Uncut Gems is the most suspenseful movie in a long time and it doesn't have even one explosion or car chase. Leave it to the Safdie brothers to create chaos inside the world of diamond selling in New York with a stunning performance from Adam Sandler that will be remembered forever. Criterion takes this culturally significant and essential film to 4K and Blu-ray with a stellar 4K image with Dolby Vision and an excellent Dolby Atmos audio track. The older bonus features have been imported over here and a ton of new material made for this release. MUST-OWN!
A New York diamond district dealer with a severe gambling problem snowballs into a series of violent and suspenseful situations in the new Safdie brothers movie Uncut Gems, starring a phenomenal Adam Sandler in a role like you’ve never seen him in before. Don’t get this man another comedy special, get this man the Oscar right now for his performance as Howard Ratner, the most irritating business owner in the world. This film is a surprise punch that might have the most intense sequences of the decade.
The Safdie brothers don’t make movies for families to enjoy on some happy-go-lucky level. That’s evident with their film Good Time. And even though Uncut Gems centers around a big family, it’s nothing but constant obnoxious yelling at one another, maniacal schemes to stay on top, and sweat-inducing characters who are constantly cursing at everyone and everything. It can be darkly funny and straight-up terrifying at times as the Safdie brothers weave this raving lunatic of a character through the dirty life of an addicted gambler and all the pros and cons that come with that way of living as we see in one scene where Adam Sandler is out on a normal night with his family watching his daughter perform in a school play, but then ends up naked in the trunk of a car.
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Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
Uncut Gems sells its way to 4K + Blu-ray via the amazing Criterion Collection. The two discs are housed inside a hard cardboard/plastic case with a cardboard sleeve. The artwork features a glistening glamour shot of Adam Sandler in character on the sleeve. The case itself features the closeup of the diamond-studded Furbee from the movie. The criterion booklet inside acts as a jewelry catalog, but also features images and information on the movie.
Uncut Gems comes with an utterly fantastic looking 2160p UHD 4K image from Criterion. According to the booklet inside, this image is in its original aspect ratio of 2.39:1, where the digital transfer was created in Dolby Vision HDR 4K resolution from the original 35mm camera negative and supervised by the Safdie brothers. The results are amazing here and are a definitive upgrade from its original Blu-ray release a couple of years ago.
The color palette in 4K is richer and bolder with natural-looking, urban colors of the silver city. A cooler and steel-like image is captured here in the heart of Manhattan where grays, silvers, misty blues, and stone-like colors run rampant in the background. Even Howard's shop utilizes these colors with the added shades of brown and those glistening spectral colors of the diamonds. Other colors inside the school auditorium give way to primary colors that showcase shades of purple, red, and orange lighting and costumes. At the nightclub and casino, bigger neon colors pop out brightly as well which results in better detail as well. The basketball games have those hardwood colors on the floors with bright stadium lighting that accentuate players' uniforms and the crowd in the stands. The Dolby Vision and HDR allow for the many nuanced shades of coloring in the darker sequences to stand out nicely. Black levels are deep and inky in the nighttime scenes that don't bleed over or contain murky shadows. The skin tones are also natural as well.
The detail is very sharp and vivid with excellent closeups that include facial pores, individual hairs on the actor's heads and faces, along with beads of sweat, makeup blemishes, moles, and other textures in the wardrobe - all of which look amazing. Wider shots of the city buildings look impressive with detail and never soft. The jewelry reveals its extreme textures very nicely as well. This is a wonderful looking 4K transfer from Criterion and is a big step up from the 1080p HD version.
This release comes with a chaotic and excellent Dolby Atmos track. For those unable to incorporate the Atmos mix, a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio option will play out.
The sound effects are loud, robust, and boisterous from start to finish. The dynamic ambient noises of the bustling metropolis that is New York City sounds busy and great. Cars honking, engines revving, tires screeching, and people walking and yelling across the street all make up the exterior shots of this movie. It's a very good and immersive ambient track that pours through the surround sound speakers. The basketball games all give way to the natural reverb and acoustics of a stadium and court with a crowd cheering.
The club sequence has cocktail glasses clinking together with a strong amount of bass that brings in the low end with a great rumble. The fast-talking characters inside the jewelry shops always bring the center speaker to the spotlight with amazing dialogue that is clean, clear, and easy to follow. The score always adds to the high amount of suspense in each scene as well. Height speakers mainly turn on with music and when at basketball games. This is an amazing and frenetic-sounding audio track that is unforgettable. There are no audio issues to speak of here.
There are about 161 minutes of bonus features included here. Everything besides the commentary track is set on the Blu-ray Disc of the set. The lone bonus feature from the previous release has been imported over with all the new Criterion extras that feature everyone. Sadly there are no new interviews with Julia or Adam. Still, these are some amazing extra and are all worth watching.
4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
Blu-ray Disc One
Uncut Gems is a striking, fantastic thrill ride that even though there aren't any real blow-em-up action beats, has the most tension and suspense out of any movie of recent memory. This film will literally cause the sweat pores to unleash the waterworks, all while sitting down and watching a movie with excellent performances from Sandler and Fox. Criterion has knocked it out of the park with this 4K release that has an excellent-looking image, an exquisite sounding Dolby Atmos track, and some truly wonderful and entertaining bonus features. MUST-OWN!