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Braveheart 25th Anniversary Steelbook (4K UHD) review

Braveheart 25th Anniversary Steelbook (4K UHD) review
« on: June 28, 2020, 03:57:17 PM »
Braveheart 25th Anniversary Steelbook (4K UHD) review

Studio: Paramount     
Release Date: June 16, 2020
Rating: R
Film: 5/5

Early in the 14th Century, a legendary Scottish hero, William Wallace (Mel Gibson), leads his countrymen against the oppressive King of England (Patrick McGoohan) and his tyrannical rule. But Wallace wants more than just freedom—he wants revenge for family members who perished at the hands of English soldiers. Can this common man inspire an entire nation? You bet!

My Thoughts
Second-time director Mel Gibson proved he was more than capable to handle such a complex production with hundreds of extras, brutally violent battle sequences, and an extraordinary love story, a love of one's family and country. Be aware, though, that at nearly three hours, the pacing might have been improved with some additional editing, and the mind-numbing brutality of medieval hand-to-hand combat is not for the squeamish. 

John Toll's Oscar-winning cinematography comes alive on this brilliant 4K encode. This virtually flawless presentation has inky blacks, stable contrasts, and a lush color palette—particularly the green landscapes of the Scottish countryside, which come alive with the wider color gamut that UHD provides. Textures in the clothing and armor are well-preserved and close-ups of the actors’ faces reveal every pore and blemish. Longer shots can look a little soft and fuzzy, but that’s most likely due to the principal photography.

The Dolby Atmos soundtrack is just as impressive with its realistic atmosphere. Whether it’s the birds chirping in the forest, the wind moving through the trees, or the thunderous sound of horses charging into the field of battle, it never fails to impress. Dialog is always intelligible, imaging is seamless throughout the soundstage, and dynamics are to die for. James Horner's Oscar-nominated score is equally impressive with its unique harmonics of bagpipes and ominous bass.

Video 10/10

Audio 10/10 (Dolby Atmos)

Special Features:

·        Battlefields of the Scottish Rebellion
·        Braveheart: A Look Back
·        Smithfield: Medieval Killing Fields
·        Tales of William Wallace
·        A Writer’s Journey
·        Theatrical Trailers
·        Blu-ray + Digital Copy

which looks great. Historical inaccuracies notwithstanding, Braveheart captured five Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director and was nominated for five others. My only criticism is its glacial pacing with too much attention paid to Wallace as a youth and too many sweeping shots of the Scottish countryside. Regardless, the exceptional performances and well-choreographed battles far outweigh the negatives. This is the second release of this film on 4K, but this time it comes packaged in a fancy Steelbook, but everything else is exactly the same as the previous release. Regardless, this is an easy movie to recommend.

Reference Review System:
Reference Review System:
 JVC DLA-RS2000 4K Ultra High Definition Front Projector
 (Calibrated with Portrait Displays CalMAN color calibration software & C6-HDR Meter from Portrait Displays)
 Stewart Filmscreen - Firehawk 110” 2.35:1 Fixed Screen
 Anthem AVM60 Audio/Video Processor
 ATI AT527NC Powering Bed Channels

ATI AT524NC Powering Atmos Speakers
 Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
 System Controller: URC MX-980

M&K S-150 THX Ultra (R-C-L Speakers)
M&K SS-150 x4 (Surround Speakers)
 Atlantic Technology IC6-OBA x 4 Overhead Speakers
 SVS PC-Ultra Cylinder Subwoofer
 HSU VTF-15H MK2 Subwoofer
 JL Audio Fathom F110 Subwoofers x 2 (stacked)

JL Audio Dominion D110 Subwoofer x 2 (stacked)
Mini DSP HD controlling all subwoofers
 Audioquest and Monoprice - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
 PureAV PF60 Power Conditioner
« Last Edit: June 28, 2020, 03:59:31 PM by David Vaughn »
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

Re: Braveheart 25th Anniversary Steelbook (4K UHD) review
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2020, 04:36:18 PM »
Other than the packaging, is there any difference from the 2018 4k Bluray?  In other words, same discs, sourcing, quality, etc.?

Somehow I've never seen this, and looks like a good one to add to my collection.

Edited to Add:
Somehow I missed your explicit answer to my question in the last paragraph!
« Last Edit: June 28, 2020, 05:04:41 PM by DLCPhoto »


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Re: Braveheart 25th Anniversary Steelbook (4K UHD) review
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2020, 04:40:22 PM »
I have the original UHD release.  Good to know that it was not changed so I won't be tempted to double-dip.   Time to watch this again..
JVC RS500/LG OLED/Denon X6400H 7.2.4/Panasonic UB820/Oppo 203/AppleTV 4K/FireStick 4K/HDfury Diva/MadVR RTX2080Ti

Re: Braveheart 25th Anniversary Steelbook (4K UHD) review
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2020, 05:12:22 PM »
The packaging is definitely nice on this one. I've grown fond of Steelbooks. 
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

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