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Uncut Gems

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    85
    from 2 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Views on Uncut Gems & Sandler vary; Criterion's 4K release praised.

    Uncut Gems 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
    90
  • Uncut Gems' 4K release, supervised by the Safdies, impresses with vivid colors and sharp details, offering a definitive upgrade over its 1080p version.

  • Audio
    85
  • The Blu-ray features an immersive English Dolby Atmos track (or Dolby TrueHD 5.1), offering rich, clean sound and nuanced electronic music across scenes, despite occasional dialogue clarity challenges. Optional English SDH subtitles available.

  • Extra
    85
  • Explorative extras on Uncut Gems' Blu-ray delve into its making, character insights, and unique tone through interviews, documentaries, and extended scenes, bringing the film's dynamic essence to life.

  • Movie
    80
  • Criterion releases Uncut Gems with extras, capturing the high-stakes chaos of a gambler's descent in New York's diamond district, praised for Sandler's role.

    Video: 90

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Uncut Gems" presents an impressive leap in visual quality, primarily sourced from a 4K master that enjoys the full endorsement of the Safdie brothers. This edition, which includes both 4K Blu-ray and standard Blu-ray discs, showcases the meticulously supervised digital transfer in its original aspect ratio of 2.39:1. Leveraging Dolby Vision HDR and 4K resolution derived from the original 35mm camera negative, the upgrade from the prior Blu-ray release is nothing short of striking. The color palette is significantly enriched, displaying a cooler, more urban atmosphere that beautifully captures the essence of Manhattan with its array of grays, blues, silvers, and the vibrant hues of city life.

    Upon closer examination, details in every scene are sharply rendered, from the individual facial pores and strands of hair on characters to the intricate textures of jewelry and urban landscapes, all conveyed with astounding clarity and depth. Notably, the 4K rendition brings forth a richer display of colors and improved balance in highlights, particularly in scenarios with both natural and artificial lighting. Difficult darker sequences, such as those in clubs or nighttime exteriors, benefit from deep, inky blacks and enhanced nuance thanks to Dolby Vision and HDR technology. These advancements ensure that shadows remain clear without bleeding over, while skin tones appear entirely natural.

    However, despite these improvements, certain aspects such as image density and fluidity appear comparable to the 1080p version, underscoring the strength of the original filming equipment and technique. Yet, where the 4K UHD Blu-ray shines is in its handling of color reproduction and detail precision. Interior scenes under subdued lighting conditions witness subtle upticks in quality, showcasing an overall enhancement in delineation, clarity, and image stability. There are no encoding anomalies noted, making this 4K presentation a testament to the meticulous care taken in its production, yielding an experience that significantly transcends its prior Blu-ray incarnation.

    Audio: 85

    The audio presentation of "Uncut Gems" on its 4K UHD Blu-ray release is served via a standard but powerful English Dolby Atmos track, which descends to Dolby TrueHD 5.1 for systems not equipped with Atmos capability. This configuration ensures that the film's unique and vibrant electronic score, characterized by its wide range of auditory colors, is vividly and beautifully rendered, enhancing even the most subdued scenes with its atmospheric presence. The soundtrack's richness and clarity are noteworthy, providing an audio experience that is as intricately detailed as it is clean. However, the intensity of the film's frequent fast-paced dialogues and scream-filled sequences might occasionally challenge the listener's ability to catch every word, despite the overall excellent sound quality. No technical anomalies mar this auditory experience, and optional English SDH subtitles are available for those who wish to use them.

    The chaotic energy of New York City's hustle and bustle is captured exquisitely through the Dolby Atmos track, immersing listeners in the ambient sounds of urban life from honking cars to the distant clamor of city-dwellers. The audio track shines in its robust handling of sound effects, delivering loud, impactful, and vivid ambient noises that fill the room with a palpable sense of place, especially during exterior shots. Interior sequences, like those in basketball games and club scenes, benefit from a meticulous mix that highlights natural reverb, the acoustics of crowded spaces, and crisp dialogue through the center speaker. The scoring elevates suspense seamlessly across scenes, with height speakers coming alive particularly during musical peaks and in crowded environments like sports events, creating a memorable auditory experience that is both frenetic and impeccable.

    Extra: 85

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray edition of "Uncut Gems" stands out for its comprehensive and meticulously curated extra content, offering a deep dive into the film's production, its unique stylistic choices, and the remarkable performances that drive this high-energy thriller. Notably, the extras shed light on the Safdie brothers' visionary direction, from the commentary discussing the film's genesis and challenging shoot, to interviews revealing the intricate process behind casting, costume design, and cinematography. The inclusion of extended scenes, a screen test, and thematic explorations like the segment on the Ethiopian Jewish community add layers of context and appreciation. The crafting of the film's tense atmosphere is further unraveled through insights into its evocative soundtrack. While the absence of new interviews with Julia Fox or Adam Sandler is noted, the collection remains an exceptional asset for cinema enthusiasts and scholars alike, encapsulating the film's artistic and technical merits.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Commentary: Offers insights into the film's production history, tone, and main protagonist.
    • Money on the Street: The Making of Uncut Gems: A documentary featuring interviews with the cast and crew.
    • Studio Visit: Miyako Bellizzi: Costume designer Miyako Bellizzi discusses her work on the film.
    • Shooting Gems: Darius Khondji: An audio interview with cinematographer Darius Khondji.
    • Human Kinds: Jennifer Venditti: Video interview with casting director Jennifer Venditti.
    • Sam Lisenco: Creating the world of Uncut Gems: Production designer Sam Lisenco talks about his involvement in the film.
    • Behind the Soundtrack: A documentary on the film's music by Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never) and Josh Safdie.
    • Extended Scenes: Includes three extended scenes from the film.
    • Adam Sandler and Julia Fox Screen Test: Screen test featuring a scene between Adam Sandler and Julia Fox.
    • Beta Israelites: The Plight of the Ethiopian Jews: A segment focusing on Ethiopian Jews.
    • Question & Answer (2020): Featuring Josh and Benny Safdie, Adam Sandler, Jason Bateman, and Megan Amram.
    • Goldman v Silverman (2020): Short film with Adam Sandler and Benny Safdie.
    • Theatrical Trailer: Original theatrical trailer for "Uncut Gems".
    • Elara Trailer: DVD and Blu-ray trailer for "Uncut Gems".
    • Criterion Booklet: An illustrated leaflet including essays, discussions, and technical credits.

    Movie: 80

    Benny and Josh Safdie's Uncut Gems (2019) released on 4K UHD Blu-ray by Criterion, showcases a phenomenal Adam Sandler in an unexpectedly intense role as Howard Ratner, a New York diamond district dealer whose life spirals due to his gambling addiction. The film thrusts viewers into the chaotic world of Ratner, capturing his desperate attempts to stay ahead of his debts through high-stake gambles and erratic decisions. Despite the lack of backstory for Sandler's character, his performance compellingly conveys the depth of Ratner's personal and professional turmoil. The film is relentless, with every scene overflowing with tension, often materializing through rapid dialogue, close encounters with violence, and an omnipresent air of desperation.

    The atmosphere of Uncut Gems is significantly elevated by its technical prowess. Sourced from a 4K master supervised by the Safdie brothers, the movie's visual presentation on 4K Blu-ray is impeccable, further complemented by a new Dolby Atmos audio track that enriches the immersive experience. Daniel Lopatin's soundtrack emerges as a standout, weaving a sonic landscape that elevates the film's intense moments through its homage to '70s and '80s thriller scores. The Criterion release's packaging adds a layer of allure with its innovative design, mimicking a jewelry catalog while offering insight into the film's production through various special features, including interviews and documentary content which highlight the meticulous attention to detail from the filmmakers and their creative team.

    However, amidst its strengths, Uncut Gems confronts viewers with a relentless barrage of stress, embodied in Ratner's frenetic lifestyle and questionable decisions which alienate some audiences. Despite this polarization, the film's raw portrayal of addiction and desperation intertwined with Sandler's gripping performance delivers a cinematic experience that's hard to shake off. It’s a testament to the Safdie brothers' ability to craft narratives that vividly capture the essence of their characters' tumultuous lives, making Uncut Gems a compelling watch for those who can stomach its intensity.

    Total: 85

    The Criterion 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Uncut Gems" has certainly stirred a range of emotions, highlighting a polarized reception primarily due to its frenetic storytelling and the central performance by Adam Sandler. On one hand, Sandler's portrayal is critiqued for its perceived lack of originality and awkward fit within the film's chaotic narrative structure that aims, but not always succeeds, in maintaining a palpable tension throughout its runtime. This aspect seems to undermine the film for some viewers, leaving an impression of an overambitious project that occasionally borders on the amateurish despite its ambitions. Conversely, others find the film an exhilarating thrill ride, praising its ability to sustain an intense atmosphere of suspense sans traditional action sequences. Sandler, alongside Julia Fox, receives accolades for delivering what some consider remarkable performances that anchor the film's high stakes and emotional depth.

    Beyond the divide on narrative and performance evaluations, there's a consensus on the technical virtues of this Criterion release. The 4K presentation is lauded for its exceptional image quality and the inclusion of a Dolby Atmos track that elevates Daniel Lopatin's already stellar soundtrack to new heights, further enriching the viewing experience. The release is packed with a wealth of bonus features, both new and archival, that provide comprehensive insights into the film's creation, thereby appealing to cinephiles and collectors seeking to delve deeper into the movie’s intricate layers.

    In conclusion, while "Uncut Gems" on 4K UHD Blu-ray from Criterion presents a divisive narrative experience due to varying receptions of Adam Sandler's performance and the film's deliberate chaos, it undeniably excels in its technical delivery. The superior audiovisual presentation coupled with an extensive suite of extras makes this release a compelling acquisition for fans and those captivated by the artistry behind frenetic cinema. Whether one is drawn by the narrative's high tension or seeks to explore the technical craftsmanship of the film, this 4K Blu-ray edition warrants attention as either an essential addition to aficionados’ collections or a noteworthy attempt in experiencing Safdie brothers' unique cinematic vision.