Straight Outta Compton

Featured In Issue 204, February 2016

WSR Score4.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
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Language throughout, strong sexuality/nudity, violence, and drug use.
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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F. Gary Gray
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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Straight Outta Compton tells the true story of how five young cultural rebels—armed only with their lyrics, swagger, bravado, and raw talent—stood up to the authorities that meant to keep them down and formed the world’s most dangerous group, N.W.A. And as they spoke the truth that no one had before, and exposed life in the hood, their voice ignited a social revolution that is still reverberating today. (Gary Reber)

Both the theatrical version (02:26:44) and the unrated version (02:46:44) are available. Special features include commentary with Director/Producer F. Gary Gray; six deleted scenes (HD 05:41); a deleted song performance (HD 01:28); six featurettes: Becoming N.W.A. (HD 08:30), N.W.A. The Origins (HD 03:49), Impact (HD 01:35), Director’s Journey (HD 03:22), The Streets: Filming In Compton (HD 06:03), and N.W.A. Performs In Detroit (HD 04:54); upfront previews; and an UltraViolet digital copy.

The 2.40:1 1080p AVC picture is overall dark in visual character. Contrast is dominated by dark visuals, which at times veils shadow detail. The color palette is naturally hued throughout, with strong blacks exhibited in clothing and during stage performances. Highlighted hues appear in the color variations of cars, swimsuits, flashy clothing, album jackets, police car lighting, rigs, etc. One of the most colorful scenes is a poolside party with lots of young women in scanty bathing suits. Fleshtones are perfectly natural in appearance. Resolution is generally quite good, with fine detail exhibited in facial features, hair, clothing, and object textures. Photographed digitally, the imagery is pristine throughout. Overall, while predominately dark, the picture quality is satisfying and extremely realistic. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is driven by intense rhythmic bass rifts to rap and hip hop lyrics. The score is nicely recorded and presented with a wide and deep soundstage that extends aggressively to the surrounds, for a full-on enveloping experience. Other than the rap, there are brief segments of orchestral music. Concert segments are enriched with a live presence and energized audience reactions. Atmospherics and sound effects convey a natural presence but are generally frontal focused. Police action, sirens, overhead helicopters, car chases, and barking dogs, as well as party segments, sound real and enveloping. The riot scene energizes the soundfield with aggressive surround directionality and deep sub-25 Hz bass extension in the .1 LFE channel. Dialogue sounds perfectly natural, though, at times unintelligible, and conveys a sense of spatial integration. This is a great-sounding soundtrack, driven by intense rap rhythms and lyrics and at times expanding to holosonic® immersion. (Gary Reber)