'The Grinch: 4K Ultra UD'
(Benedict Cumberbatch, Rashida Jones, Kenan Thompson, Cameron Seely, Angela Lansbury, et al / 4K Ultra HD + Blu ray + Digital / PG / 2019 / Universal Pictures Home Entertainment)
Overview: Illumination and Universal Pictures present The Grinch, based on Dr. Seuss' beloved classic.
'The Grinch' tells the story of a cynical grump who goes on a mission to steal Christmas, only to have his heart changed by a young girl’s generous spirit.
Funny, heartwarming and visually stunning, 'The Grinch' is fun for the whole family!
4K Ultra HD Verdict: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment continues to expand their 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray catalog offerings this month with the release of this quite wondrous 'The Grinch' in the new 4K home video format on February 5th, 2019.
For my money, this 'The Grinch: 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital' combo pack's sharpness takes a fairly large step forward from others in their 4K Ultra HD catalog and even comes with HDR (High Dynamic Range) for the complete 4K Ultra HD experience, of course.
So, what we have is 'The Grinch' presented to us as a two-disc combo pack with a sheet for a Digital HD Copy. Other stand out points you should know are: Codec: HEVC / H.265; Resolution: Upscaled 4K (2160p); HDR: Dolby Vision + HDR10; and Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1.
Featuring Dolby Vision and HDR10 for brighter, deeper, and way more lifelike colors, as with most all 4K UHD's, everything that we watch features these qualities - but somehow, this film gloriously shines within them all.
Noticeably crisper with the overall clarity receiving an obvious boost here on this release, what's more is that it's enjoyably noticeable. For as well as some new nuances to the somewhat drab palette courtesy of Dolby Vision we also get to witness sudden bright pops of color; like the stunning alive, and brightly burning flames engulfing the skyscraper in question along with the markings that cover the face of our hero as the movie progresses!
Indeed, the picture enjoys the fruits of the added resolution in terms of bringing out the aforementioned extremely fine facial and some of the yellow graded material (notably some scenes where the fire is spreading from level to level, nurturing its spacial awareness for a fuller impact) now have a kind of honeyed amber appearance. Which is interesting, and at least a little different from the 1080p Blu-ray accounting.
As for the audio, well we have: English: Dolby Atmos; English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit); French: Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 and Spanish: Dolby Digital Plus 7.1.
Overall, this is a very strong 4K HDR Blu-ray presentation, and, for the most part, the audio track remains fairly similar to its DTS-HD counterpart; with much of the action occupying the surrounds with outstanding directionality and placement where effects flawlessly pan between the sides and rears.
Phew! OK, so, as for the movie itself, well, for those not in the know (!), 'The Grinch' is a grumpy greeny-meany who plots to ruin Christmas for the residents of his neighboring village of Whoville.
In truth, I was one of those who grew up with the 1966 original. I never liked it. I liked the story, but it lacked something. And the 2000 story left me bored and uninterested.
Leave it to Illumination to make me fall in love with The Grinch! The bright colors, the sounds of carols (kudos for the use of religious music!!!) and interesting enough, I could feel the warmth of Whoville and the cold of the Grinch's cave on Mount Crumpit.
In fact, I could swear I could actually smell the Christmas cookies and taste the red velvet Christmas cake. It was a feast for the senses, both on and off the screen, me thinks!
Ergo, 'The Grinch' is good, clean, wholesome, honest, family fun. We watched it on our sofa - three generations ie: grandparents, parents, and grandchild - and everyone enjoyed this reimagined and expanded classic!
Indeed. this version of 'The Grinch' far out shadows the Jim Carrey version. Benedict Cumberbatch brings a sour, grinchy, but somehow loveable Mr. Grinch to this adaptation of the classic Seuss story.
Keeping fairly close to the source material, but still taking some fun creative license, this movie encapsulates Dr. Seuss's original meaning behind the tale.
Sure, bits of this felt a bit more stretched out than needed be. But overall I found it cute, lighthearted entertainment that managed to capture the spirit of the original.
The voice acting and animation were solid. The songs, while not as good in my 43 year-old eyes as the original tunes, were still serviceable and very catchy.
Plus, Illumination went all out with the visuals for this. Whoville is a Christmas wonderland. Mount Crumpit is appropriately bleak (but still with a touch of Seuss-like whimsy), and characters look like 3-D versions of Seuss' creations; while also working as modern CGI creations.
In conclusion, 'The Grinch' has plenty of laughs, touching moments, and content true to the original movie. Definitely a great way to get you into the holiday spirit, and remember the true meaning of the Holidays.
Anyway, that's that, for the most part, so now let's concentrate on some of the special features included. One of the best, for my money, is From Green to Screen (6:19). Here was watch as they build the film from the Seuss source.
The featurette also features interviews with the voice cast and production crew, a discussion of the Grinch's backstory, talk of casting and the qualities the actors brought to the characters, and story resolution.
All be it too short, My Earliest Grinch Memories (3:10) has the cast and crew discuss how the character and story impacted their lives. And Illuminating The Grinch (4:55) is a fascinating featurette where e get to explore the challenges of maintaining the original Dr. Seuss visual stylings and bringing them into a complex digitally animated feature.
Cindy-Lou's Yule Log (8:02) is simply a delightful fireplace scene inspired by the film set to music and dialogue; where The Grinch systematically removes the Christmas decorations from the fireplace area!
And Production Babies (1:16) is a quick look at a first-name list of the babies who were born to the crew during the film's production!
Lastly, I would direct you to the outrageously fun Mini-Movie: Yellow Is the New Black (4:17) where the Minions escape from prison ... with a little help, of course!
'Dr. Seuss' The Grinch' will be available on 4K Ultra HD in a combo pack which includes 4K Ultra HD Blu-rayTM, Blu-rayTM and Digital and on 3D Blu-ray, regular Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand this February 5th, from Universal Studios Home Entertainment.
This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.39:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs via 1080p and comes with the Special Features of:
Includes 4K UHD, Blu-ray and a digital copy of 'Illumination Presents: Dr. Seuss' The Grinch'
Features Dolby Vision and HDR10 for Brighter, Deeper, More Lifelike Color
Mini-Movie: Yellow is the New Black
Mini-Movie: The Dog Days of Winter
Mini-Movie: Santa's Little Helpers
The Making of the Mini-Movies
From Green to Screen
Illuminating the Grinch
Who's Who in Who-ville (Interactive Map)
My Earliest Grinch Memories
"You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch" Lyric Video
"I Am the Grinch" Lyric Video
Songs From His Little Heart
Any Who Can Draw
X-mas Around the World
Cindy-Lou's Yule Log
Any Who Can Draw - Featurette
Cindy-Lou Crashes Into The MailMan - Featurette
Fred & Max Jump Into Bed with The Grinch - Featurette