Unforgiven (1992) 4K Ultra HD 2160p REMUX

Unforgiven (1992) 4K Ultra HD 2160p REMUX
BDRemux 4K 2160P
Сountry: USA
Genre: Drama
Language: English
Cast: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, Richard Harris, Jaimz Woolvett, Saul Rubinek, Frances Fisher, Anna Levine, David Mucci, Rob Campbell, Anthony James, Tara Frederick, Beverley Elliott, Liisa Repo-Martell, Josie Smith...
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Rating
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Retired, down-on-their-luck outlaws who pick up their guns one last time to collect a bounty offered by the vengeful prostitutes of the remote Wyoming town of Big Whiskey.

Unforgiven (1992) 4K Ultra HD 2160p REMUX Review
In stark contrast to Michael Mann's avowedly revisionist remaster of Heat in 4K, the new versions of Unforgiven were prepared with strict instructions from Eastwood and his team to preserve the look and feel of the original film with its Oscar-nominated cinematography by Jack N. Green (Serenity), one of the film's nine nominations. Unlike Warner's UHD of Goodfellas, which was out-sourced, the 4K master of Unforgiven was entirely prepared by Warner's Motion Picture Imaging facility, which has been responsible for all the important catalog restorations released by the studio and has become the "go to" post house for the Warner Archive Collection. MPI scanned Unforgiven's original camera negative at 4K, followed by extensive and meticulous color correction in both SDR and HDR by two of the facility's senior colorists. Side-by-side tests were conducted using a freshly minted answer print to satisfy all involved that the final product represents the best possible reproduction of the film screened for audiences in 1992. The finished 4K master was reviewed and approved by Clint Eastwood and his team.

It will be interesting to see how the UHD enthusiast community reacts to Warner's 2160p, HEVC/H.265-encoded UHD of Unforgiven, because the differences between the 4K treatment and its accompanying 1080p rendition don't immediately leap off the screen. In the film's darker sequences—and Unforgiven has many of them—the high-resolution scan of the negative provides little or no increase in visible detail, because it simply isn't there in the original photography. Eastwood's affinity for darkness in interiors and night scenes is well-established, and sequences like the cowboys' attack on Delilah (Anna Levine) and the final showdown between William Munny (Eastwood) and Little Bill Daggett (Gene Hackman) play out in dimly lit recesses with figures moving between deep shadow and half-shadow and facial expressions often reduced to outlines in the gloom. The UHD/HDR colorists have resisted any temptation to add artificial visibility to such sequences through intensified brightness or heightened contrast; these scenes remain as dark as they were intended. Indeed, on close examination, the UHD is even slightly darker than the Blu-ray iterations, utilizing HDR's enhanced delineation of blacks to maintain the integrity of the image in even the dimmest light.

Where the increased resolution really shines is in Unforgiven's spacious and varied landscapes, most of which were shot in Alberta. The grass, trees, dusty terrain and colorful rock formations form an expressive background to the long journey from Munny's cabin to Big Whiskey, Wyoming, as Will and Ned Logan (Morgan Freeman) catch up with each other and eventually connect with hot-tempered wannabe gunslinger, The Schofield Kid (Jaimz Woolvett). In the theater, I remember being knocked back in my seat by the grandeur of these vistas, which contrasts so sharply with the three partners' corrupt destination and ignoble purpose. The UHD's increased resolution renders these surroundings with sparkling immediacy, and the gentle HDR treatment makes them vivid without overemphasis. The same improvements are observable in later outdoor scenes like the ambush of Davey (Rob Campbell) and the famous sequence where Will and The Kid have a weighty conversation while awaiting the arrival of Little Sue (Tara Frederick) with their payment.

The sticker prominently affixed to every UHD disc touts the "brighter, deeper, more lifelike colors" of HDR, but the HDR treatment of Unforgiven demonstrates that these descriptions may be at odds. The colors of this UHD are "more lifelike", but they certainly are not "brighter" or "deeper". I would describe them as more refined. Perhaps most noticeably, the UHD's fleshtones lack the consistently ruddy cast that is evident even on the remastered Blu-ray, presumably a product of that format's less expansive color space. On the UHD, faces are reddened by the glow of candles, lamplight and campfires, but in natural light they lose a slight red "push" that is visible on the Blu-ray (and was even more pronounced in the previous Blu-ray). It's a subtle but effective adjustment, enhancing the realism of characters even as the story elevates them into myth. (The reds and oranges of the sunsets that open and close the film remain as intense as ever.)

The 4K/HDR rendition of Unforgiven may not be the disc you drop into the player to wow your friends, but it fulfills the format's promise of bringing classic cinema into the home with new levels of accuracy and intensity. It's the first UHD I've reviewed that deserves highest marks for its treatment of a 4K source—not only for what it does, but also for what it does not do.

Video
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
HDR: HDR10
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Audio
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
French: Dolby Digital 2.0
German: Dolby Digital 2.0
Italian: Dolby Digital 2.0
Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0
… (more)
Note: Spanish=Latin & Castillia...

Subtitles
English SDH, French, German SDH, Italian SDH, Portuguese, Arabic, Czech, Danish…

File size: 55.08 GB


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