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4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 6 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Technical prowess meets thought-provoking content in 'Old,' blending stellar AV with deep themes.

    Old 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • Old's 4K UHD presentation excels in detail, color fidelity, and texture, enhancing its visual style and authenticity, surpassing Blu-ray.

  • Audio
  • Dolby Atmos mixes provide immersive experiences with detailed, dynamic sounds from all directions, enhancing beachside atmospheres and action scenes effectively, while ensuring clear dialogue.

  • Extra
  • The 'Old' UHD release features behind-the-scenes insights, deleted scenes, and Shyamalan's personal filmmaking journey, all emphasizing the profound impact of time and family.

  • Movie
  • Old blends sci-fi/horror, exploring rapid aging on a mysterious beach, testing humans emotionally and mentally, amidst Shyamalan's signature twist and suspense.

    Video: 92

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray presentation of "Old," a visually stylized contemporary sci-fi/horror film shot on 35mm film, is a compelling argument for its format, bringing out the best in director M. Night Shyamalan's unique visual sensibilities. The HEVC / H.265 encoded, 2160p resolution video, framed at the original 2.39:1 aspect ratio, retains the film's carefully controlled color palette, dominated by earth tones and tempered with thoughtfully applied splashes of primary colors, all of which are intensified and nuanced by the inclusion of both Dolby Vision and HDR10. This results in a picture that showcases superior texture detail, from the natural environments to the intricate details of costumes and facial features, enhancing the authenticity and intensity of the film’s visual narrative.

    The UHD's sharpness and clarity are evident in its excellent depth of field, whether showcasing vast tropical landscapes or the more intimate cavernous walkways, each scene is rendered with a lifelike depth that preserves the film's authentic cinematic feel. Grain management is appropriately handled, present yet unintrusive, contributing to the filmic quality without detracting from the detail. The color reproduction is particularly noteworthy; the Dolby Vision grading enhances sunlight-infused scenes and character skin tones with warmth and vitality, elevating the visual experience well beyond that of its Blu-ray counterpart. Blacks are deep and convincing, maintaining texture and detail even in low-light conditions without succumbing to murkiness or crushing.

    Detail resolution stands out as a major strength of this Ultra HD release. Textural details in clothing, environment, and especially in close-ups of characters' faces reveal the meticulousness of the transfer. This resolution showcases not just the concrete specifics of physical items and settings but brings a palpable realism to the aging effects central to the film’s plot. Additionally, technical excellence is maintained throughout, with no noticeable banding, aliasing, or noise disrupting the viewer's immersion in this uniquely engaging visual experience. The thorough handling of colors—from the vibrant blues and greens of the ocean and tropical backdrop to the subtle differentiation in sand hues—ensures a visual treat that complements the film’s narrative ambitions.

    Audio: 92

    The audio presentation of "Old" on its 4K UHD Blu-ray release is anchored by its English Dolby Atmos track, crafting a listening experience that expertly complements the film's atmospheric tension with a detailed soundscape. The mix is praised for its moderate activity and effective utilization of the Atmos platform, manifesting both a tangible level of immersion and an authentically enveloping beachside ambiance. Natural sounds of waves, wind, and wildlife are ever-present, dynamically weaving through ear-level and overhead channels to engender a constant state of spatial awareness. Such atmospheric integration is accented by discrete effects, including those moments where dialogue and environmental sounds pan fluidly with the camera's movement, further immersing the listener in the film's setting.

    Amidst this aural tapestry, dialogue remains pristine and well-prioritized, ensuring narrative clarity without sacrificing atmospheric depth. The mix cleverly balances vocals with the musical score and ambient effects, maintaining clear vocal reproduction against the backdrop of Trevor Gureckis's haunting score. This score, alongside occasional deep bass in key scenes, reinforces the film's suspenseful moments without overwhelming the listener. Despite the restrained use of overhead channels, highlights like helicopter sounds, birds, and occasional subjective audio effects utilize height channels effectively when called upon, adding a nuanced layer of engagement.

    The release's Dolby Atmos track excels in creating a comprehensive and immersive sonic environment that mirrors the film's visual storytelling. From the detailed mimicry of beachside locales to the subtle interplay of dialogue and effect volumes from all directions, it offers an engaging mix that heightens viewer engagement. Additional audio options, including Spanish 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus and French 5.1 Dolby Digital, alongside a spectrum of subtitles, suggest a release crafted with accessibility in mind. However, it’s the core Atmos track that stands out for its rich layering, depth, and stunningly immersive representation of the film's eerie atmosphere and thrilling moments.

    Extra: 80

    This 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Old" provides fans with a comprehensive look behind the scenes, offering a mix of technical insights and personal reflections from the cast and crew. Viewers are treated to a total of approximately 42 minutes of extras, including deleted scenes that, while not fundamentally altering the narrative, shed light on the film's editing choices. The four main featurettes dive deep into the filmmaking process, from the unique challenges and creative strategies employed by M. Night Shyamalan and his team during the shoot in the Dominican Republic to the deeply personal involvement of Shyamalan's daughters in the project. The special attention to location scouting, which played a crucial role in setting the film's atmosphere, is particularly noteworthy. Moreover, the distinctive approach to shooting—likened by Shyamalan to Kurosawa's style—added a theatrical dimension to this cinematic experience, emphasizing the relentless passage of time, a central theme of "Old." These extras are not only enlightening for cinephiles interested in Shyamalan's directorial techniques but also offer touching glimpses into the collaborative and emotional aspects of filmmaking.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • DELETED SCENES: Various scenes offering additional context or moments between characters.
    • SHYAMALAN FAMILY BUSINESS: A look at the familial contributions to "Old," featuring insights from Shyamalan and his daughters.
    • ALL THE BEACH IS A STAGE: Shyamalan discusses his philosophical and practical approach to filming on the beach, emphasizing no coverage and continuous camera movement.
    • NIGHTMARES IN PARADISE: The search for the perfect location is detailed, highlighting the natural and logistical challenges encountered during production.
    • A FAMILY IN THE MOMENT: An emotional recount of filming a key scene with the main family, showcasing the bond formed among cast and crew.

    Movie: 80

    M. Night Shyamalan's Old, while invoking his signature style and merging elements of metaphysical suspense with a profound contemplation on the human condition, embodies both the quintessential qualities and the shortcomings familiar to his oeuvre. The film, drawing from the graphic novel Sandcastle by Pierre Oscar Levy and Frederik Peeters, propels its characters — the Cappa family, amidst a faltering marriage and personal turmoil — into an enigmatic and secluded beach that accelerates their aging process, seamlessly blending sci-fi and horror genres. This rapid acceleration casts a glaring, sometimes brutally harsh light on life's fleetingness and the inevitable decay of the human body, while occasionally stumbling in its exploration of the psychological turmoil that accompanies such swift transformations.

    From a technical standpoint, Shyamalan's craftsmanship shines through in Old, with meticulous camera work that artfully captures the beauty and terror of aging, juxtaposed against the backdrop of a seemingly idyllic yet sinister beach. Despite its compelling premise and some standout moments that tightly grip the viewer's attention, the film’s impact is somewhat diluted by clunky dialogues and a twist ending that feels both predictable and unsatisfying, failing to match the creative ambition that sets up the narrative. The performances, however, are commendable, with the cast delivering their lines with enough conviction to navigate through the script's more awkward patches.

    Old oscillates between moments of genuine intrigue and patches of underwhelming execution, reflecting Shyamalan’s continued polarizing trajectory in filmmaking. It possesses the raw ingredients of a poignant narrative — an unsettling premise, an engaging visual aesthetic, and an attempt to explore deeper existential themes — yet struggles to weave these elements into a cohesive and emotionally resonant tale. Despite its flaws, Old stands out as a testament to Shyamalan's audacity to experiment with ambitious concepts, even if it falls short of realizing its full potential.

    Total: 82

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray presentation of "Old" elevates M. Night Shyamalan's thought-provoking narrative on life, aging, and the inevitable passage of time, through its superior technical prowess and content-rich supplemental material. The video quality, enhanced by Dolby Vision, delivers an exceptional visual experience, capturing the eerie beauty of the film's exotic location and the thematic nuances of aging rapidly in a paradise-turned-prison. The lossless Dolby TrueHD mix, with its Atmos core, impeccably handles the film’s predominantly front-oriented soundtrack, employing the surrounds to generate an immersive ambience and placing effects discreetly for moments of subtle nuance. Despite a soundtrack that doesn’t aggressively engage the room, vocal reproduction remains crystal-clear, underpinning the dialogue-driven narrative with flawless clarity and detail.

    "Old" itself stands as Shyamalan’s daring attempt to blend horror with existential musings—a beautiful, albeit terrifying rumination on the facets of life and death accelerated over hours instead of years. While the script may present certain shortcomings, Shyamalan’s direction, alongside the commendable audio-visual presentation on this UHD release, compensates by making these thematic concerns palpable. The extras, energetic and informative, add significant value, giving fans a deeper dive into Shyamalan's creative process and vision. However, viewers' enjoyment might hinge on their reception towards Shyamalan’s previous works; his signature style polarizes, inevitably affecting the viewing experience.

    In conclusion, Universal's 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Old" is a highly recommended addition for both fans of Shyamalan and those interested in films that don't shy away from introspection. While it may not change detractors' minds about Shyamalan's filmography, this package—bolstered by its audiovisual excellence and thoughtfulness in supplementary content—provides an enriching exploration of a film that dares to confront the inexorable truths of aging and mortality within a uniquely suspenseful narrative framework.