seems to show black bars on all sides of the screen, but perhaps that is the way it is displayed in the YouTube box. The presentation there (here) was all 1.55:1, I think, so does the feature itself have shifting aspect ratios? An unusual choice for certain, any insights as to the motivation for this?
If I remember correctly it shifts but only once, and its in the beginning. It wasnt a problem for me with my 2.35:1 screen and no anamorphic lens. Normally I get super pissed off with those movies, like the latest Mission Impossible that shifted every 10 seconds at one point!
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post #5 of 14 Old 05-14-2020, 09:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Greetings,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emaych View Post
A little mystified by:

Video Aspect: 2.65:1/1.55:1

The trailer seems to show black bars on all sides of the screen, but perhaps that is the way it is displayed in the YouTube box. The presentation there (here) was all 1.55:1, I think, so does the feature itself have shifting aspect ratios? An unusual choice for certain, any insights as to the motivation for this?
Quote:
Originally Posted by trilkb View Post
If I remember correctly it shifts but only once, and its in the beginning. It wasnt a problem for me with my 2.35:1 screen and no anamorphic lens. Normally I get super pissed off with those movies, like the latest Mission Impossible that shifted every 10 seconds at one point!
Yes, the film's opening uses the wide aspect and then shifts to the 1.55:1 aspect for the remainder. No idea as to why this was necessary. I didn't find that it added anything particular to the thematic emphasis of the story etc.


Regards,
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post #6 of 14 Old 05-15-2020, 04:54 AM
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Quote:
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Greetings,
Yes, the film's opening uses the wide aspect and then shifts to the 1.55:1 aspect for the remainder. No idea as to why this was necessary. I didn't find that it added anything particular to the thematic emphasis of the story etc.Regards,
Thanks for the clarification Ralph, and @trilkb . A very odd choice, particularly if there seems no immediately apparent reason for it. I for one, am a big fan of shifting aspect ratios, if it means we get the IMAX, or even just extended screen image, woven into the mix. Of course I would be happier with constant 1.85:1, just to have the expanded image more of the time, but I have an 85" TV which is not malleable as to the presented image -- its got to be on the disc.

Been working my way through the TRANSFORMERS series in 4K lately. THE LAST KNIGHT (the last one unless you count BUMBLEBEE), is almost about all expanded image, of various aspect ratios, and has parts that are 2.39:1 as well. Best movie image out there, hands down, to my mind. Curiously, the second in the series has IMAX scenes in the blu-ray version, which are eliminated in the UHD -- another disappointing odd choice. But the blu-ray IMAX scenes in the second are spectacular, so we take what they give us, I suppose.

The apparently pointless reduction of GRETEL AND HANSEL to this strange dimension guarantees that I would not sit through it, so thanks once again for keeping us informed, Mr. Ralph !
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post #7 of 14 Old 05-15-2020, 09:19 AM
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I wouldnt put a movie down just because of its aspect ratio. I suffer through 89" images on my 106" screen when I have to lol. Even smaller if I have to keep it at 88" for 16:9 and it shifts to 2.35:1 :-(. Ive really been wanting to build a new 16:9 115-120" screen. Just turn up the sound and be thankful you still have that part lol.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by trilkb View Post
I wouldnt put a movie down just because of its aspect ratio. I suffer through 89" images on my 106" screen when I have to lol. Even smaller if I have to keep it at 88" for 16:9 and it shifts to 2.35:1 :-(. Ive really been wanting to build a new 16:9 115-120" screen. Just turn up the sound and be thankful you still have that part lol.
Agreed. I don't understand why aspect ratio would matter.

I bought this movie on digital a few weeks ago. I liked it so much that I've watched it twice now and will have to pick up the BD. It's always great to see something that's a bit different and has ambition beyond just selling a billion ticket$.
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post #9 of 14 Old 05-16-2020, 05:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trilkb View Post
I wouldnt put a movie down just because of its aspect ratio. I suffer through 89" images on my 106" screen when I have to lol. Even smaller if I have to keep it at 88" for 16:9 and it shifts to 2.35:1 :-(. Ive really been wanting to build a new 16:9 115-120" screen. Just turn up the sound and be thankful you still have that part lol.
Well, I am very grateful for the availability of entertainment, no doubt -- particularly during this quarantine season of our lives. But as to whether I need to be thankful for any specific offering, no matter that it would not conform to my standards for viewing, is not where I rest on the issue.

You say above that you "suffer...images" when you have to. For myself, my entertainment choices are based on what has a higher-than-not likelihood I will enjoy the experience. If you've interpreted my declining the viewing of this specific offering as putting the movie down, that is a misread. I didn't disparage the production in any way, other than to state that the aspect ratio was an odd choice -- more an observation, and one that, for me, steeply diminishes the prospect of ever seeing it.

But I take your defense of this effort as signifying you enjoyed it, and that itself increases my interest in it, though does not entice me to select it over other alternatives. So to each his own, as always, glad you seem to have enjoyed it -- entertainment is a marvelous thing to be grateful for in our lives!

Be safe and well !
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post #10 of 14 Old 05-16-2020, 05:39 AM
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Agreed. I don't understand why aspect ratio would matter.

I bought this movie on digital a few weeks ago. I liked it so much that I've watched it twice now and will have to pick up the BD. It's always great to see something that's a bit different and has ambition beyond just selling a billion ticket$.
Nice! Agreed that is great to have available to us all different ranges of options in entertainment -- we are all very very blessed indeed!

I appreciate your strong support of this movie -- as I said above, it definitely increases my interest in it to see favorable reception. I recently watched TALES FROM THE LOOP on Amazon Prime, and it was unconventional in many respects, so, yes, concur that the less traveled path can be richly rewarding.

But as to your not understanding that aspect ratio matters, baffles me. This present production team must have thought it mattered a great deal -- to put all their investment into the risk of opting for a very unusual presentation, implies to me that it was very important to them. No one here seems to know why, but I suggest that to take this gamble was highly significant, both to them and their prospects for promoting viewership.

Even in this thread, many have commented on the importance of aspect ratio, or constant aspect ratio at least, to them. I am in that category. Imagine if a movie were say, 10:1 aspect ratio, or at the other end, say .01:1 -- how narrow can that strip be high or wide? Would that matter to you? My guess is that I think it would. As to this one, it simply falls in your acceptable AR range, from what you have indicated to us.

For me the optimum with my current set-up is 1.85:1. That is what is most pleasing to me. I do watch things outside of that parameter of course, but represents a compromise on optimum, therefore decreases my engagement accordingly. At 1.55:1, I opt out -- that is all.

This production may be very worthy, I don't suspect I will ever know. I have more than a thousand blu-rays, UHDs, and there is streaming, TV, and renting movies. So many options. I head to where I think I might be most gratified. Glad you enjoyed this!

Be safe and well !
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Crap, guess like a sneeze or cough, even saying thankful gives people the wrong idea right now. I meant just crank the sound and try to immerse yourself that way if the image cant do it
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post #12 of 14 Old 05-19-2020, 05:20 AM
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Crap, guess like a sneeze or cough, even saying thankful gives people the wrong idea right now. I meant just crank the sound and try to immerse yourself that way if the image cant do it
I totally get it: you've seen it, enjoyed it, and are thankful for that enjoyment. So I should say that I am thankful for the fact that people produce entertainment for us -- all of it, this production included. Each and every production represents a challenging enterprise of the type that I've never aspired to, so I admire and deeply appreciate that.

We all, collectively, are blessed to enjoy a wealth of viewing options -- no doubt! So I'm happy enough this out there to enjoy. Glad you enjoyed it, and I won't rule out ever seeing it for me -- and thank you to you too, for contributing your voice to this thread -- that also increases my joy quotient !
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I totally get it: you've seen it, enjoyed it, and are thankful for that enjoyment. So I should say that I am thankful for the fact that people produce entertainment for us -- all of it, this production included. Each and every production represents a challenging enterprise of the type that I've never aspired to, so I admire and deeply appreciate that.

We all, collectively, are blessed to enjoy a wealth of viewing options -- no doubt! So I'm happy enough this out there to enjoy. Glad you enjoyed it, and I won't rule out ever seeing it for me -- and thank you to you too, for contributing your voice to this thread -- that also increases my joy quotient !

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Sorry, I do not recognize this individual, so can't determine what his persona signifies in the context of the post you quoted. Message lost....
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