In "The Water Man," Gunner (Chavis) sets out on a quest to save his ill mother (Dawson) by searching for a mythic figure who possesses the secret to immortality, the Water Man. After enlisting the help of a mysterious local girl, Jo (Miller), they journey together into the remote Wild Horse forest—but the deeper they venture, the stranger and more dangerous the forest becomes. Their only hope for rescue is Gunner's father (Oyelowo), who will stop at nothing to find them. (Gary Reber)
Special features include filmmaker commentary, a making-of featurette (HD 09:13), the "Animation Behind The Scenes" featurette (HD 09:55) and the Toronto International Film Festival (Q&A) (HD 27:06).
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 using the Arri Alexa Mini camera system and sourced from a 2K master Digital Intermediate format. The picture exhibits naturalness from interiors and forestry settings with scenes of approaching fire. The imagery is naturally saturated with a strong color palette of rich and warm hues that exhibits intensity. Colors often pop. Fleshtones are perfectly natural. Contrast is excellent with effective lighting effects, deep blacks and revealing shadow delineation. The scenes in the forest are contrasty as well as interior scenes. Resolution is superb with fine detail exhibited throughout in facial features such as skin pores and hair, as well as in clothing and object textures. There are a few animated sequences that are sharp. This is a nice-looking picture overall and is engaging throughout. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack delivers effective atmospherics and realistic sonics throughout including those of the forest and a raging fire, as well as a roaring river, stampede of wild horses, an onslaught of bugs, and other moments. Sound effects enhance the drama. Deep bass is at times powerful with extension to sub-25 Hz frequencies. The orchestral score is nicely recorded and is active throughout. At times the music is powerful with a wide and deep soundstage presence that extends to the surrounds. Surround energy is enveloping with occasional directionality. Dialogue is fairly forward sounding and wanting improvement in spatial integration. Overall, this is a pleasing holosonic® soundtrack that is engaging throughout. (Gary Reber)