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Ultra HD : Worth a Look
Ranking:
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Release Date: November 8th, 2022 Movie Release Year: 1977

Saturday Night Fever - 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

Overview -

John Travolta sashays his way onto the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray dancefloor with Saturday Night Fever. The iconic Disco-era classic with one of the best soundtracks of all time is still a terrific flick to watch but makes for an unfortunately middling routine on 4K disc with a transfer that shows several signs of grain manipulation, oddly soft audio, and to be plain, just doesn’t do enough to outpace the 2017 Blu-ray. Honestly, gotta say it's only Worth A Look. It’s not the worst 4K disc ever, but the 2017 disc is a better offering.

From John Travolta’s electrifying Oscar®-nominated performance to the unforgettable dancing, SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER is nothing less than a movie sensation. Featuring a bonus Blu-ray with the Director’s Cut, as well as hours of extensive special features. Travolta catapulted to fame as Tony Manero, a restless Brooklyn rebel who escapes problems at home and an uncertain future every Saturday night when he shines as king of the disco dance floor. Pulsing with the beat of its timeless, best-selling soundtrack, and looking better than ever on 4K UHD with HDR-10 and Dolby Vision, this is essential cinema.

OVERALL:
Worth a Look
Rating Breakdown
STORY
VIDEO
AUDIO
SPECIAL FEATURES
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
4K Ultra HD Blu-ray + Blu-ray + Digital
Video Resolution/Codec:
Dolby Vision HDR / HDR10
Length:
119
Aspect Ratio(s):
1.85:1
Audio Formats:
English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Subtitles/Captions:
English SDH, French, Spanish
Release Date:
November 8th, 2022

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

Ranking:

We previously reviewed this title before at High-Def Digest so I’m not going to run you all through my full thoughts when our past reviews are already on point. For my few cents on this title, I think it’s a damned slick flick. s an 80s kid growing up I knew this movie only because my dad had the record soundtrack in those days long before CD and MP3 were a thing. I knew the music and loved it so when I finally got to see the movie and hear The Brothers Gibb belt out their classic tunes to John Travolta’s iconic dance moves, I was blown away. As a kid, a lot of the plot points and themes covering abortion, religion, and certain racist and rapey aspects went way over my head. This film hit five years before I was born but its impact was felt throughout my childhood. 

Today I still feel John Badham delivered one heck of a show. It’s certainly far better than Stallone’s follow-up! Some aspects may have aged like mud but the gritty in-the-gutter feel of the film still feels alive and authentic. Some of the side plots don’t add up to much but I appreciate that Travolta’s Tony is a warts-and-all character. He’s headstrong and impulsive and that gets him into a lot of trouble, but he’s also a wounded talented individual desperate to prove himself and that’s the best aspect of the character and this film. Staying Alive tried very hard to continue Tony’s journey but it just wasn’t as interesting a film with an unfortunately bland script. Some movies just don't need sequels.

Past High-Def Digest reviews of Saturday Night Fever:

 

 

 

Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
Saturday Night Fever
hustles its way onto 4K Ultra HD with a two-disc and digital release from Paramount. The 4K version snags a BD-66 disc holding only the Theatrical Cut with the 1080p disc the exact same one from 2017 offering both the Theatrical Cut and the Unrated Director’s Cut. The discs are housed in a sturdy two-disc case with slipcover artwork. The 4K disc opens to a rather bland static image main menu whereas the Blu-ray has a more attractive animated main menu. 

Video Review

Ranking:

Whelp, I wasn’t sure how this one was going to go given the soft focus cinematography and diffusion with often hazy smoky locations, it could look amazing or like a real dog. I wish I could say Saturday Night Fever on 4K was a wild success but it’s another problematic release for Paramount. I don’t understand the reasoning or odd application of grain management for some of their releases but here’s another nutty example. These bitrates sure can fluctuate from astounding lows of 12-15mbps to amazing highs of 80+mpbs from one scene to the next. These fluctuations hit hardest with scene transitions or any optical effects and the difference is instantly noticeable but even simply scenes that don't call for any management are slapped with that weird little stick.

When it’s good it’s glorious and thankfully Travolta’s iconic dance sequences fare the best. But when it’s a dog, like the family’s dinner argument or some of the practice scenes at the dance studio, it’s an inexplicable goopy-looking mess. I don’t get why the scenes that generally already looked great required any kind of grain management when other scenes that were dicier or could be “problematic” for grain haters were left alone. Go figure. Where there is a highlight I have with this release is the Dolby Vision HDR grade. Deeper color saturation gives a lot of life and stability to the show - especially for those disco dance sequences with low lights and shadows. Black levels also gain some extra depth points as well. Details are also about on par with the 2017 disc which was already pretty good. Flipping between the two I saw little difference in a variety of sequences. Travolta getting ready to go out whilst flexing in the mirror looked better in 4K. The dinner scene that immediately follows looked better on Blu-ray. And it rolls like that throughout the film. Certainly not the worst 4K image out there, but sadly it’s another missed opportunity for a film that could otherwise absolutely shine on the format.

Audio Review

Ranking:

And here’s another odd conundrum for this release, the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix is just off. I thought something was wrong with my receiver, “did I leave it on the wrong setting since my kid watched Bluey this morning?” “Did I accidentally turn my volume down?” "Did my cat disconnect my center channel again?" But after flipping over to the 2017 disc, it’s the same audio format - just not the same track. The 4K disc track’s audio is just soft and lifeless. There’s no oomph, there’s no pulsing bass on the low end for the incredible Bee Gees tunes. There is if you crank the volume up past your normal reference listening level, but you shouldn’t have to do that. By comparison, the included Blu-ray hits right out of the gate and you feel like getting out of your seat and strutting around your screening room to Staying Alive. The 4K disc makes you want to double-check your hearing aids… but I don’t wear hearing aids so that’s a problem.

Special Features

Ranking:

On the plus side of things, at least there’s a nice assortment of bonus features. Granted, nothing is new or something that’d blow your hair back, but all the same it’s nice to have these materials without necessitating you to keep multiple discs just to make your collection feel complete. And since the included Blu-ray is the 2017 disc you’re getting the best of the lot. Now an isolated score track for all those disco tunes would have been damned cool!

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

  • Audio Commentary featuring John Badham

Blu-ray Disc

  • Audio Commentary featuring John Badham (Theatrical Only)
  • 70s Discopedia
  • Catching the Fever (HD 52:39)
  • Back to Bay Ridge (HD 9:01)
  • Dance Like Travolta with John Cassese (HD 9:50)
  • Fever Challenge! (HD 4:00)
  • Deleted Scene (HD 1:32)

Saturday Night Fever is an iconic piece of work defining the disco era with an incredible soundtrack, polyester suits, amazing hair, and some of the greatest dance sequences captured on film. This film made Travolta a star and for good reason. He carries a lot of weight for the film and John Badham’s gritty sense of realism makes the film feel authentic and alive. 45 years later it’s still a hell of a piece of work. Now to celebrate this anniversary milestone Paramount punches out a new two-disc 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray that for the long and short of it is really only worth picking up for the included 2017 40th Anniversary Blu-ray. The new 4K disc has moments of genuine glory with a crisp image and beautiful Dolby Vision HDR, but it also suffers from an overly aggressive grain management hand that knocks back any gains this film could have enjoyed. To make things worse, there’s definitely something wonky with the audio as it lacks any punch or presence of the included 2017 disc. At the end of the day, my call is it's Worth A Look