Interstellar- 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

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Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar is the kind of film that one needs to watch multiple times in order to fully appreciate it. I’ve been told multiple times by multiple people that in order to appreciate 2001: A Space Odyssey you need to watch it multiple times. They always tell me that “you may not get it the first time, but you will”. This analogy fits perfectly here. The similarities to 2001 don’t stop there either.

Much like 2001, there are certain plot points that need multiple viewings in order to get it. There’s a lot to take in—especially when it comes to that time jump sequence. It’s a very complex film and that’s why it’s so good. It’s a thought-provoking film. Also, when you figure everything out you appreciate the film even more. In fact, I’ve learned something new with each viewing.

Interstellar also is a beautiful piece of science fiction. The cinematography by Hoyte Van Hoytema is so stunningly gorgeous. The exterior planetary shots are awe-inspiring. Not to mention, the wormhole sequence is so imaginative with the way it plays out. The film does feel a little long at times. There are certain establishing shots, while beautiful, that tend to linger on for a while. It’s artistic but it did lead to some pacing issues.

Matthew McConaughey seemingly gets better every time I watch the film. He brings a maverick mentality to the role and yet he also brings a vulnerability to his role. He was the right choice for the role. Anne Hathaway is solid in her role even though she does play more of a supporting role. But watching Hathaway go through the film and you can’t help but be frustrated with the character. She may be smart but her decisions through the film are questionable, at best. Jessica Chastain is phenomenal as the adult version of Murphy. Chastain is great when she plays a character who puts on a strong front but is vulnerable inside. This is definitely that character.

Overall, Interstellar is an opus of sci-fi beauty. It’s just so beautiful and thought-provoking. With each subsequent viewing, it gets better and better.

Movie Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Interstellar - Mackenzie Foy and Matthew McConaughey

Interstellar hits 4K Ultra HD with an HDR10 native 4K transfer and a 2.39:1/1.78:1 aspect ratio. Well, I guess the real reason why you’re probably reading this is that you want to know about the video quality. After all, you’re probably wondering if you should upgrade to Ultra HD or not. In short, the video quality is nothing short of amazing. The native 4K transfer makes a huge difference.

Specifically, the details in the 65mm IMAX scenes are spectacularly clear. The colors pop more and are richly-saturated. The whites burst off the screen with radiant luminosity. The black levels are deep and clear even in the darkest of scenes. The contrast is spot-on which allows the light and dark gradation to be free of banding. The flesh tones look natural—especially when you see how really tan Matthew McConaughey is compared with the rest of the cast.

Similar to the Blu-ray, the film alternates between the 2.39:1 and 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Thus, there is an apparent softness that shows in the 35mm scenes. Despite the softness, these scenes are still really clear. Overall, the Ultra HD presentation simply amazing.

Video Rating: 5/5 atoms

Interstellar - Anne Hathaway and Wes Bentley

Interstellar hits 4K Ultra HD with a DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track. It’s important to realize that this is the same audio used in the original Blu-ray release. Although it doesn’t really matter because it’s still the same extremely loud mix that remembers in theaters. Sadly, no changes were made. So keep in mind that you will still need to constantly switch between lowering your volume during the loud scenes and turning it up during the rest of the film.

With this in mind, the sound is still as immersive too. The surround sound engulfs your soundstage and brings you to the scene. Your subwoofer will literally shake the walls with its massive booms. For this reason, it’s best to warn your downstairs neighbor about all of the ceiling rumbling that’s about to happen. In addition, the dialogue is still on the low side. Thus, it’s hard to hear the actors. But when you CAN hear them, they come in really clear.

Overall, it’s a shame that we didn’t get a new 7.1 mix or a release that fixes any of the loudness issues. However, the original release is still a mighty fine one.

Audio Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Special Features
Interstellar - Jessica Chastain

Interstellar‘s 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray doesn’t come with any special features. However, the 1080p Blu-ray contains the following special features:

  • The Science of Interstellar
  • Inside Interstellar
    • Plotting an Interstellar Journey
    • Life on Cooper’s Farm
    • The Dust
    • TARS and CASE
    • The Cosmic Sounds of Interstellar
    • The Space Suits
    • The Endurance
    • Shooting in Iceland: Miller’s Planet / Mann’s Planet
    • The Ranger and the Lander
    • Miniatures in Space
    • The Simulation of Zero-G
    • Celestial Landmarks
    • Across All Dimensions and Time
    • Final Thoughts

All in all, the special features on the regular Blu-ray are the same as the previous release. However, if these special features are new to you then keep reading. “The Science of Interstellar” is a fantastic featurette. Primarily because it covers and dissects the scientific elements of the film. Science geeks and avid learners will definitely get a kick out of this. Finally, there’s the “Inside Interstellar” series of comprehensive featurettes. The series covers everything that you wanted to know about the making of the film. At an almost 2-hour runtime, there is a lot to go through.

Special Features Rating: 4/5 atoms

Overall, Interstellar is the kind of thought-provoking and visually stunning film that fans expect to see in a Christopher Nolan film. Although the film may be too intellectual at first, the film gets so much better with each subsequent viewing. Not to mention, the video and audio presentations are near reference quality. Yes, that’s still the case even with the incredibly loud audio presentation. Sadly, the special features are the same as the initial Blu-ray release but nevertheless, it’s still really comprehensive.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment.

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