Doctor Sleep appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. As expected, the movie presented strong visuals.
Across the board, definition seemed good. Even with a mix of low-light sequences, the film appeared accurate and concise, as only a smidgen of slightly soft shots emerged.
Jagged edges and moiré effects didn’t mar the presentation, and I saw no edge haloes. Print flaws also failed to appear.
In terms of palette, Sleep went with a heavy teal orientation, though it tossed in more than a little orange/amber as well. Within stylistic choices, the hues seemed well-depicted.
Blacks were dark and dense, and shadows gave us good clarity. I felt pleased with this transfer.
As for the Dolby Atmos audio, it offered a mostly typical horror movie soundscape. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, this meant a fair amount of creepy atmosphere and occasional “jolt moments”.
Along with good stereo music, the soundfield was able to open things up in a satisfying manner that embellished the story. We got a nice sense of various elements along with a useful sense of the spooky bits, some of which worked really well.
Audio quality was always good. Music appeared full and rich, while effects demonstrated nice clarity and accuracy. Low-end appeared deep and rich.
Speech was natural and distinctive throughout the film. The mix used the speakers well and created a fine sense of the material.
The disc includes both the film’s theatrical edition (2:32:01) and a Director’s Cut(3:00:14). What do we find in that extra 28 minutes?
Don’t expect anything genuinely new, as the DC doesn’t provide material that falls into the “wholly excised” category. Instead, we find many expansions off existing scenes.
That may make the additions sound superficial, but they add nuance to the tale. Some make subtextual details more obvious, while others pad out notions and situations.
Can I claim any of these make the DC strongly different than the theatrical version. No – even with the not-insubstantial amount of added footage, the new material doesn’t create major shifts.
However, the DC allows the story a bit more breathing room. Yeah, the theatrical already ran pretty long, but given that the novel filled more than 500 pages, extra information seems like a good thing.
Ultimately, I can’t claim the DC offers substantial improvements over the theatrical version. Nonetheless, it feels a bit smoother and better fleshed-out, so it’s my preferred edition, if only by a hair.
Three featurettes appear, and From Shining to Sleep runs four minutes, 56 seconds. It brings comments from writer/director Mike Flanagan and author Stephen King.
In this reel, we get some basics about the source novels for both films and their adaptations, with an emphasis on Flanagan’s attempts to wed the various elements. The program seems too short to become wholly satisfying, but it adds some useful material.
A New Vision fills 13 minutes, 57 seconds with notes from Flanagan, King, producer Trevor Macy, costume designer Terry Anderson, makeup FX department head Robert Kurtzman, makeup FX department coordinator Marcia King-Kurtzman, stunt coordinator Chuck Borden, and actors Ewan McGregor, Kyliegh Curran, Rebecca Ferguson, Robert Longstreet, Carel Struycken, Zahn McClahrnon, Selena Anduze, Catherine Parker, Emily Alyn Lind, James Flanagan, and Met Clark.
“Vision” looks at Flanagan’s interest in the property as well as his screenplay/adaptation, cast, characters and performances, costumes, stunts and various effects.
We get a fairly general program here, but it still includes good information. Like the prior piece, this one doesn’t dazzle, but it merits a look.
Finally, Return to the Overlook goes for 14 minutes, 59 seconds and involves Flanagan, Macy, McGregor, Anderson, Kurtzman, King-Kurtzman, unit production manager Scott Lumpkin, production supervisor Alex Capaldi, property master Scott Nifong, producer Jon Berg, and actors Carl Lumbly, Henry Thomas, Sadie Heim, KK Heim, Sallye Hooks and Alex Essor.
As implied by the title, “Return” examines the recreation of the original film’s iconic sets and other elements related to the echoes of the 1980 movie. This turns into a fun exploration of these components.
Nearly 40 years after The Shining, we find a worthy sequel via Doctor Sleep. Vivid and compelling, the film continues the story in a satisfying manner. The Blu-ray offers very good picture and audio along with a few bonus materials. Arguably superior to the first film, Sleep gives us a strong effort.