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David Lowery
Dev Patel, Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton
Writing Credits:
David Lowery

A fantasy retelling of the medieval story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Dolby Vision
English Dolby Atmos
English Descriptive Audio
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 130 min.
Price: $49.99
Release Date: 10/12/2021

• “Boldest of Blood & Wildest of Heart” Featurette
• “Practitioners of Magic” Featurette
• “Illuminating Technique” Featurette
• Trailer & Previews
&bull. Blu-ray Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Sony UBP-X700 4K Ultra HD Dolby Vision Blu-ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


The Green Knight [4K UHD] (2021)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 13, 2021)

We’ve gotten umpteen depictions of the King Arthur legend over the centuries. With 2021’s The Green Knight, we find a version of the tale with a twist.

King Arthur’s (Sean Harris) nephew Gawain (Dev Patel) seems eager to prove his worth. When given the chance, he engages in a confrontation with the Green Knight (Ralph Ineson), a huge wooden creature.

Oddly, the Green Knight allows Gawain to chop off his head. However, this doesn’t kill the Green Knight, and he makes it clear he expects Gawain to engage in a second battle one year hence.

Of course, this requires a perilous journey. Gawain finds himself confronted with a slew of challenges as he attempts to achieve his goal.

Prior to Knight, I’d seen two films directed by David Lowery: 2017’s A Ghost Story and 2018’s The Old Man & The Gun. Neither worked for me.

Gun proved more satisfying than the mind-numbingly slow Ghost, but both came with pacing issues. They also lacked much real drama and seemed dull and listless.

Perhaps to compensate, Lowery pours on eccentric visuals and material that seems fully intended to provoke an emotional response. However, it seems less clear whether Knight ever creates a true connection with the viewer.

Actually, it seems ver clear that this viewer never found himself engaged in the tale. Too much of Knight feels like style without a lot of substance.

This ain’t your father’s sword and chivalry epic, as Lowery packs Knight full of creepy visuals and moody elements. These do manage to create an interesting atmosphere but the film lacks a whole lot of purpose beyond its production design and cinematography.

As noted, the narrative itself follows a traditional path. Gawain travels toward his ultimate destination, meets a bunch of people and encounters obstacles.

Nothing about the story itself comes with anything new, despite Lowery’s attempts to inject lots of fraught symbolism and imagery. These elements feel like a lot of flash and not much real substance.

Despite my prior experiences with Lowery’s work, I hoped I would embrace The Green Knight. However, I found nothing here to change my mind about the filmmaker. While Lowery possesses a good ability to create a striking visual product, so far he seems unable to give us a movie with a compelling set of characters and story points.

Footnote: a tag scene appears at the conclusion of the end credits.

The Disc Grades: Picture A/ Audio B+/ Bonus C+

The Green Knight appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. This was a terrific Dolby Vision presentation.

Sharpness worked well, as virtually no softness crept into the occasional wide shot. Definition remained tight and precise at all times.

I saw no evidence of jagged edges or moiré effects, and the image lacked edge haloes. Print flaws also failed to appear.

Colors tended toward a mix of teal and orange much of the time, with some reds, yellows and other tones tossed in as well. The Blu-ray depicted the hues well, as the tones seemed well-rendered within the design choices. HDR brought real strength and power to the colors.

Blacks appeared dark and tight, while low-light shots demonstrated nice clarity and delineation. Some could feel a bit dim but these occurred due to photographic choices. HDR added range and impact to whites and contrast. I felt pleased with this stunning presentation.

Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the film’s Dolby Atmos soundtrack worked fine, as the mix brought the variety of settings to life. Different environmental bits filled the spectrum nicely, and various fantasy/action beats used the speakers in a fairly dynamic way.

Audio quality appeared positive as well, with natural, concise speech. Music showed nice range and vivacity.

Effects came across as clean and accurate, with very good bass response. The soundtrack added to the movie’s impact.

How did the 4K UHD compare to the film’s Blu-ray version? Both came with the same Atmos audio.

A native 4K product, the Dolby Vision image showed clear improvements. The 4K looked more dynamic and more precise than its Blu-ray sibling. While the Blu-ray looked great on its own, it couldn’t compete with this amazing 4K presentation,

Three featurettes appear here, and Boldest of Blood & Wildest of Heart runs 35 minutes, 23 seconds. It offers notes from writer/director David Lowery, producer James M. Johnston and Toby Halbrooks, director of photography Andrew Droz Palermo, production designer Jade Healy, costume designer Malgosia Turzanska, composer Daniel Hart and actors Dev Patel, Alicia Vikander and Joel Edgerton.

“Blood” looks at the source story and its adaptation, story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, the movie’s visual design and photography, costumes and music. Aspects of “Blood” indulge in too much happy talk, but we still learn a fair amount about the film.

Practitioners of Magic spans 14 minutes, 39 seconds and involves visual effects supervisors Eric Saindon and Nicholas Ashe Bateman. “Magic” covers various visual effects and becomes a pretty satisfying view of these topics.

Finally, Illuminating Technique lasts seven minutes, 53 seconds and brings info from title designer Teddy Blanks. He discusses the title text that appears throughout the movie during this informative and intriguing look at a subject we don’t normally hear addressed in featurettes.

The disc includes the trailer for Knight. Also from A24 presents ads for On the Rocks, Zola and Minari.

A second disc provides a Blu-ray copy of Knight. It includes the same extras as the 4K UHD.

As a twist on the King Arthur legend, The Green Knight comes with the potential to bring us something fresh and exciting. However, it devotes too much effort to its striking visual design and not enough to an involving dramatic narrative. The 4K UHD boasts amazing visuals, good audio and a decent array of bonus materials. Knight doesn’t flop but it fails to do much to engage me.

To rate this film, visit the prior review of GREEN KNIGHT

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