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Queen & Slim

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    78
    from 3 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Queen & Slim offers powerful performances & social commentary, with superb UHD quality.

    Queen & Slim 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
    89
  • Queen & Slim's 4K Blu-ray boasts significantly enhanced visuals, deeper blacks, vivid colors, and refined clarity, offering a markedly superior viewing experience over Blu-ray.

  • Audio
    83
  • Queen & Slim's audiophile-grade Dolby Atmos soundtrack delivers immersive, dynamic soundscapes with clear dialogue and musical excellence, creating lifelike, emotionally potent scenes.

  • Extra
    71
  • Queen & Slim's special edition offers insightful featurettes and audio commentary, focusing on the film’s social context, aesthetic style, and narrative intricacies, all in 4K UHD.

  • Movie
    79
  • Queen & Slim blends romance and social commentary, entwining race, violence, and love while spotlighting the complexities of being unjustly criminalized.

    Video: 89

    The 4K UHD Blu-Ray presentation of "Queen & Slim" markedly enhances the viewing experience by rendering sharper, more vivid visuals that outperform its Blu-ray counterpart significantly. Right from the early sequences, one witnesses a pronounced improvement in black levels, transforming nighttime scenes with a depth and darkness that lend a more natural and intense feel to the film's aesthetic. This enhancement in black levels does not compromise detail, maintaining a balance that accentuates story nuances and tonal subtleties far beyond what the Blu-ray version can offer. Additionally, the HDR enhancement noticeably boosts color depth, making elements like the vibrant signage in the film pop against the accurately depicted nighttime settings, thus enriching the film's visual tapestry with improved tones that breathe life into daytime scenes as well.

    The technical prowess of the 4K presentation is further evident in its clarity and detail precision, sourced from a mix of digital and 35mm footage finished on a 2K digital intermediate. The upscaled transfer sharpens and cleans up lines across various elements within the frame—vehicles, urban neighborhoods, architecture, and even the intricacies of clothing texture—without forsaking the filmmakers' aesthetic choices. The 2160p resolution, coupled with HDR10 encoding, enhances brightness levels substantially, mirroring a theatrical experience with deeper blacks and crisper specular highlights. This results in a picture that not only retains detail in the darkest corners but also flaunts a gorgeous film-like appearance thanks to an ultrafine layer of natural grain.

    Tat Radcliffe's stylized cinematography gains a new dimension with this 4K UHD presentation. Primaries are displayed more vibrantly, from Slim's scarlet crimson jumpsuit to the dynamic greens and blues of the film's landscapes. Secondary hues also benefit immensely, bringing a broad spectrum of warm tones to the forefront, enhancing the film's dramatic impact. Combined with exceptional black levels, detailed clarity, and accurate flesh tones without noise or artifacts, "Queen & Slim" on 4K UHD Blu-Ray is an essential upgrade for fans seeking the ultimate visual fidelity that does justice to its compelling narrative and thematic depth.

    Audio: 83

    The Dolby Atmos soundtrack of "Queen & Slim" provides an audio experience that is both detailed and immersive, suiting its character-driven narrative impeccably. The film's audio signature excels in delivering a rich and dimensional soundscape, where the blend of detailed musical elements and environmental sounds creates a truly captivating auditory journey. Notably, the bar scene in chapter 10 stands out with its blues beats, showcasing an extraordinary clarity and dynamism in the low-end bass and a lifelike ambiance. Similarly, the immersive crowd scenes and the carefully crafted ambient effects throughout the film are designed to draw the listener into its meticulously constructed world. The soundscape benefits greatly from a hefty low-end, primarily enhancing the musical score and providing a palpable weight to every song, thereby enriching the overall soundscape with a depth and resonance that is both powerful and nuanced.

    Character interactions and dialogue are prioritized within this soundstage, anchored firmly in the front channels but never at the expense of spatiality or dynamism. The dialogue is consistently clear, maintaining precision across all scenes, which is crucial for a narrative so deeply reliant on its protagonists' journey. Even though the use of height channels and surround sound may be subtler compared to more action-oriented films, these elements are employed effectively to add layers of ambiance, from the subtle sounds of nature to the more pronounced rumbling of car engines. This approach ensures that the film's atmosphere is full and engaging, even in its quieter moments.

    The audio presentation strikes a balance between focused narration through dialogue and a broader sonic experience through its music and environmental sounds. The Dolby Atmos soundtrack skillfully uses its dynamic range, from the mid-range's warmth and clarity to the low-frequency extension's rumble, creating an audio experience that complements the film’s visual storytelling. The soundtrack's technical execution showcases an impressively broad soundstage, where every element, whether it be the score by Devonté Hynes or the ambient sounds that punctuate the narrative, is rendered with a meticulous attention to detail, contributing to a thoroughly immersive viewing experience.

    Extra: 71

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Queen & Slim" enriches the cinematic experience with its comprehensive suite of extras, aimed at offering deeper insights into the film's creation, themes, and aesthetic choices. Viewers are treated to high-definition featurettes that delve into the creative synergy between director Melina Matsoukas and producer Lena Waithe, uncovering the layers of social commentary interwoven with the film's narrative and visual style. The segments explore everything from the significance behind the characters' names and their societal implications to the logistical challenges of shooting across various locations. Additionally, an engaging audio commentary track provides an in-depth discussion of the film's technical aspects, cast performances, and story nuances, encapsulating the filmmakers' vision and the movie's impact. The package comes with both a standard Blu-ray and a Movies Anywhere digital copy, housed in a matte or embossed slipcover, ensuring that enthusiasts have multiple formats at their disposal.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Audio Commentary: Director/Producer Melina Matsoukas and Writer/Producer Lena Waithe discuss the film's deeper meanings and production details.
    • A Deeper Meaning: Explores the significance behind characters' names and the film's social context.
    • Melina & Lena: A look into the collaborative process of the director and producer.
    • Off the Script: Features a script reading intercut with pivotal scenes from the movie.
    • On the Run with Queen & Slim: Discusses the shooting locations and visual storytelling techniques.

    Movie: 79

    Queen & Slim," directed by Melina Matsoukas in her feature-length debut and written by Lena Waithe, embarks on a complex journey through America's socio-political landscape, magnified through the lens of an accidental tragedy. The narrative commences with a tense and awkward first date between Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) and Slim (Daniel Kaluuya), which rapidly escalates into a life-altering predicament following a traffic stop gone fatally wrong. This foundation sets the stage for a deeply nuanced exploration of race, violence, and societal response, entangling the protagonists in a scenario where clear lines between right and wrong blur, leaving them on a desperate flight not only from law enforcement but from the consequences of a moment that marks them forever.

    The incident catalyzes an unforeseen bond between Queen and Slim, as their journey for survival unveils layers of character development amidst escalating tension. Their odyssey, marked by the haunting beauty of Tat Radcliffe's cinematography, takes them from Ohio to the Deep South—through landscapes both physical and emotional—drawing them closer in unexpected ways. The film's delicate balance between being a straightforward crime drama and a profound commentary on contemporary issues is one of its standout achievements. As their story unfolds, what begins as an unlikely pairing morphs into a profound connection, enveloped in shared vulnerability and a burgeoning love that defies the chaos ensnaring them.

    Technically adept, with standout performances from Kaluuya and Turner-Smith, "Queen & Slim" transcends its genre trappings to probe deep societal wounds and injustices, albeit not without its pacing and editing challenges that occasionally hamper its narrative momentum. Despite these hiccups, the film's exploration of its characters' humanity against a backdrop of systemic failures makes it a compelling watch. It neither sanctifies nor vilifies its leads but presents them as products of circumstance—caught in a turbulent spiral triggered by fear, misunderstanding, and the tragic realities of racial tension in America. This storytelling choice enriches the film, making it a resonant piece that captures the imagination and provokes thought about the complexities of human nature and societal constructs.

    Total: 78

    Queen & Slim" emerges as a complex narrative rich in social commentary and human emotion, somewhat hampered by uneven pacing and an occasionally unclear stance towards its protagonists. Despite these narrative discrepancies, the film is elevated significantly by the powerful performances of Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith. Their portrayal not only carries the film's emotional weight but also beautifully encapsulates the budding romance amidst chaos. The movie ambitiously tackles themes of tragedy, love, and systemic injustice, offering a poignant glimpse into the struggles faced by its characters. However, it sometimes struggles to convey its message with the depth and nuance it aims for.

    The technical aspects of Universal's 4K UHD release are robust, presenting a notable improvement over standard Blu-ray versions. The 4K HDR10 video presentation shines, enhancing the visual storytelling with crisp, vivid imagery that complements Melina Matsoukas' directorial vision. The Dolby Atmos soundtrack further immerses viewers in the film's world, with an auditory experience that is as detailed as it is impactful. The supplementary material, though not abundant, provides valuable insights into the film’s production and thematic intentions.

    In conclusion, "Queen & Slim" on 4K UHD Blu-ray is a formidable package that offers more than just visual and auditory excellence. The film itself may falter in fully exploring its ambitious themes, but it remains a compelling watch thanks to standout performances and its undeniably important commentary. This release is recommended for those interested in a cinematic experience that attempts to marry beauty with tragedy and social discourse with personal narrative. It stands not only as a testament to black love and resilience but also as a significant cultural piece that provokes thought and empathy.