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The Fabelmans

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 4 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • The Fabelmans: A touching, technically stellar Spielberg classic.

    The Fabelmans 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • The Fabelmans' UHD version enhances visual clarity, texture, and color, beautifully presenting its period aesthetic and cinematography with noticeable improvements over Blu-ray.

  • Audio
  • The Fabelmans' Blu-ray delivers a vibrant 7.1 Dolby TrueHD audio that excels in clarity, spatial ambiance, and nuanced acoustics, perfectly complementing its dialog-driven narrative.

  • Extra
  • The Fabelmans UHD release features intimate featurettes on its creation, casting insights, and technical production details, alongside standard Blu-ray and digital versions.

  • Movie
  • The Fabelmans, a heartfelt semi-autobiographical film by Spielberg, weaves a poignant coming-of-age story, celebrating the transformative power of filmmaking amidst family dynamics and personal discovery.

    Video: 94

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray presentation of "The Fabelmans" offers a stunning visual upgrade that does justice to Spielberg's personal and visually nuanced narrative. Through the 2160p/Dolby Vision enhancement, viewers are treated to a vivid and texturally rich experience, where every detail, from the expressive facial textures to the intricate clothing elements, is showcased with remarkable clarity. The film's aesthetic, dictated by Janusz Kaminski's cinematography and Spielberg's intentional use of color grading and varied film stocks, shines in this format. The amplified resolution enhances wide-angle shots—making the Arizona landscapes breathtaking—while close-ups reveal an impressive depth and texture that surpass the standard Blu-ray. The color palette benefits from this upgrade as well, with primary and secondary hues presented more vividly, and black levels achieving a significant depth, illustrating the film's use of shadows as a narrative device with greater effectiveness.

    The technological specifics of the Ultra HD release, encoded in HEVC / H.265 with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio on a BD-100 layer disc, ensure a premium viewing experience. Notably, the transfer maintains a film-like quality essential to the storytelling, seamlessly integrating Spielberg's use of different film stocks as the character Sam's filmmaking prowess evolves. The presence of Dolby Vision HDR enhances this further, despite a noted lack of "extra punch" in some colors, with certain exceptions like moments where Williams' red lipstick and nail polish vividly stand out. The delineation between deep blacks and bright, stable whites adds to the atmospheric depth, while natural flesh tones and exceptionally sharp close-ups contribute to a genuinely immersive visual narrative.

    While comparisons reveal that the differences from its 1080p Blu-ray counterpart are not overwhelmingly drastic, they are nonetheless appreciable for enthusiasts seeking the ultimate detail and texture in their viewing experience. The 4K UHD release prevails with a slightly richer look, more intense colors, and additional clarity. This meticulous care in presenting "The Fabelmans" in 4K UHD Blu-ray underscores Universal's commitment to quality, providing an attractive option for those with the capability to enjoy it to its fullest, even if the Blu-ray version remains a competent alternative for others.

    Audio: 94

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "The Fabelmans" features a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 lossless audio track that superbly caters to the film's dialog-driven narrative while also extracting the fullest potential from the entire surround system during scenes that demand it. Dialogue is rendered with exceptional clarity and realism, ensuring that conversations are effortlessly intelligible and well-positioned within the front soundstage. The 7.1 mix excels in delivering a true-to-life portrayal of the film's acoustic environments, from the delicate nuances of a piano sequence to the chaotic whirl of a tornado, all the while maintaining a seamless blend of musical scores, spatial ambience, and directional audio cues that enrich the on-screen action without overwhelming it.

    Notably, the audio presentation doesn't leverage Dolby Atmos but instead relies on the richly detailed and spaciously orchestrated Dolby TrueHD 7.1 setup, which proves to be wholly adequate for this film. The mix showcases an impressive balance between vocals, effects, and John Williams’ score, creating a soundstage that feels both expansive and intimate. Scenes set in environments with bustling activity, like beaches or dance halls, offer an enveloping audio experience, demonstrating the soundtrack's ability to conjure a sense of space and movement that extends well beyond the visual confines of the screen. In addition to the meticulous separation and layering of sound elements, the subwoofer adds a tactile depth to natural sounds and musical beats, enhancing the overall texture of the film's auditory landscape.

    The mix's fidelity to ambient sounds and subtle audio details—ranging from the rustling of leaves to the specific timbre of film projectors and cameras in use—further elevates its immersive qualities. This meticulous attention to sonic detail ensures that even in its quieter moments, the audio track of "The Fabelmans" remains engaging and dynamic. The result is an effective and well-balanced presentation that allows for a nuanced appreciation of the film's auditory components, from the crisply reproduced dialogues to the beautifully orchestrated score that underscores the emotional and dramatic beats of the narrative.

    Extra: 79

    The 4K UHD release of "The Fabelmans" not only enhances the viewing experience with its superior video quality but also enriches the appreciation of the film through its meticulously crafted extras. Comprising three detailed featurettes, the extras delve deeply into the personal influences and filmmaking magic behind Spielberg's semi-autobiographical tale. Spielberg's intimate discussions alongside Tony Kushner in "The Fabelmans: A Personal Journey" reveal the deeply personal roots and universal relatability of the story, highlighting Spielberg's candid reflections on his own family and upbringing. The "Family Dynamics" segment offers a fascinating insight into the casting process, showcasing the thoughtful consideration behind each actor's selection to resonate with their real-life counterparts effectively. Meanwhile, "Crafting the World of The Fabelmans" takes viewers behind the scenes to explore the meticulous efforts in production design, costume, and music, especially underscoring Spielberg's collaboration with John Williams and the recreation of key family and historical moments. These extras, combined with the main 4K UHD disc, Blu-ray copy, and digital download code, provide a comprehensive package that admirers of Spielberg's work will find compelling and insightful.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • THE FABELMANS: A Personal Journey: Steven Spielberg reflects on how THE FABELMANS is inspired by his own personal story and family.
    • Family Dynamics: Discover how the film's cast brought THE FABELMANS to life as Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, and more build a bridge between their onscreen personalities and their true-life counterparts.
    • Crafting the World of THE FABELMANS: From costume and set design to music and cinematography, the filmmakers behind THE FABELMANS reveal how they created movie magic while capturing the film's unique look.

    Movie: 91

    The Fabelmans," Steven Spielberg's semi-autobiographical offering, provides viewers with a strikingly intimate glance into the coming-of-age journey of young Sammy Fabelman. As portrayed with depth by Gabriel LaBelle and Mateo Zoryan Francis-DeFord, Sammy's discovery of a family secret and his ensuing passion for filmmaking serve as the narrative's backbone. This film stands out not only for its technical brilliance but also for its profound exploration of familial relationships, mental health, and the pivotal role of cinema in shaping our perceptions of reality and self. Spielberg, alongside his long-time collaborator Tony Kushner, has meticulously scripted a narrative that is both personal and universally relatable, exploring the intricacies of family dynamics amidst Sammy's growing obsession with the art of filmmaking.

    Central to the story are the nuanced portrayals by Michelle Williams and Paul Dano as Sammy's parents, whose characters offer significant insight into the complexities of adult life and the impacts of their choices on the family unit. Spielberg's masterful direction ensures these elements are woven together seamlessly, capturing the essence of his own experiences while transcending them to comment on broader societal themes such as ambition, sacrifice, and the quest for artistic fulfillment. The film's technical prowess is highlighted by its 2160p/HEVC H.265 video codec with Dolby Vision HDR, delivering an exceptional visual experience that enriches the storytelling.

    Though not without its criticisms—namely its length and a desire for more insight into Sammy's professional ascent—the film remains a compelling piece within Spielberg's oeuvre. It is a testament to Spielberg's storytelling genius, offering a poignant reflection on family, faith, and film. "The Fabelmans" is not just a recount of Spielberg's formative years but a deeply affecting narrative that resonates with anyone who sees the cinematic medium as a mirror to the human condition. Through superb performances and an emotionally resonant script, Spielberg presents a film that is both a tribute to his heritage and a universal story of finding one's voice through the transformative power of cinema.

    Total: 84

    Steven Spielberg's "The Fabelmans" finds a tender and intricate way to explore the themes of family dynamics and the art of filmmaking, earning itself critical acclaim, including two Golden Globe Awards for Best Motion Picture - Drama. The 4K UHD Blu-ray release by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment not only brings this narrative to life with remarkable technical fidelity but also enriches the viewing experience with a modest collection of supplementary content featuring perspectives from the cast and crew. This presentation underscores the film’s quiet spectacle, offering a substantial dive into the process and passion behind cinema, intimately connected with the protagonist's journey. The video and audio quality are top-notch, enhancing the film’s ability to engage and captivate audiences, further solidifying its position as a significant piece in Spielberg’s oeuvre, albeit not his magnum opus.

    While "The Fabelmans" may not tower as Spielberg's finest achievement, it stands out as a poignant homage to his origins and an exploration of his cinematic endeavors, warranting its Oscar considerations. The movie, boasting excellent writing, stellar performances, and universal relatability, might run on the longer side but maintains viewer investment throughout. Universal's 4K UHD delivery heightens this experience with exceptional video and audio transfers alongside a handful of compelling featurettes, adding layers to its appreciation. Despite a somewhat sparse extras package, the overall quality of the film and its presentation assures that this release is a commendable addition to any collection.

    In conclusion, "The Fabelmans" 4K UHD Blu-ray epitomizes the blend of personal storytelling and technical prowess, courtesy of one of cinema's greatest visionaries. Even though the supplementary material is not exhaustive, it suffices in complementing a film that is both visually stunning and emotionally resonant. Highly recommended, this release is not just for fans of Spielberg but for anyone who appreciates cinema that intertwines life’s narratives with the art of movie-making itself.