Flatliners appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. This turned into a generally positive Dolby Vision presentation.
Sharpness seemed fairly good. Some softness interfered at times – mainly during dimly-lit interiors – but overall delineation appeared largely solid.
No jaggies or moiré effects occurred, and no edge haloes appeared. Light grain manifested through the film and I noticed no print flaws.
Colors went down a highly stylized path, with a lot of amber/gold/orange on display as well as a fair amount of blues and red/pink for Rachel’s flashbacks. The hues looked well-depicted for these choices, and HDR gave them added oomph and impact.
Blacks looked deep and dense, while shadows seemed reasonably concise, though as mentioned, some low-light shots could be a bit murky. HDR brought range and power to whites and contrast. Overall, this became a good presentation for a movie from 1990.
The film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack also held up pretty well over the years, with a soundfield that emphasized general moody atmosphere. This meant the score broadened to all five channels on a regular basis.
For the most part, effects remained in this vein, though a few “action” scenes opened up the spectrum a bit. This felt like an appropriate soundfield for a tale like this.
Audio quality worked fine, with dialogue that usually seemed natural and concise. Effects could run a little rough at times, but those elements mostly came across as accurate and robust.
Most turned into the strongest element, as the score felt vivid and full. Though nothing impressive, this was a nice mix given the film’s age.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the 2022 Blu-ray release? Both came with identical audio.
The Dolby Vision image showed moderate improvements, mainly due to HDR. Because of the dreamy photography, sharpness didn’t come with a prominent jump in the move from Blu-ray to 4K.
However, colors, contrast, blacks and whites got a nice boost on the 4K. These didn’t make the 4K a substantial upgrade over the Blu-ray, but it did become the superior of the two.
The set’s extras open with an audio commentary from critics Bryan Reesman and Max Evry. Both sit together for a running, screen-specific look at story/characters, cast and crew, production notes, interpretation/criticism, notes about the sequel and related domains.
We encounter a few rough spots early in the track, as it takes Reesman and Evry some time to gel. For instance, in the middle of Evry’s discussion of Beth Grant, Reesman begins to chat about Julia Roberts, and the shift jars so much that it briefly confuses Evry – and the viewer.
The pair click better before long, though, and they create a largely enjoyable piece. We get a pretty good luck at the movie in this mainly engaging conversation.
A bunch of video features follow, and The Conquest of Our Generation runs 19 minutes, 11 seconds. It brings a 2021 interview with screenwriter Peter Filardi.
The piece covers the origins of the screenplay as well as its creation and aspects of the production. Filardi offers good insights related to these domains.
Visions of Light goes for 18 minutes, 23 seconds and brings circa 2021 comments from director of photography Jan de Bont and chief lighting technician Edward Ayer. Shot separately, they examine cinematography and other visual design elements in this highly informative reel.
Next comes Hereafter, another 2021 piece. It spans 14 minutes, 22 seconds and features 1st AD John Kretchmer.
He discusses what led him to movies, the job of the 1st AD, and his work on Flatliners. Kretchmer delivers another engaging piece.
Restoration goes for 10 minutes, 27 seconds and brings 2021 notes from production designer Eugenio Zanetti and art director Larry Lundy. Recorded separately, they discuss sets, locations and visual design in this brief but worthwhile segment.
With Atonement, we find an 11-minute, 35-second reel that includes composer James Newton Howard and orchestrator Chris Boardman. Shot individually in 2021, they talk about the movie’s music and give us a nice collection of details.
Dressing for Character spans six minutes, 26 seconds and delivers circa 2021 remarks from costume designer Susan Becker. She tells us about her work on the film and turns this into another informative featurette.
In addition to the film’s trailer, the disc concludes with an Image Gallery. It presents a mere 12 photos and seems superfluous.
Given the intense philosophical questions it raises, Flatlienrs could’ve been a rich, evocative look at life after death. Instead, director Joel Schumacher treated the material in the most superficial manner possible, a choice that turned the movie into a glossy, silly affair. The 4K UHD comes with good picture and audio as well as a nice collection of bonus materials. While I like this release, the movie doesn’t work for me.
To rate this film visit the prior review of FLATLINERS