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Old (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

REVIEW OVERVIEW

The Film
The Video (Overall)
HDR Effect
The Audio
The Supplements
Overall

SUMMARY

A group of tourists vacationing in an island paradise find themselves trapped on a seemingly idyllic beach where they are aging so rapidly their entire lives will be lived out in a day in this latest mind-trip from M. Night Shyamalan.

Director M. Night Shyamalan adapts the graphic novel Sandcastle by Pierre-Oscar Lévy and Frederik Peeters for this horror/thriller Old. The film is existential exploration of what it means to live and to die. As a group of unknowing tourists, each of them experiencing health problems (Gael García Bernal, Vicky Krieps, and Rufus Sewell) arrive at a paradise island with their spouses and children for a vacation and end up trapped on a beach where a mysterious force stops them from leaving, they soon find a dead body floating in the water in a cave and realize that time on the beach is moving much more quickly for them than on the outside world. Within a day they will all be old and die. They experience hyper-quick pregnancies, their children growing before their eyes within hours, and the inevitable decline into elderly decay. As Shyamalan loves to do in his films, Old ends with a twist ending you won’t see coming, but the final act also drags on far too long and the film loses its steam long before we reach the end. Where Shyamalan does shine is the visual style of the film in the open space of the beachfront and the rocky walls holding the guests in like prisoners are filmed beautifully, and the cast do a brilliant job carrying the neuroses and suspense of the earlier parts of the film.

The Video

Old was shot on 35mm Kodak Vision3 250D 5207 and Vision3 500T 5219 film stock on Arricam LT & ST cameras in the Super 35 format. It utilizes a 4K DI and has a HEVC Dolby Vision HDR (with HDR10) encodement framed at 2.39:1. The overall image is superb. The film grain structure looks organic, and I could immediately tell even without checking that this was a Super 35 production and that’s what you want in a good, reference 4K release. Colors were vibrant, like the lovely azure sea. The disappointment on this disc is the insignificant Dolby Vision. With its MaxLL of 392 nits and MaxFALL of 108 there is not much added brightness in this transfer. In fact, even the colors don’t look much beyond what you get on the included Blu-ray. This looks more like a SDR encode in a HDR container. Not even flames really have much added specular highlights that ‘pop’.

The Audio

The English Dolby Atmos mix unlike the Dolby Vision is revelatory. They make superb use of the height channels and sounds often come from way off to the side, helping to add to the off-kilter suspenseful feel of the film. There’s a wide and natural dynamic range, clean dialogue, and rather hefty low end that relays the rush of the ocean waves superbly.

The Supplements

This collection of bonus features includes interviews with Shyamalan and behind-the-scenes footage covering the making of the film. In addition, there are several deleted scenes.

  • Movies Anywhere Digital Code
  • Blu-ray with Feature Film and Bonus Features
  • Deleted Scenes (4K; 00:08:16)
  • Shyamalan Family Business (4K; 00:08:04)
  • All the Beach is a Stage (4K; 00:09:37)
  • Nightmares in Paradise (4K; 00:07:27)
  • A Family in the Moment (4K; 00:06:18)

The Final Assessment

Another Shyamalan mind-trip that is shot beautifully and presented in a gorgeous transfer with awesome Atmos mix.

Old is out on 4K Ultra HD Combo October 19th, 2021 from Universal


  • Rating Certificate: PG-13 (for strong violence, disturbing images, suggestive content, partial nudity and brief strong language)
  • Studios & Distributors: Universal Pictures (presents) | Blinding Edge Pictures | Perfect World Pictures | Universal Pictures | Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (UPHE)
  • Director: M. Night Shyamalan
  • Written By: M. Night Shyamalan (written for the screen by) | Pierre-Oscar Lévy (based on the graphic novel
  • Run Time: 109 Mins.
  • Street Date: 19 October 2021
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • Video Format: HEVC 2160p (4K UHD)
  • Primary Audio: English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1)
  • Secondary Audio: Spanish DD 7.1 | French DD 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH | Spanish | French
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