In High-Rise, Dr. Robert Laing (Hiddleston) recently moved into a luxury, high-tech concrete skyscraper apartment building designed by the enigmatic Mr. Royal (Irons). The building is divided into two social classes: the upper floors enjoy the best amenities while residents on the lower floors experience routine blackouts and other disruptions of basic services. Laing's apartment is amongst the upper class. Laing quickly settles into high society life and meets the building's eccentric tenants: Charlotte (Miller), his upstairs neighbor and bohemian single mother; Wilder (Evans), a charismatic documentarian who lives with his pregnant wife Helen (Moss); and Mr. Royal. Life seems like paradise to the solitude-seeking Laing. But as power outages become more frequent and building flaws emerge, particularly on the lower floors, the regimented social strata begins to crumble and the building becomes a battlefield in a literal class war. Based on the novel by J.G. Ballard. (Gary Reber)
Special features include commentary with Actor Tom Hiddleston, Director Ben Wheatley and Producer Jeremy Thomas; four featurettes: Building The World Of High-Rise: 70's Style (HD 09:02), Heady Special Effects (HD 03:36), Breaking Down High-Rise & Its Tenants (HD 14:50), and High-Rise: Bringing Ballard To The Big Screen (HD 03:58); the theatrical trailer; upfront previews; and BD-Live.
The 2.39:1 1080p AVC picture is naturally rendered throughout with excellent fleshtone accuracy and a color palette that is richly and warmly hued. Colors often pop with strong primaries. Contrast is excellent with deep, solid blacks and revealing shadow depth, especially during blackouts in the interiors of the skyscraper. Lighting effects create a stylized appearance at times, which heightens the visual experience. As the story progresses, the lighting treatment provides dramatic highlights during the darkly shadowed scenes. Resolution is excellent, with fine details exhibited throughout in facial features, hair, clothing, building textures, both interiors and exteriors, and during outside sunny scenes. This is an engaging, stylized picture with great color fidelity and dynamic contrasts. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is dialogue focused but enhanced with effective atmospherics and sound effects, as well as precise Foley effects. Dialogue, as well as children screams, are well integrated spatially. Atmospherics are at times extremely nuanced but effective. Surround is, for the most part, provided by a well-recorded orchestral and pop/rock score, with a wide and deep soundstage that aggressively extends to provide envelopment energy. Deep bass is often integrated into the music. As the violence and crazed behavior intensifies, .1 LFE bass accents also intensify. Dynamics and reverent sounds are effective in sonically defining the spatial quarters within the building. As the mayhem escalates, the sound elements become far more elaborate and engaging. This is an effective soundtrack that nicely flows with the unfolding of the story, for an engaging experience. (Gary Reber)