"Belfast" is a poignant story of love, laughter and loss in one boy's childhood amid the music and social tumult of the late 1960s. Buddy's (Jude Hill) family lives iin a largely Protestant district with a few Catholic families, but one day his community and everything he thought he understood about life is suddenly turned upside down. Buddy's family gets caught in the mayhem and must decide to stay or leave the only place they have ever called home. Through it all, his passionate parents (Caitriona Balfe and Jamie Dornan) and quick-witted grandparents (Judi Dench and Ciaran Hinds) keep the joy alive through music and magic of movies. (Gary Reber)
Special features include commentary with Writer/Director Kenneth Branagh, alternate ending featuring Kenneth Branagh (HD 05:36), deleted scene (HD 02:44), the featurettes "A City Of Stories: The Making Of Belfast" (HD 09:47) and "Everyone's Inner Child" (HD 01:54 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 using the Arri Alexa Mini LF camera system and sourced from a 4K master Digital Intermediate format. The picture, for the most part is black and white with generally brief segments in full color. The color segments appear sharp while the black and white segments are at times soft, but generally sharp and clear. The gray scale is well balanced with deep blacks and revealing shadows. White levels are subdued. Contrast is well balanced overall. Resolution is most refined during closeups of facial features, clothing, objects and structure facades. This is a stylized cinematic picture that is a pleasing visual experience. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1-channel soundtrack is dialogue focused with a strong northern Irish accent. The dialogue is aggressively directionalized as well. The dialogue is quite forward and often ADR produced. Atmospherics are excellent and realistic. Sound effects such as fire bombs and explosions are dynamic sounding with deep bass support. Both elements extend to the surrounds. Van Morrison's music is nicely recorded and dimensional with a wide stereo soundstage that extends to the surrounds and envelops the soundfield. This is a compelling and enjoyable holosonic® soundtrack. (Gary Reber)