Miles Ahead explores one of the 20th century music’s creative geniuses, Miles Davis (Cheadle). In the midst of a prolific career at the forefront of modern jazz, which Davis referred to as “Social Music,” he virtually disappears from public view for a period of five years in the late 1970s, his musical voice stifled and numbed by drugs and pain medications. Dave Braden (McGregor), a wily music reporter, forces his way into Davis’ life and, over the next couple of days, the two men unwittingly embark on a wild and sometimes harrowing adventure to recover a stolen tape of the musician’s latest compositions. Plagued by years of regret and loss, Davis flirts with annihilation until he once again finds salvation in his art. (Gary Reber)
Special features include commentary with Director Don Cheadle and Co-Writer Steven Baigelman; the featurette The Truth: Becoming Miles Davis (HD 20:31); a 2016 Sundance Film Festival Q&A with Don Cheadle, Ewan McGregor, Emayatzy Corinealdi, and LaKeith Lee Stanfield (HD 21:48); the theatrical trailer; upfront previews; and an UltraViolet digital copy.
The 2.40:1 1080p AVC picture, photographed digitally with the Arri Alexa camera system, often is centered within darkish interiors, though, shadow delineation is decent. Contrast is also decent with deep, solid blacks. Objects at times are strongly hued, but overall there is a prominent brownish hues in the interiors, including a scene in a recording studio. Other scenes, such as exteriors, offer a brighter presence. Fleshtones are naturally hued throughout. Resolution is quite good, with fine detail especially evident in close-ups, whether in facial features, hair, clothing, Miles’ trumpet, or object texture. Overall, the imagery is warmly hued and exhibits a natural presence with realism. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is dialogue focused with segments of music interspersed, often classic Miles Davis recordings. Fidelity, with respect to the music, is excellent and soundstage is wide and deep with extension to the surrounds. Atmospherics are nicely supported and realistic. Sound effects are limited to occasional fight, arrest, and a car chase with gunfire scene. Along with the sound effects, there is the occasional .1 LFE effect. Dialogue is intelligible throughout, with good spatial integration. This is a dynamic-sounding soundtrack, with effective nuances and great music, for an engaging sonic experience. (Gary Reber)