"Tolkien" explores the formative years of the orphaned author as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts at school. (Gary Reber)
Special features include commentary by Director Dome Karukoski, the featurette "First Look" (HD 12:59), seven deleted scenes with optional commentary by Karukoski (HD 12:37), a gallery, upfront previews and a Movies Anywhere digital code.
The 2.39:1 1080p AVC picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, upconverted to 2160p with greater resolution and luminance, was photographed digitally and sourced from a 2K master Digital Intermediate format. This is a gorgeous picture with a beautifully warm and rich color palette that at times appears filtered and hue manipulated to create a stylized look. It is rich in brownish amber hues, which enrich the incredible wood tones of the interior architectures and furnishings of the period. The war scenes exhibit a palette of slate grays, with glimpses of rust-colored blood, as a result of the fighting. Fleshtones are natural under both the pre-war, war, and post-war segments. Contrast is excellent in scenes with natural low-level gas lighting and exterior overcast natural light. Blacks are deep and solid and shadow delineation is seductive. Lasse Frank's cinematography is stunning. Resolution is superb with fine detail revealed in every scene, The stylization captures a foregone period of old world architecture, cobble streets and stylishly beautiful clothing. This is a beautifully compelling picture that entices the eye in every frame. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audioô 5.1-channel soundtrack is dynamic at times during the war scenes, where gunfire and explosions, as well as the hissing sound of poison gas occur, and is nuanced with realistic atmospherics. Dialogue is intelligible and often impressively integrated spatially, while at other times ADR is wanting in spatiality. The orchestral/choral score is expansive and occupies a wide and deep soundstage that expands to envelop the soundfield. Fidelity is excellent throughout. At times, deep bass rolls into the mix as an all-encompassing effect. The atmospherics deliver a realistic sense of scale for each setting with effective room reverberations. Bombs and machine gunfire appear to sound very realistic. At times, surround activity is aggressive during the war segments, and far more subtle, otherwise, such as in an early rugby match and other outdoor scenes. This is a wonderful soundtrack that creates believable soundscapes of the period. (Gary Reber)