Black Death

Featured In Issue 164, February 2012

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.
Magnolia Home Entertainment
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Strong brutal violence and some language
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Christopher Smith
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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Black Death takes place in plague-ridden medieval England where one hope remains as rumor spreads of a village that is unaffected by a deadly disease. As God's ambassador, a young monk (Redmayne) is tasked in leading a fearsome knight (Bean) and his group of mercenaries to the remote township, taking them on a treacherous journey filled with danger, as they encounter deadly bandits and vicious witch burnings that will put their faith to the ultimate test. (Gary Reber)

Special features include four deleted scenes (SD 04:22), the featurette Bringing Black Death To Life (SD 11:35), interviews with the cast and crew (SD 32:36), behind-the-scenes footage (SD 10:42), the theatrical trailer, up-front previews, and BD-Live functionality.

The 1080p AVC picture exhibits a dark, overcast gloomy appearance, which works well to create the medieval atmospherics. The handheld camera work combined with the visually gritty texture is perfectly fitting. Contrast is generally well balanced, with dark scenes less revealing in shadows, but nonetheless aesthetically engaging, with deep blacks. Resolution is, at times, particularly during daylight, revealing of good detail in facial features, hair, clothing, weapons, armor, and object texture, and at other times soft. The color palette is intentionally desaturated, for a gray, stylized medieval look. Fleshtones, likewise, are pallid in appearance. Overall, this is a nicely atmospherically engaging visual experience. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is nicely produced, with a heavy emphasis on moody atmospherics, to match the gritty visuals. Remarkably, dialogue sounds perfectly natural and nicely integrated spatially. Atmospherics and sound effects are well produced, with an enveloping soundfield presence that can, at times, be directional. The atmospherics and sound effects are enhanced with deep .1 LFE energy throughout that is often dramatic. The sounds of sword clamor and other atmospherics is realistically captured. Christian Henson's orchestral and choral music score is nicely recorded with a wide and deep soundstage presence that extends to the surround channels. Overall, this is an effectively holosonically® immersive soundtrack heavy laden with atmospherics and sound effects, to create dramatic impact and mood. (Gary Reber)