Brawl in Cell Block 99 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. The movie came with a quality transfer.
The film offered positive delineation. I thought the image brought us consistently nice clarity and accuracy, with only a smidgen of softness on display.
The image suffered from no signs of jagged edges or shimmering, and it also lacked edge haloes. Print flaws remained absent.
In terms of palette, Brawl went with a heavy blue tint, though some green overtones appeared in the prison scenes. That restricted variety and vivacity, but the hues seemed fine given their constraints.
Blacks came across as dark and deep, while shadows seemed smooth and concise. The image worked well.
As for the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it largely followed the subdued nature of the film itself, though it popped to life on occasion. A few action-oriented sequences opened up the spectrum and gave us some involving elements.
Nonetheless, these remained fairly infrequent. Instead, the film generally opted for ambience and stereo presence for the music, factors that made this a restrained soundscape.
Audio quality worked fine, with natural, concise speech. Music sounded full and clear, while effects came across as accurate and tight. Nothing here impressed, but the mix satisfied.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray version? Audio remained identical, as both discs offered the same DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack.
Visuals showed mild improvements, mainly due to a step up in definition, as the 4K provided superior accuracy. It also came with deeper blacks.
Colors seemed very similar, though, as the 4K lacked HDR. That surprised me and meant the hues and contrast didn’t stand out as expected. Still, the 4K UHD looked quite good, even if I didn’t think it fully utilized the format’s possibilities.
Two extras show up here, and we start with a featurette called Journey to the Brawl. It fills 15 minutes, 10 seconds with comments from writer/director S. Craig Zahler, producers Dallas Sonnier and Jack Heller, and actors Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Carpenter and Don Johnson.
“Journey” looks at the project’s development, story/characters, cast and performances, Zahler’s impact on the shoot, sets and locations. The featurette offers a decent array of notes but it lacks much depth.
During a Beyond Fest Q&A, we get a 31-minute, 31-second panel with Vaughn, Carpenter, Zahler, Johnson, Heller, and actor Udo Kier. The Q&A examines cast and performances, story and characters, and various aspects of the production. Like “Journey”, the Q&A delivers a smattering of good notes but it doesn’t dig as deeply as I’d like.
This set also includes a Blu-ray copy of Brawl. It provides the same extras as the 4K UHD.
A spin on the prison drama genre, Brawl in Cell Block 99 delivers an erratic affair. While I appreciate aspects of the production, it moves at such a glacial pace that it becomes an endurance test. The 4K UHD provides largely good picture and audio along with a few decent supplements. As much as I respect some of the film’s choices, the end result leaves me a bit cold.
To rate this film, visit the prior review of BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99