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Babylon

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    79
    from 3 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Babylon dazzles & perplexes; its 4K release shines with extras for fans.

    Babylon 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
    94
  • Babylon's 2160p/Dolby Vision UHD release shines with impeccable detail, rich colors, and robust filmic texture, offering a visually superior experience.

  • Audio
    92
  • Babylon's Dolby Atmos track delivers unparalleled immersion with crystal-clear dialog, dynamic audio, and inventive height channel utilization, creating a vivid, all-encompassing audio experience.

  • Extra
    79
  • Babylon's UHD release features the main film with extras on a second Blu-ray disc, including deep dives into 1920s Hollywood, costume design, music, and selected deleted scenes, but lacks robust bonus content. Also includes a digital copy code, with collectible steelbook packaging for the limited edition.

  • Movie
    79
  • 'Babylon' is a grand, excessive portrayal of 1920s Hollywood's wild side, blending historical shifts with fictional tales amid Chazelle's vivid storytelling.

    Video: 94

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray presentation of "Babylon" showcases an appreciable upgrade from its standard Blu-ray counterpart, highlighting a meticulous transfer that amplifies the film's visual flair and narrative impact. Shot on 35mm and finished with a 4K digital intermediate, this native 4K Dolby Vision transfer excels in presenting a refined cinematic experience. The depth of field is particularly remarkable, offering a grandiose scale that enhances the storytelling, propelling it into a realm that feels both expansive and intimately detailed. Paramount's decision to use a BD-100 disc facilitates a high bitrate, which ensures that film grain remains natural and unobtrusive throughout, preserving the film's intended aesthetic without succumbing to common artifacts or unwarranted digital interventions. This choice underscores a commitment to delivering a presentation that respects both the source material and the viewer's engagement with the film.

    In terms of color gradation and detail, "Babylon's" 4K UHD release demonstrates a vibrant spectrum of colors and an exceptional clarity in texture that contributes significantly to the viewing experience. The film's visual narrative benefits from the enhanced black levels and shadow depth, providing each scene with a tangible sense of three-dimensional depth that complements the director's vision. Colors are lively and rich, with reds standing out brilliantly, supported by Dolby Vision HDR which handles the extremes of light and dark with finesse. This allows for a visual experience where even the most minute details, such as facial textures, fabric patterns, and environmental intricacies, are rendered with remarkable clarity.

    Overall, the video presentation of "Babylon" on 4K UHD Blu-ray is a testament to the meticulous craftsmanship involved in its transfer, offering viewers the highest quality rendition of the film in 2023. From its superb handling of film grain to its dynamic range in color reproduction and black levels, this release solidifies "Babylon's" status not only as a cinematic triumph but also as a benchmark in home media presentations. The care taken in encoding, along with a thoughtful utilization of BD-100's capabilities, ensures that fans and cinephiles alike are treated to a virtually flawless presentation that stands as a vivid reflection of the filmmakers' original vision.

    Audio: 92

    The "Babylon" 4K UHD Blu-Ray presents an audio experience that is a testament to the prowess of modern audio engineering, showcasing a Dolby Atmos soundtrack that immerses viewers into the roaring ambiance of the 1920s with astonishing clarity and depth. The track masterfully balances a dynamic range of audio elements, from the bombastic euphoria of big band music and party chaos to the subtleties of intimate conversations, ensuring a seamless auditory journey throughout. The opening sequence alone, with its overwhelming blend of sounds from raucous partygoers to the deep, jubilant blasts of era-specific music, sets an incredible standard for immersion, distinguished by exceptional surround content and subwoofer integration that brings every scene to vivid life.

    In terms of technical execution, the Atmos mix capitalizes on utilizing the full spectrum of available sound channels, offering a richly layered and textured soundscape that extends well beyond the conventional. Unique audio moments, such as the novel utilization of height space by an elephant's sounds, underscore the creative ambition behind the film's sound design. These elements, combined with pinpoint precision in sound placement – from the spectacle of epic war scenes to the distinct sounds of a champagne bottle – enrich the film's atmosphere. Justin Hurwitz’s score further amplifies this sensory feast, with its lively beats and jazzy tunes pushing the low-frequency extension to produce a deeply resonant bass that adds excitement to every moment.

    The Atmos track remains meticulously balanced throughout, ensuring dialogue remains crystal clear against the backdrop of its more aggressive and intricate audio components. Dynamics effortlessly shift from grandiose musical numbers and intense sonic environments to quiet, nuanced exchanges, with vocals preserved with utmost clarity. Every interior and exterior space is audibly defined, showcasing an impressive use of the surround sound field and low-frequency effects that engage the listener completely, making for an all-encompassing 360-degree auditory experience. The devotion to audio detail in "Babylon" not only compliments its visual splendor but elevates the entire viewing experience to be genuinely immersive and unforgettable.

    Extra: 79

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Babylon" delivers its extras exclusively on a supplementary Blu-ray disc, free from the main feature discs and without a DVD version, though a digital copy code is provided for convenience. Highlighting the package is "A Panoramic Canvas Called Babylon", an in-depth exploration into the hedonistic 1920s Hollywood, covering everything from the intense filmmaking processes and costume design to the technical and musical innovations of the era, extended with authentic insights from the cast and crew. While the segments on costumes and scoring are rather short, they nonetheless offer intriguing glimpses into the monumental efforts behind these facets, with over 7,000 costumes crafted and a fresh musical approach recounted by Justin Hurwitz. The deleted and extended scenes add a layer of depth, showcasing the careful consideration behind the film's final cut. Although not overflowing with content, the included extras provide a satisfying complement to the film's grand narrative.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • A Panoramic Canvas Called Babylon: Dive into the heart of 1920s Hollywood through expansive interviews and discussions.
    • The Costumes of Babylon: A quick yet insightful look at the enormous effort behind the film's period costumes.
    • Scoring Babylon: Brief insights into Justin Hurwitz’s innovative musical scoring process.
    • Deleted and Extended Scenes: A collection of scenes offering further insight into the film’s narrative decisions.

    Movie: 79

    In the sprawling cinematic landscape of Damien Chazelle's "Babylon," audiences are thrust into the opulent and decadent world of 1920s Hollywood, amidst its seismic shift from silent to sound films. This film, starring a robust cast including Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Diego Calva, Jovan Adepo, and Li Jun Li, is not just a mirror held up to the excesses of its time but also an ode to the relentless pursuit of relevance within an industry notorious for leaving yesterday's stars in its wake. The narrative navigates through both fictional and true-to-life accounts with a looseness that might test the patience of some, yet it offers a compelling tableau of ambition, lust, and the dark underbelly of cinematic glamour. The portrayal of this raucous era, laden with unbridled debauchery reminiscent of "The Wolf of Wall Street," adds a layer of raw intensity, challenging viewers to question the price of fame and the sacrifices made at the altar of innovation.

    Chazelle's direction is as ambitious as his characters, attempting a sprawling narrative that sometimes loses its focal point amid the spectacle. However, scenes capturing the chaotic transition to the sound film era are meticulously crafted, mapping out not just the technical hurdles but the human toll it exacts on those unprepared for change. This juxtaposition of technological evolution against a backdrop of personal turmoil adds a rich texture to "Babylon," making it a visual and auditory feast that's both enchanting and jarring. Despite criticisms for being over-indulgent, the movie’s excess serves as both its flaw and its fuel, driven by electric performances, notably Robbie's uninhibited display of vulnerability and ambition.

    While "Babylon" dances on the edge of narrative coherence amidst its three-hour runtime filled with eye-popping revelry and Vice, it distinguishes itself through painstakingly beautiful cinematography and Justin Hurwitz's infectious score. These elements underscore Chazelle's unyielding desire to dissect and display the mechanics of fame, creativity, and the inevitable evolution of cinema. Though it risks alienation with its relentless pursuit of shock value, "Babylon" ultimately emerges as a polarizing yet undeniably intricate tapestry of Old Hollywood’s transition era, embellished with moments of brilliance that promise to leave an indelible mark on its audience.

    Total: 79

    Babylon," a film that marches to the beat of its own drum, is a divisive yet enticing cinematic journey marked by its extravagant storytelling and an immersive portrayal of the roaring excesses of its era. This 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release does justice to the film's audacious spirit, boasting a high-quality video presentation enhanced by the vividness of Dolby Vision transfer and an excellent Dolby Atmos audio track. While the movie itself teeters between brilliance and a spiraling narrative that occasionally loses focus, this physical release, complete with an engaging assortment of special features including a notably detailed making-of featurette, invites further exploration into its chaotic world. The packaging, especially the steelbook edition, is praised for its attractive design, making it a tempting acquisition for collectors and aficionados alike.

    Despite the film's box office performance and its polarizing reception - deemed by some as excessive, tedious, yet undeniably magnetic – this release shines in its technical prowess. The video and audio capabilities of this edition enhance the viewer's experience, ensuring that even the film's most flamboyant sequences are rendered with clarity and impact. The additional content, although not expansive, provides valuable insights into the filmmaking process, offering a deeper appreciation for the movie's audacious approach. It stands as a solid addition to the libraries of those who find charm in the film's unapologetic excesses or seek to delve into its unique narrative on subsequent viewings.

    In conclusion, while "Babylon" may not cater to every palate, its 4K UHD Blu-ray release represents a notable effort to encapsulate the film's distinctive allure. The quality of both audio and visual presentation, coupled with carefully curated bonus features, makes it an admirable package. Whether one is drawn to its controversial storytelling or the technical merits of its home release, this edition offers enough substance to warrant attention. It serves as a testament to the film's ambition and a celebration of its undeniably unique place within contemporary cinema.