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This 4K Spartacus looks and sounds (possibly) better now than it did in the theaters in 1960. It was a thrill to see that Spartacus got the "4k" treatment in 2020. The height channels add a lovely measure of vertical extension and immersion, while the surrounds are used mostly for atmospheric fill and music (though every once in a while you’ll hear the clash of swords and other effects ringing out from the rear channels). Both discs offer the following extras: Restoring Spartacus details the effort to produce the 4K presentation, featuring Universal’s Peter Schade (VP of Content Management), Seanine Bird (Restoration Project Manager), and John Blum (Re-Recording Mixer). Editor in Chief: The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used except with the prior written permission of The Digital Bits, Inc. All logos, images, names and trademarks are the property of the respective trademark owners. The long-awaited Ultra HD release presents Spartacus at the 2.20:1 ratio at the original 197-minute length. Olivier and Laughton were bitter rivals and barely spoke to each other off screen; the original Varinia, German actress Sabine Bethmann, was replaced with Simmons before shooting began; and when he wasn't battling with Kubrick, Douglas repeatedly clashed with Trumbo over the script. That's only one episode in a production history that's almost as fascinating, colorful, and intricate as the Roman history depicted on screen. Color me gobsmacked. In all, Spartacus won four Oscars (Supporting Actor, Cinematography, Art Direction-Set Decoration, and Costume Design) out of six nominations, but Kubrick's epic stunningly did not receive a Best Picture nod. The 2015 restoration of Spartacus yielded a stunning Blu-ray transfer, but it turns out that admirable effort was just a warm-up for what is now indisputably the definitive home video presentation of this classic epic. $ 10.99. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. Charlton Heston aside, there were few other leading men of the era that had the big-screen impact of Kirk Douglas in what most critics considered to be his defining silver screen role. Fortunately, in 2015, Universal gave this film the proper 4K restoration it deserves for the digital age. An impressive cast that also includes Laurence Olivier, Charles Laughton, Peter Ustinov, and Tony Curtis subsumes itself to the story very effectively. UK Blu-ray review: this restored 55th Anniversary edition of Stanley Kubrick's epic Spartacus, starring Kirk Douglas, is a joy to behold. Upgraded audio … This review is from Spartacus [Includes Digital Copy] [4K Ultra HD Blu-ray/Blu-ray]  I would recommend this to a friend. Note that Spartacus first appeared on Blu-ray in 2010. That restoration has been the basis for several previous home video releases of Spartacus. One of the greatest epics in cinema history at last gets the 4K UHD treatment, and the spectacular video transfer is well worth the wait. The deleted material includes the US and UK versions of the Spartacus Meets Varnia scene, as well as the 1967 Finale, and the audio recording of Gracchus’ Suicide, while the vintage newsreels are London Ovation, Tony Curtis Honored, Sir Laurence Olivier Returns to Hollywood, Kirk Douglas Honored, and Kirk Douglas Arrives in New York. Additional audio options include Spanish, Japanese, and Portuguese 5.1 DTS and Japanese 2.0 mono DTS, with optional subtitles available in English SDH, French, Spanish, Japanese, and Portuguese. It's also one of Hollywood's most successful restoration stories. And believe me, I do mean visceral and that should be underlined and put in bold. The wide expanses of blue sky remain rock solid throughout and exhibit no noise or banding, and verdant greens add lush tones to the love scenes between Douglas and Simmons. Spartacus may not have been nominated for Best Picture back in 1960, but in 2020 it stands as one of the best 4K UHD treatments of a classic movie. Kubrick wanted more control, but Douglas kept him on a tight leash, prompting Kubrick to later dismiss and disown Spartacus. Exceptional direction, a literate script, gorgeous cinematography, and an opulent production design also distinguish Spartacus and help make this grandiose chronicle of a historic Roman slave revolt decades before the birth of Christ one of the greatest epics in Hollywood history. Review Date August 1st, 2020 by, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray + Blu-ray + Digital Code, English SDH, French, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, The latest 4K Ultra HD, news, releases & pre-orders, Indiana Jones 4-Movie Collection 4K-UHD Blu-ray Coming June 8th, Coming Soon to 4K - Tim Burton's Big Fish 5/4/21, Upcoming 4K UHD Blu-ray Releases - February 2021 Edition, Wonder Woman 1984 4K UHD Blu-ray Coming March 22nd in UK, The Land Before Time - The Complete Collection. Choose from contactless Same Day Delivery, Drive Up and more. He discusses aspects of the production in this reasonably interesting discussion. Interestingly, when the scene was reinserted into the film in 1991, the audio was lost. [Editor’s Note: The film portion of this review is by Barrie Maxwell. Audio is included in a new English DTS-X lossless mix, which builds upon the 2015 Blu-ray’s excellent 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track (created from the original 6-track audio elements). The 4k restoration is fantastic-brilliant upgrade in visual quality and sound. Stanley Kubrick’s 1960 filming of Spartacus, a job he took over from Anthony Mann at the behest of Kirk Douglas, is one of the pantheon widescreen historic epics of the 1950s and 1960s. Yet this timeless tale reminds us how vital the fight is, and in this era of social unrest it once again strongly resonates. Shadows are a bit deeper and more detailed, highlights are more luminous. Spartacus from director Stanley Kubrick, is the legendary tale of a bold gladiator (Kirk Douglas) who led a triumphant Roman slave revolt. Simmons, as per Hollywood tradition, is photographed much more softly, but her close-ups are no less stunning, showing off her creamy complexion, alabaster skin, and perfectly aligned facial features. The updated 4K Ultra HD A/V and extras portions are by Bill Hunt.] Though Kubrick forever rued and stewed over his lack of control, he nevertheless crafts a monumental, visually arresting, and deeply moving drama that celebrates character, conviction, courage, nobility, and the willingness to sacrifice, all in the name of advancing and enlightening the human race and securing for everyone the precious gift of freedom. While I'm not sure whether anyone would sit through a 197-minute audio commentary, I feel there needs to be one to properly document the film's production, assess its impact, examine its themes, and dispel any rumors swirling about the movie. I do find it questionable that this film was resorted to this level as there are far better films that need this kind of treatment. This 4K disc release is the culmination of both the 1991 reconstruction of the movie to its 197-minute glory and a 2015 digital restoration of the picture and sound. Newly-remastered, this 60th Anniversary edition steelbook includes an extended version of the film, 4K Ultra HD bonus features, and Kirk Douglas Commemorative Art Cards. See reviews & details on a wide selection of Blu-ray & DVDs. 4K UHD Video: The Basics. The ravishing Varinia (Jean Simmons) falls in love with Spartacus, and Crassus' runaway slave Antoninus (Tony Curtis) becomes his loyal disciple, but neither of them can halt the advances of a massive, bloodthirsty Roman army determined to put the renegade slaves back in bondage. Relive the story of Spartacus, a genre-defining epic in 4K Ultra HD with HDR. Deep blacks anchor the image, but the nicely balanced whites are even more impressive. Part of the reason Spartacus looks so good is because Kubrick and cinematographer Russell Metty, who won an Oscar for his work, shot the film in Super Technirama 70, a now extinct format that - much like VistaVision - used a larger frame than traditional CinemaScope, resulting in a sharper picture with reduced grain. There’s good bass support here too. It follows the colors scheme of the 2015 BD but with more intensity - richer deeper colors plus there are tighter lines in the higher resolution - incredibly impressive detail in close-ups where you frequently see Kirk's skin pores. The clarity is so good, the few exterior scenes shot on soundstages are glaringly obvious, but that's a price I'm willing to pay for such a dazzling rendering. Though surround activity remains faint, stereo separation across the front channels seems more pronounced and distinct, and the bolder aural presence overall produces room-filling audio that immerses us in the on-screen drama. In 2006, Universal gave us an HD-DVD version that offered a strongly saturated image, but little else of merit. Read reviews and buy Spartacus (4K/UHD)(2020) at Target. If you have a 4K television and UltraHD blu-ray player then yes, it does seem to look better. Introspection and subtlety abound, serious issues like freedom, persecution, and political corruption are examined, and dimensional characters portrayed by some of the generation's most esteemed actors populate the drama. As classic movie Blu-rays go, the 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 transfer of Spartacus is 100% fabulous, but a five-star Blu-ray transfer just can't compete with a five-star 4K UHD transfer in any category, so if you're set up for 4K viewing, upgrading to the UHD edition of Spartacus is an absolute must. On DVD, the 2000 release by Universal was quickly superseded by a 2001 release from Criterion—a version that Harris endorsed as addressing the film’s color timing and image density correctly. Yet look deeper and you'll find elements that make director Stanley Kubrick's film a unique entry in a cluttered genre. Fidelity and tonal depth are noticeably stronger and richer, lending the sound a more robust, nuanced, and full-bodied feel. All the supplements from the 2015 Blu-ray have been ported over to this release, and all of them - with the exception of the image galleries - are included on the 4K UHD disc. Contrast is practically perfect. All rights reserved. Amazingly, the stress and strain of such strife never shows up on the screen. In particular, Spartacus screenwriter Dalton Trumbo was hauled before Congress at the time, and Douglas claims that it was his hiring of the writer for this film that helped to break the blacklist. Relive the story of Spartacus, a genre-defining epic in 4K Ultra HD with HDR. The colors and details are given new life and are visually impressive when viewed on a quality 4K television or with a projector ( our viewing was with an OPPO 203 blu Ray player paired with an EPSON 6050 projector ). The 4K repeats the 2015 disc’s extras, and we get I Am Spartacus, a nine-minute, 39-second chat with actor Kirk Douglas. ©1997-2021 The Digital Bits, Inc. All rights reserved. Crassus says he has a taste for both, telegraphing his bisexuality to his slave (and expectation of future sexual favors from him) and the decadence and depravity of Ancient Rome to us. The 2015 Blu-ray disc along with a leaflet containing a code to access a digital copy of the film are tucked inside the front cover. It’s certainly been a long wait (and a bumpy road) to see Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus made available on disc in its fully restored and 4K glory, but that wait has now been rewarded. That put Metty's nose out of joint, although he did end up winning the Best Cinematography Oscar...and possibly getting the last laugh. Rezension mit Bildvergleich Blu-ray vs. UHD. The heightened color spectrum of Dolby Vision produces eye-popping hues, from the Roman soldiers' red capes and a horse's multi-colored tassels to a dreamy magenta sunset and the red, yellow, and blue paint the gladiator trainer smears across Douglas' chest and arms. The film never surrenders to false heroics and offers an ending that invokes both sorrow and inspiration. Don't misunderstand. Compared to the 2015 Blu-ray (a copy of which is included in this release), the 4K UHD picture is palpably bolder and more vibrant, with richer color, heightened clarity, more pronounced detail, greater depth, and truer flesh tones. This mix offers a beautiful sonic match to the restored imagery. Newly-remastered, this 60th Anniversary edition includes an extended version of the film and 4K Ultra HD bonus features. Spartacus was shot on 35 mm photochemical film in Technirama format using Technicolor Techirama cameras (converted from VistaVision) with Panavision anamorphic lenses. in 4K HDR Essentials, Kaleidescape, Movies, Reviews 0 Comments Of the stable of movie reviewers here at Cineluxe, I am probably the least qualified to review Stanley Kubrick’s epic historical drama, Spartacus . From Douglas' cavernous chin dimple and the flabby folds of Laughton's cheeks and neck to facial stubble, skin pores and creases, beads of sweat, eyebrows and eyelashes, and bits of dirt and grime, all the tight shots of all the men sport extraordinary degrees of detail. Highs sound brighter, the lows exude more weight, and a wide dynamic scale embraces all the tones in between, all without a hint of distortion. They also accessed the full 3 records for some missing shots, as well as portions of the 1990 65 mm negative for those shots that had been created from 2 records plus a second run of a record with a different (incorrect) filter. Your email address will not be published. Both interior and exterior scenes appear beautifully balanced, with the well-defined contours of the sweeping landscapes enhancing depth and emphasizing the production's massive scope. Though the audio alone might not be a reason to upgrade, if you combine it with the exceptional video transfer, it's a no-brainer. Yet despite all the considerable thespian egos assembled in Spartacus, a true ensemble feel pervades the film. Once the disc is inserted into the player, the full-motion menu with music immediately pops up; no previews or promos precede it. Its story of a Roman slave revolt led by gladiator Spartacus (Douglas) has sweep and majesty, yet retains an intimate feel in its development of the relationship between Spartacus and the slave Varinia (Jean Simmons) who bears his child. Excellent shadow delineation keeps crush at bay, and even the film's darker sequences remain free of softness and noise. Highly recommended. But what he has to say is well worth listening to – it’s clear this role means a great deal to him. Curtis was still alive at the time and able to overdub his dialogue, but Olivier had passed away, so actor Anthony Hopkins, who was known to do a spot-on vocal impression of Olivier, was brought in to record his dialogue...and if I hadn't learned that bit of trivia, I never would have guessed the voice wasn't Olivier's. Newly-remastered, this 60th Anniversary edition steelbook includes an extended version of the film, 4K Ultra HD bonus features, and Kirk Douglas Commemorative Art Cards. I wish the razors I shave with could be as sharp. The output resolution was 4K, which provides a washing of super-fine natural film grain—while the 4K disc extracts a higher level of that grain that enlarges during the few composite shots. And that's not all. The film grain is super consistent, I only noticed 2 times where the film grain was slightly soft. Relive the story of Spartacus, a genre-defining epic in 4K Ultra HD with HDR. Note that the 4K package also includes a Digital Copy code on a paper insert. This edition renders any previous home video release of Spartacus obsolete and deserves a prominent spot in every cinephile's collection. Director Stanley Kubrick's epic account of a brazen slave revolt led by the film's eponymous character wields as much power as Kirk Douglas' intense portrayal and remains an absorbing and immersive film experience six decades after its premiere. Dialogue is clear and clean at all times. Spartacus from director Stanley Kubrick, is the legendary tale of a bold gladiator (Kirk Douglas) who led a triumphant Roman slave revolt. Director Stanley Kubrick's captivating 197-minute chronicle of a historic slave revolt in Ancient Rome is packed with spectacle, romance, pageantry, dramatic confrontations, and magnetic performances from Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons, Peter Ustinov, Charles Laughton, and Tony Curtis. Olivier consistently commands the screen with his finely etched, deliciously cold and calculating performance. Spartacus may not have nabbed a Best Picture Oscar nomination in 1960, but in 2020 it stands as one of the best Ultra High-Def presentations of a classic movie to date, thanks to a sublime Dolby Vision and HDR rendering of the 2015 restoration and upgraded DTS:X audio. It's rare that films as big as Spartacus contain so many affecting small moments, and many of those make greater impressions and provoke more visceral responses than the massive battle sequences. Spartacus might seem a bit dated, but make no mistake – it’s a bona fide classic no matter how you slice it. [Editor’s Note: The film portion of this review is by Barrie Maxwell. (It remains one of only three films to win the Best Motion Picture Drama award at the Golden Globes, but not garner a Best Picture Oscar nomination.) [Editor’s Note: Specific restoration details are per RAH.] Curtis, Gavin (who would also play a pivotal role in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho the same year), John Ireland, and John Dall excel in key supporting parts, but arguably the most resonating portrayal comes from Peter Ustinov as a gladiator trainer/dealer who becomes torn between two political factions after Spartacus and his men bust out of his slave camp. Overall, the 4K upgrade provides superb clarity, especially the wide shots and its cast of thousands and the bonus facial and costume details. Ustinov won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his colorful turn that masterfully mixes gravity with humor, and holds the distinction of being the only actor ever to win an Academy Award for a Kubrick film.
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