Cruella 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 257, September/October 2021

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Walt Disney Home Entertainment
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Some violence and thematic elements
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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Craig Gillespie
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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Emma Stone stars as the stylish villain "Cruella" de ViI. Determined to become a successful fashion designer, a creative young grifter named Estella (Emma Stone) teams with a pair of mischievous thieves to survive on the London streets. But when her flair for fashion catches the eye of the legendary designer Baroness von Hellman (Emma Thompson), Estella rises to become the raucous, revenge-bent Cruella. (Gary Reber)

Special features include six featurettes: "The Two Emmas" (HD 10:46), "The Sidekick Angle" (HD 05:30), "Cruella's Couture" (HD 09:43), "The World Of Cruella" (HD 06:25), "New Dogs—Old Tricks" (HD 06:04) and "Cruella 101" (HD 05:35); bloopers (HD 01:57); two deleted scenes (HD 01:54); upfront previews and a Movies Anywhere digital code.

The 1.85:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10/Dolby Vision picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed digitally using the Arri Alexa 65 and Arri Alexa Mini camera systems and sourced from a 4K master Digital Intermediate format. Picture quality is generally good, though, of a non-vibrant quality. There appears to be an attempt to create a nuanced grain structure within the digital format. Black levels are prominent and excellent with deep saturation. HDR contrast is acceptable but somewhat compressed in terms of dynamics. White levels are natural in appearance with one scene of a rock-and-roll concert with lighting effects that fill the screen. Resolutions is good with generally good detail in facial features, clothing and object texture. While the picture is stylized, the imagery is generally satisfying. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Amos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is comprised of underwhelming music, none of which has dynamic or powerful impact. The dialogue and narration are nicely presented with good spatial integration and forward presence, respectively. Even sound effects sound veiled and non-impactful. Atmospherics sound generally good. Surround envelopment is subtle for the most part, with the music the main source. However, there is the occasional directionalization. In one chase scene, the dynamics improve as well as the soundfield directionality.

The Immersive Sound element is limited to the extension of a virtually non-stop rock and orchestral score plus some dialogue extension in the reverberant dress maker facility and the mayhem of insets flying into an audience, Still, so much more could have been achieved.

This is an overall satisfying holosonic® spherical surround soundtrack that is dialogue focused and entertaining. (Gary Reber)