'Us' (4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital)
(Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, et al / 4K Ultra HD + Blu ray + Digital / R / 2019 / Universal Pictures Home Entertainment)
Overview: A family's serene beach vacation turns to chaos when their doppelgängers appear and begin to terrorize them.
4K Ultra HD Verdict: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment continues to expand their 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray catalog offerings this June with the release of this quite stunning, and brilliantly off-center horror tale 'Us' on their new 4K home video format on June 18th, 2019.
For my money, this 'Us: 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 'Us' 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, Aspect ratio: 2.39:1, 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 delicious hues and nuances of all the daylight outdoor scenes in the woods and the early frantic beach moments.
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 family are running in terror, either away from the duplicates or toward their children) 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, French: Dolby Digital Plus 7.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital Plus 7.1, and English: Dolby Digital 2.0.
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, telling it like it is, 'Us' is a wonderfully thought out concept that has the potential to be a powerfully horrifying experience to the viewer, but it falls short of greatness due to flaws in logic that will have you screaming at your TV!
For example, there are a great deal of scenes where the main characters defy basic fight or flight reactions. Too many scenes where I found myself saying "Well, you put yourself in that position, dummy!"
The film makes our protagonists seem like 6 year-old's with no perception of danger rather than grown adults with children. It reminds me of corny 1970s slasher films where the first victims are just complete idiots who were too dumb to live in the first place!
I mean, for the most part, 'Get Out' had plausible characters with a twist that viewers could believe, but this film had unbelievably stupid characters with a plot twist that you'd have to be blind and deaf to not see coming!
I mean, and just a few of the logic holes that frustrated me are:
1) Why did Red tell Adelaide about how she went up and saw herself, when in fact Red was actually the original girl that got kidnapped? Why is Red telling Adelaide about the tethered when Adelaide switched places with her and knows about the tethered considering SHE IS ONE? We all saw Red wake up after being switched. It was purely for exposition.
2) How did every single clone just magically find their real selves? Sure, they have the same impulses, but how do they just know where all of them are? The two families were at their beach house for Christ sakes, not even their primary residences.
3) How come they seemed to be completely connected when underground and Jason's clone is very connected to Jason, but NO ONE ELSE even moved a finger when their other clones were out and about. Do they just magically choose when they want to be tethered?
4) So the clones are all just underground and coincidentally EVERY CLONE of the people at the boardwalk the night Adelaide/Red switched were in the same underground base? There have to be other many more underground bases … right?
Anyway, unlike a movie like last year's 'Halloween' remake, 'Us' is all about the terror of someone coming after you. There are numerous instances of stalking here that add up to true tension - as a horror movie should (for the opening 10-20 minutes, perhaps).
I think the problem with 'Us' is that Jordan Peele is trying way too hard to come up with something original that will set him apart and justify his growing popularity within the horror genre.
The overall result is just a weird, confusing mess that makes no sense whatsoever no matter how much you try to spin it. I mean, the lady's double who speaks in the guttural voice is supposed to be scary and disturbing, but in reality she just sounds like she has a bad sore throat and ends up being annoying!
In closing, 'Us' is, without a shadow of a doubt definitely overhyped, yes, but, and playing Devil's Advocate here, it's worth spending a few bucks on to see a concept that isn't often seen in films these days.
Anyway, that's that, for the most part, so now let's concentrate on a couple of the special features that are included.
The first I'll talk about are the Scene Explorations for they feature three (3) in particular - Seven Second Massacre, It's a Trap, and I Just Want My Little Girl Back - and are truly fascinating from start to finish.
Indeed, the making of these three now iconic scenes from the film - including the Tyler house massacre, Jason’s abduction and Adelaide’s underground flashback - mean that once you get to view them you will undoubtedly feel the urge to rewatch the film to get "inside those scenes" in a whole different way, trust me.
Another stand out is Redefining a Genre: Jordan Peele's Brand of Horror which showcases that in the space of two films, Peele has set himself apart as an invaluable artistic voice.
Here we get interviews with the cast and filmmakers who go to great lengths to highlight what makes Peele so unique. Plus we get Peele himself giving his own thoughts on his horror inspirations and the relationship between horror and comedy.
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 Us
The Monsters Within Us
Tethered Together: Making Us Twice Featurette
Redefining a Genre: Jordan Peele's Brand of Horror
Deleted Scenes: I Am Not Even Near You - Rabbit Season - That's Badass - Driftwood - The P is Silent - I Wanna Go Home
We're All Dying
As Above, So Below: Grand Pas De Deux
The Duality Of Us
The 'Us: 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack' (+ Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD) will be released June 18th, 2019 and will be available for the suggested retail price of $42.99, $39.99, and $29.95, respectively.
Official 'Us' Blu-ray/DVD Trailer
The Duality Of Us: Privilege | Bonus Clip
The Duality Of Us: Duality & Family | Bonus Clip
Official 'Us' Website