Still Alice - 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray (Sony Pictures Classics Collection)Overview -
Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland's adaptation of Lisa Genova's novel Still Alice starring Julianne Moore in a career-defining performance comes to 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. Exclusive to the 11-film Sony Pictures Classics 30th Anniversary Collection the film is still as powerful and poignant as ever and the 4K Dolby Vision experience is strong, but as good as it is, it’s not the highlight of set. Recommended
Alice Howland (Julianne Moore), happily married with three grown children, is a renowned linguistics professor who starts to forget words. When she receives a diagnosis of Early-Onset Alzheimer's disease, Alice and her family find their bonds thoroughly tested. Her struggle stay connected to who she once was is frightening, heartbreaking, and inspiring. Also starring Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart, Kate Bosworth and Hunter Parrish.
STILL ALICE 4K UHD Disc Breakdown
· Feature presented in 4K resolution with Dolby Vision
· English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
· Special Features:
o 3 Deleted Scenes
o Directing Alice Featurette
o Finding Alice Featurette
o Interview with Composer Ilan Eshkeri
o Theatrical Trailer
Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take
As our own David Krauss already did an immaculate job reviewing this film I’ll defer to his review shortly. However, for my own part, I find Still Alice to be a particularly difficult film. The subject matter hits very close to home and I went into the theater not fully knowing what it was about and it was a tough watch. I haven’t felt the need to revisit it since that day, and you know what? It’s still a tough watch. Julianne Moore is simply phenomenal in this film carrying an incredible emotional weight throughout the whole venture. But she still stands as the best aspect of the film. It could just as easily have been a one-woman show while supporting cast members like Kristen Stewart and Alec Baldwin (as good as they are) merely occupy window dressing. It’s not an easy film to watch - nor should it be - but it’s also not one that calls for many revisits.
Here’s David Krauss’ excellent 2015 Still Alice Blu-ray Review
Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
Exclusive to the 11-film Sony Pictures Classics 30th Anniversary Collection, Still Alice comes home to 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray in a single-disc edition. Pressed on a BD-66 disc, the disc is housed in a standard sturdy case with a set-exclusive slipcover and theatrical poster-style insert artwork. The disc loads to a static image main menu with standard navigation options and the bonus features panel along the right side of the screen.
Still Alice arrives to 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with a very pleasing 1.85:1 2160p Dolby Vision transfer. For a tight and intimately composed film, this one doesn’t exactly rank high on the visual splendor factor to make it a real standout example of the set. Details are overall terrific allowing full appreciation of facial features, clothing textures, and the set design work. Close-up and middle shots tend to look the best as the film tries to keep you tight with the characters and their struggles at all times. While it may not be a showstopper there are little small details in Alice’s world that come to life nicely.
Dolby Vision HDR works as it should by enhancing and improving aspects of the image without overblowing colors or highlights. Colors are rich and bold without looking over-saturated, the cast’s skin tones haven’t been punched red/orange nor do they look sickly pale. Primaries show off some lovely shades. Black levels are strong and inky with excellent shadow gradience giving the image a welcome sense of depth and dimension. There appears to be some slight noise in the image but nothing serious or overly distracting. After grabbing the Blu-ray from my library this is definitely an upgrade - I didn’t own it so it’s a nice get for the collection, but compared to some of the other films in this big 11-film set, it’s not the most exotic or exciting example.
It sounds like this release of Still Alice was content to keep to the same DTS-HD MA 5.1 track from the 2015 disc - which is just fine. This film isn’t overly complicated with a massive soundstage to work through. It’s mostly tight and intimate conversations that keep to the front/center channels. There’s some movement throughout the channels to keep them active, even in small personal locations there’s something to engage those sides so there’s some call for a full surround presence but not the main feature. Scoring by Iian Eshkeri is nice and present for a well-balanced soundscape.
Nearly eight years later, Still Alice remains an emotionally tough film to sit down and “enjoy.” A powerful piece of work, Julianne Moore owns the screen even if the film struggles to be more than a showpiece for her talents. The rest of the cast is fantastic, but this is her show and she’s delivering a masterclass example in acting. This film gets a fitting 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Dolby Vision upgrade, but as part of the Sony Pictures Classics 30th Anniversary Collection, it’s not the showstopper. It’s very good and if you never owned it, it’s a fine addition, but it’s not the disc to grab the set for specifically. Recommended.
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