Magnificent Seven, The 4K UltraHD

Featured In Issue 221, November 2017

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
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Extended and intense sequences of western violence and for historical smoking, some language, and suggestive material.
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Antoine Fuqua
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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In this modern version of the classic The Magnificent Seven, the desperate townspeople of Rose Creek employ protection from seven outlaws, bounty hunters, gamblers, and hired guns after the town falls under the deadly control of industrialist Bartholomew Bogue (Sarsgaard). As they prepare the town for the violent showdown that they know is coming, these seven mercenaries find themselves fighting for more than money. (Gary Reber)

Special features include the interactive Vengeance Mode, where Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, and the other members of the cast, together with Director Antoine Fuqua, break down key scenes, share their best memories from the set and reflect on the extraordinary experience of making a classic western; four deleted scenes (HD 07:29); the featurettes Gunslingers (HD 04:55), The Taking Of Rose Creek (HD 05:16), Magnificent Music (HD 04:10), Directing The Seven (HD 05:03), Rogue Bogue (HD 05:26), and The Seven (HD 08:36); upfront previews; and an UltraViolet digital copy.

The 2.39:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10 picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed on Kodak Vision3 film stock in Panavision® with a 2.39:1 aspect ratio and sourced from a 2K (not 4K) master Digital Intermediate format. As the 2K Digital Intermediate has been unconverted to 2160p, there is no real gain in native resolution. The title was first reviewed in Issue 213, January 2017. While photographed on film stock, grain is virtually unnoticeable. The picture is gorgeously stylized with an alternate warm and richly saturated color palette. HDR benefits the color gamut with strongly saturated and accentuated hues and excellent color depth. The color grading creates an orange-tinted hue throughout, which is most prominent on facial tones and in a number of segments. The cinematography beautifully captures the vast, rugged western landscape with spectacular earth formations. The wooden town is realistic, with superb textural detail. Contrast is excellent, with deep blacks and dramatic shadow delineation, as well as brighter whites and nuanced detail in whites, immediately apparent in the opening-frame, snow-capped mountains against a backdrop of clouds surrounded by blue sky. Fleshtones, as mentioned, appear unnaturally sun drenched. Resolution is excellent throughout, with fine detail revealed in facial features, hair and beards, clothing, and object textures. The detail is often amazing and realistically depicting of the western setting. The 2160p resolution benefits fine detail and sharpness, especially revealed in facial features, hair, beards, skin pores, clothing, leather, horse coats, wooden structures, terrain, and weapons. This is an epic visual experience photographed on film in anamorphic Panavision®. The anamorphic format optically squeezes the wide image onto a standard-width 35mm film frame. The result here is characteristic of a painting at times. The filmic visuals are gorgeous. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is quite dynamic, with tremendous explosions in the interior of mines and during the climatic battle scene. Of course, gunfire from pistols, rifles, and a Gatling gun is prominent, with strong sonic impact and an aggressive directional presence in the surround channels. Atmospherics are excellent, with superb Foley and other effects, including nuanced sounds that enhance the realism depicted. Sound effects are boisterous with active and energized sub-25 Hz .1 LFE impact. The church bell sounds deep and loudly rings throughout the soundfield. The orchestral score is dynamic sounding and spread wide and deep across the soundstage and to the surrounds, with at times an aggressive presence. Dialogue is consistently intelligible, with generally good spatial integration.

The Immersive Sound element features an effective extension of the orchestral score and various atmospherics and sound effects, such as elevated voices, directionalized wind, subtle night animal sounds, voices in a canyon, boot footsteps, a woman’s scream, an arrow whizzing by, brief gunfire, church bell, a horse mouthing off, explosive dirt debris, breaking glass, powerful shells whizzing from a rapid-fire, crank-driven Gatling gun, and an explosion. All of the Immersive Sound effects, with the exception of the music and at times wind, are extremely brief if not instantaneous, and deliver only a subliminal sense of immersion. This is a dramatically exciting and robust holosonic® spherical soundtrack that is reference quality. The sonics are a perfect showcase for a serious home theatre system, and finally, at the end, under the credit roll, The Magnificent Seven’s original theme. (Gary Reber)