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Requiem for a Dream

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    86
    from 4 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Requiem for a Dream: Praise for its haunting allure & 4K UHD upgrade.

    Requiem for a Dream 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
    91
  • Requiem for a Dream's 4K UHD release excels in visual detail and color depth, offering a nuanced viewing experience that embraces the film's gritty and hallucinatory essence.

  • Audio
    90
  • Requiem for a Dream's 4K Blu-ray features a Dolby Atmos track enhancing immersion with detailed scoring, clear dialogue, and immersive sound effects, perfectly complementing its chaotic world.

  • Extra
    90
  • Lionsgate's release of Requiem for a Dream's 20th Anniversary 4K and Blu-ray includes new features, interviews, historic on-set footage, and detailed commentaries, celebrating its cinematic journey.

  • Movie
    90
  • Darren Aronofsky's Requiem for a Dream offers a visceral, bleak dive into addiction's spiral, blending intense performances with a hypnotic style.

    Video: 91

    Requiem for a Dream" gains a remarkable new vision in its 20th-anniversary 4K UHD release by Lionsgate, boasting an authentic remaster that shines in native 4K with Dolby Vision, elevating Aronofsky's harrowing narrative to unprecedented visual heights. The transfer, presented in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, occasionally shifting to 2.4:1, is meticulously encoded using the HEVC codec, supporting HDR10 and powered by a 10-bit video depth alongside a Wide Colour Gamut (WCG). This release does justice to the film’s eclectic visual palette - from the crisply detailed to the intentionally gritty and hallucinatory sequences. While the reinvigorated color dynamics and heightened contrast offer a more vivid portrayal of the film’s thematic elements, from the pristine clarity of joyous highs to the decaying darkness of despair, viewers should anticipate a variance in image quality reflective of the original cinematographic intention, especially during the film’s more stylized moments.

    The enhanced resolution and Dolby Vision bring new life to the textures and a richer depth to the colors, particularly noticeable in exterior scenes and close-ups that now feature an extraordinary level of detail. From the nuanced decay of urban environments to the surreal clarity of drug-induced euphoria, every frame benefits from improved dynamic range and color rendition. The seasonal shifts in color are striking, with certain hues - like the deep reds and cool blues - becoming almost tactile in their intensity. Grain levels are managed naturally, maintaining the film's raw aesthetic without compromising on clarity, though it's worth noting that some segments, notably those utilizing video feeds or heavy effects, may exhibit slight pixelation due to the increased resolution.

    However, this release is not without its warnings for purists seeking consistent sharpness across every scene. Due to Aronofsky and Director of Photography Matthew Libatique's deliberate use of varied filming techniques, including fuzzier video feeds and psychedelic visuals, there's an inherent fluctuation in image fidelity. Despite these variations, the 4K UHD presentation elevates "Requiem for a Dream" with enhanced detail levels across the board, from the textured materials in characters’ clothing to the immersive depth of field in outdoor scenarios. The application of HDR accentuates both artificial and natural lighting, giving the imagery a voluminous quality, even as it navigates the murky shadows of the narrative’s darker themes. Collectively, this UHD release not only respects but magnifies Aronofsky's vision, delivering an audio-visual experience that is as unsettlingly beautiful as it is technically impressive.

    Audio: 90

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray of "Requiem for a Dream" boasts a Dolby Atmos audio track that transforms the film's auditory experience into something deeply immersive and detailed. The High Definition 3D object-based sound brings Clint Mansell's exquisite scoring to life with such precision that it envelops the viewer in the film's intensely emotional landscape. Dialogue is crisply prioritized across the frontal array, capturing whispers and screams with astonishing clarity. The seamless blend of score and sound effects, enriched by Mansell's iconic leitmotif, engulfs the surrounds in an atmospheric brilliance that enhances every scene, from the mundane to the dramatic. This Atmos track not only excels in vertical and horizontal sound placement but also in how it utilizes environmental cues and discrete sound effects to heighten the narrative's immersive quality.

    The Dolby Atmos mix's active utilization of audio objects, both atmospheric and discrete, smartly matches onscreen events, adding a layer of depth that is both enriching and engaging. Particularly noteworthy are the sounds within Sara's apartment, which vividly convey her descent into addiction through rich environmental cues. The sound design's prowess extends to handling both the minuscule, like the tinkling opening cues, and the overwhelming, like the booming possessed refrigerator, with equal deftness. Such sound effects, alongside muted sequences simulating drug-induced euphoria, play with volume and clarity to immerse the audience fully into the film's chaotic world.

    Moreover, the Atmos track's masterful separation and clarity bring out nuances in Mansell's score and the film’s layered sound design, offering clean dialogue amidst brash string cues or the unsettling clangor of an unnerving urban landscape. The height speakers invite ambient sounds, enhancing scenes with an almost tactile presence, from game show audiences to city din humming in the background, creating a sound environment that is as compelling as it is haunting. This audio presentation not only complements the visual journey but significantly deepens the overall cinematic experience of "Requiem for a Dream," highlighting its effectiveness in leveraging Dolby Atmos for an unprecedented auditory immersion.

    Extra: 90

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Requiem for a Dream" marks its 20th anniversary by porting over existing audio commentaries and supplementing them with a rich array of extra features, providing a holistic view behind the making and legacy of this cinematic marvel. Notably, the disc boasts new insightful interviews with Ellen Burstyn and composer Clint Mansell, offering unique perspectives on the film's production and its haunting score. Additionally, the featurettes range from candid on-set footage from 1999 to an in-depth analysis by film historian Dr. Bruce Isaacs, revealing the intricate details of the film's production aspects, thematic depth, and technical challenges. The inclusion of these extras, alongside the previously available commentaries by director Darren Aronofsky and director of photography Matthew Libatique, make this release a comprehensive package that not only celebrates but also thoroughly examines the film's impact and craftsmanship.

    Extras included in this disc:

    Audio Commentary by Director Darren Aronofsky: An informative track on various production aspects.

    Audio Commentary by Director of Photography Matthew Libatique: Focuses on the technical aspects of filmmaking.

    Ellen Burstyn on Requiem for a Dream: A deep dive into Burstyn's experiences and challenges while shooting.

    Transcendent Moments: The Score of Requiem for a Dream: Clint Mansell discusses his approach to creating the film's iconic score.

    Revisiting Requiem for a Dream: Film historian Dr. Bruce Isaacs offers an analytical view on the film's production, themes, and techniques.

    On Set: 1999: Vintage behind-the-scenes footage and interviews from the film set.

    Movie: 90

    Requiem for a Dream," Darren Aronofsky's second film, stands as an unyielding depiction of addiction's descent into despair, portraying the harrowing journey of four intertwined lives toward ruin. The film intricately adapts Hubert Selby Jr.'s novel, demonstrating Aronofsky's unparalleled ability to craft a visceral experience that mirrors the chaotic and destructive nature of substance dependency. With precision, the narrative unfolds—following Sara Goldfarb’s obsession with slimming down for a television appearance, and her son Harry, along with his girlfriend and friend, as their dream of a big score plunges them into the depths of addiction. The exquisite craftsmanship of the film is evident through its meticulous editing, Clint Mansell's haunting score, and performances that push the boundaries of the actors' careers, particularly highlighting Ellen Burstyn’s unforgettable portrayal of Sara.

    Aronofsky employs a masterful use of camera techniques to bring the viewer into the immediate experience of the characters, oscillating between moments of blissful high and the crushing reality of addiction’s aftermath. This dichotomy is presented with a rawness that leaves the audience in a state of reflection on the nature of happiness, addiction, and the human condition. The film does not shy away from displaying the extremes of human degradation and the relentless grip of addiction, making it a stark warning against the seduction of ephemeral escapes from reality.

    Despite its brilliance and cinematic achievement, "Requiem for a Dream" is not an easy watch; it's an emotional ordeal that imprints its bleak message indelibly on the viewer's psyche. This portrayal is enhanced in its 4K UHD presentation, which sharpens the visual and auditory experience, allowing the film’s intense thematic elements and technical genius to resonate deeply. Aronofsky’s film remains a critical, haunting exploration of addiction, meticulously realized in a way that surpasses mere storytelling to become an immersive cinematic event.

    Total: 86

    The 20th Anniversary 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of Requiem for a Dream, presented by Lionsgate, encapsulates the enduring potency of this cinematic masterpiece with a level of audiovisual fidelity that profoundly honors its source material. The film, known for its unflinching portrayal of addiction and its consequences, remains as impactful today as it was two decades ago, bolstered by an exceptional native 4K presentation with Dolby Vision, and an immersive Dolby Atmos soundtrack. The meticulous care taken in this release ensures that every frame, from the unsettling descent into addiction to the harrowing climaxes of its characters, is presented with unmatched clarity and depth. Furthermore, the Atmos surround mix adds a new dimension of engagement, with environmental sounds and music cues enriching the viewing experience, particularly in scenes set in Sara’s apartment, offering a palpable sense of her spiral into despair.

    The performances, especially Ellen Burstyn’s Academy Award-nominated portrayal, continue to resonate deeply, supported by the innovative camera work and a haunting score that further cements Requiem for a Dream as a juggernaut of visual and auditory storytelling. This release not only emphasizes these elements through its technical enhancements but also enriches them with a suite of new supplementary features that offer fresh perspectives on the film’s creation and its lasting impact on cinema and audiences alike.

    In conclusion, this 4K UHD release of Requiem for a Dream is nothing short of mandatory for both longtime admirers and new viewers alike. Lionsgate’s commitment to quality is evident in every aspect, from the impeccable video and audio upgrades to the thoughtfully curated bonus content. It celebrates the film's legacy as a profound commentary on addiction while providing an unparalleled home viewing experience that both honors and transcends its original vision. Whether revisiting or experiencing for the first time, this edition reaffirms Requiem for a Dream’s place as an essential piece of modern filmmaking.