Amsterdam – 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Amsterdam

 Amsterdam shows that not every movie featuring a strong cast, Oscar-nominated director, and a “whodunit” mystery that’s based on a true story will automatically end up as a great movie. It had all the elements, but David O. Russell’s latest directorial effort repeatedly trips over itself due to its eccentric tonal discord. It’s as if Russell was trying his best Wes Anderson impression with any of Anderson’s light whimsy. 

It’s a lighthearted affair, so there you will be entertained while watching the movie. Yet, the unfocused nature of the film goes on autopilot and relies too heavily on the Amsterdam‘s star power. Unfrotunately, the cast can’t save the movie. The idea here is to use a real world event as a backdrop for a freewheeling comedy as our quirky heroes unknowingly stumble upon a conspiracy. The problem lies in its failure to make audiences care enough about the characters for them to be compelled.

The entire film relies on the long-lasting friendship between Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, and John David Washington. However, we rarely get a chance to see it on-screen. 

On a production side, Amsterdam is a blast. The period detail is stunning, mixing green-screen and practical sets and filling it with well designed, gorgeous costumes. The production design is stellar as well—a vibrant contrast to the offbeat look of the characters. This all works to transport the viewer to another world.

Overall, Amsterdam is a completely forgettable film from David O. Russell. It’s one of those situations where a film is all style and no substance, which is a shame considering the film’s cast and subject matter. Although there’s a sweet message of love and kindness that’s nice to see. It’s nice to see the softer side of Russell, but that also may be why it’s so easy to forget.

Movie Rating: 2.5/5 atoms

Amsterdam - Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, and John David Washington

Video

Amsterdam hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with an HDR10 transfer and a 2.39:1 aspect ratio. For the most part, Amsterdam isn’t the type of film that’ll wow viewers with its eye-popping visuals or vibrant use of color. Nevertheless, the Ultra HD presentation stays faithful to David O. Russell’s vision. Blacks are deep and natural and handle the shadow and dark surfaces very well. There are no crushing issues witnessed. For the most part, the film doesn’t have a lot of visual elements that utilize the HDR. 

Nevertheless, it does a stellar job enhancing the film’s desaturated look and amplifying the primary color palette—like the yellow, pink, and reds. The details are magnificent too. Things like facial features and the film’s impeccable production design are crisp throughout.

Video Rating: 5/5 atoms

Amsterdam - John David Washington, Margot Robbie, Rami Malek, and Anya Taylor-Joy

Audio

Amsterdam hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with a Dolby Atmos and a core 7.1 Dolby TrueHD Master Audio track. This review will reflect Amsterdam‘s Dolby Atmos track. For this kind of film, there’s a surprising amount of surround activity to keep the side and rear channels busy. The sound travels accurately and rolls through the soundstage back and forth and side to side. When it comes to the overhead speakers, they’re quiet, and there’s not a lot of notable activity from there. Trygg Toven’s score also complements the overall mix by not overpowering the other audio elements and staying consistent throughout. The dialogue is crisp and clean without any issues.

Audio Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Amsterdam - Michael Shannon, Mike Myers, Christian Bale, Chris Rock, and Robert De Niro

Special Features

Amsterdam‘s Ultra HD Blu-ray disc doesn’t have any special features on it. However, you can find the following special features on the 1080p Blu-ray disc:

  • Welcome to Amsterdam
Features Assessment

Yes, you read that right—there is only one bonus feature in this release. David O. Russell, cast, and crew reflect on their time in the film. It’s an interesting feature, but it’s also EPK filler and only covers the usual behind-the-scenes topics.

Special Features Rating: 1/5 atoms


Overall, Amsterdam is a movie that repeatedly trips over itself due to its eccentric tonal discord. Regardless, the video and audio presentations are top-notch and highlights some of the best things about the film. Sadly, we don’t get many bonus features in this release.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5 atoms

Amsterdam hits stores on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on December 6th.

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

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