The Northman is one of the best revenge flicks of recent memory and is the most straightforward Eggers film to date. The attention to Viking detail and its performances are uncanny and wonderful. The 4K presentation with Dolby Vision and its Dolby Atmos audio track are both fantastic and the bonus features are amazing and worth watching. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Move over Batman. Step aside, Spider-Man. There's a new action epic around and it's not steeped in superhero mythos or quantum tunnels. Instead, it takes place in a very real place, long ago when Vikings ruled the lands - The Northman. Robert Eggers sits in the director's chair for the third time, making his passion piece of cinema that has his previous outings of The VVitch and The Lighthouse looking like Pixar family movies. Through blood-soaked battles and a hint of the supernatural, this tale of vengeance is the adult action thriller everyone has been clamoring for.
The Northman is a far cry from Eggers' The VVitch and The Lighthouse. While those two slow burn modestly budgeted films dealt with the psychological horrors of the supernatural and going mad in one's own psyche this new Viking action vehicle is a $90 million straight-forward revenge story that is something entirely different. Despite the gore, The Northman will appeal to a wider audience than Eggers' previous films, because of how well he's tailored the characters. And to finally see Alexander Skarsgård play the role he was born to play as a vicious Viking warrior is something genuinely special.
For Bryan Kluger's Full Theatrical Review...CLICK HERE...
Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
The Northman spears its way to 4K + Blu-ray + Digital Code via Universal Pictures. The discs are housed inside a hard, black plastic case with a cardboard sleeve. The artwork on both the case and sleeve features the main cast of the film looking outward. There is an insert for a digital code.
The Northman comes with a fantastic 2160p UHD 4K transfer with Dolby Vision that looks amazing. The colors are rich, vibrant, and nuanced in every lighting condition of this period piece film. This is not exactly a brightly-colored or happy movie. It's gloomy and dripping with cooler natural colors of grey skies, tons of greenery for pastures, and the occasional orange and red bursts of flames. The Dolby Vision enhances those darker sequences with the amber glow of fires and the darker colors in the wardrobe. Those natural elements of blue ocean water and brown mountains look amazing and the many shades of green give depth to the land around. Some knightly robes showcase more primary colors and the red blood is always deep and gooey in the best ways. The black levels are inky and rich without any murky shadows or bleeding into other elements.
The Dolby Vision upgrades those nighttime scenes where the detailed clothing and scars show up nicely and other colors of wood and flames are showcased nicely. The detail is vivid and sharp throughout as well, revealing strong closeups of individual hairs, beads of sweat and blood, gory entrails, practical effects, and facial pores. Threads in the clothing show up nicely as well, along with splinters of wood and strands of hay. The CGI work is impressive as well and never looks pixelated or soft. There are no issues with banding, aliasing, or noise that creeps up in darker sequences or foggy scenes.
This release comes with an exquisite Dolby Atmos track that is not only robust and loud during the action scenes and more detailed in the quieter sequences with amazing ambient sounds. Sound effects are full and brutal with every punch and beating. The bone crunches and implements pack a punch with a great amount of bass on the low-end side. Atmospheric sounds of footsteps people screaming and crying, fire embers crackling, and wild animals all sound wonderful.
The ocean waves are fantastic and the supernatural elements sound realistic. The height speakers bring down rain, thunder, and other supernatural elements, along with spears flying through the air and other guttural screams from above. The musical score keeps each scene full of suspense and the dialogue is always clean, clear, and easy to follow. There are no audio problems with this amazing Dolby Atmos track.
There are about 52 minutes of bonus features here that include interviews with the cast and crew and behind-the-scenes footage. It's well done and produced, plus an excellent commentary track.
The Northman is one of the best movies about Vikings and revenge ever made and is another top-notch film from Eggers. There's nothing quite like it and is a ton of fun to watch while giving some accurate accounts of the Viking folklore and culture. The 4K video presentation with Dolby Vision along with the Dolby Atmos track is quite grand, while the bonus features are worth watching and a lot of fun. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!