Inception 4K UHD Blu-ray Review
“Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the 4K Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.”
Studio: Warner Brothers
Release Date: December 19, 2017
Run time: 148 minutes
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; DTS:X
Aspect Ratio: 2:1
Disc Spec: 2 BD / Digital HD
A film like “Inception” only comes along once a decade, and it’s no surprise it took Writer/Director Christopher Nolan over ten years to polish the screenplay into its final form. The loud and frenetic visuals in the trailer all fall into place when you see the film, which represents a masterful blend of genres and ideas, some of which have been attempted before but never in this combination. Unlike so many Jerry Bruckheimer visual onslaughts or the recycled franchises that use continuous split-second cuts to replace plot, the major set pieces in the film leave the audience literally on the edge of their seats, and it’s one of the few blockbusters in memory that can be enjoyed as both a top-notch action movie and a deeply cerebral experience.
In fact, “Inception” is a perfect film on so many levels that it’s breathtaking to watch. Apart from the technical wizardry of bringing some of the mind-bending visuals to the screen, the real triumph is in conveying its complex, layered concepts and plot lines in a way that never lectures or loses the audience and never takes a break from the action to lay down exposition. Unlike the sequels to the Matrix, where the attempt to develop the alternate reality of the first film became convoluted and ludicrous in the second and third installments, Inception has enough fresh ideas to feel like an entire trilogy perfectly woven into one coherent and gripping movie. And with a running time of 2.5 hours, it’s remarkable that it never once drags or lingers on unnecessary scenes to reach the conclusion.
For fans of “Memento”, it will seem like that film was just Nolan was warming up to getting “Inception” just right. Roger Ebert made an interesting observation when he said it’s a film that defies spoilers, in that even if you know the ending, it’s meaningless without knowing how you got there. For film-buffs and screenplay enthusiasts, the richness of the dream-within-a-dream reality and the effortless jumping between different timelines and dreamers’ worlds will be studied for years. And even though the film happens primarily in dreams, Nolan avoids the temptation to use the weirdness of the the dream world just to show us something different that ultimately doesn’t make sense.
Movie Quality: 10/10
The print is presented in 4K/2160p with a 2.40:1 aspect ratio. “Inception” receives a nice 4K remaster that really helps boost the quality of the film. Considering that this film is 8 years old, it already looked good in high definition but this the new 4K master gives it that new coat of paint. I will say that Warner did this film some wonders with this new 4K transfer over the previous Blu-ray release. This is one impressive looking film considering the extra bump in clarity and details that we receive. The stylized colors used in this film do an excellent job in bringing the world of “Inception” is one that comes to life here with all the ongoing madness on screen at all times. Dark tinted blues are the primary colors that are used in the film. This is where the HDR comes into play quite a bit throughout.
Video Quality: 10/10
The audio is presented in DTS-HD MA lossless 5.1 mix, DTS:X. Like the video, the audio gets a nice upgrade here on Blu-ray. The rears get a ton of activity throughout the movie between dialogue, the score, and action sequences. I was quite impressed with hearing the various magical affects in the soundfield sound so life like. What is rather impressive is the use of the center channel where all the dialogue comes through. All of the dialogue and action pieces come through so clean that it is amazing with what can be done on the audio front.
Audio Quality: 10/10
- Extraction Mode [HD]
- 5.1 Inception Soundtrack [HD]
- Dreams: Cinema of the Subconscious [HD]
- Inception: The Cobol Job [HD]
- Project Somnacin: Confidential Files [HD]
- Conceptual Art Gallery [HD]
- Promotional Art Archive [HD]
- Trailers and TV Spots [HD]
Special Features: 7/10
Christopher Nolan underscores himself as one of the best Writer/Directors in Hollywood, and continues to develop not only his own storytelling but the capabilities of his crew, many of whom we’ve seen in previous films.
Overall Rating: 9/10