High-Rise appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The movie came with a largely good presentation.
Overall sharpness seemed satisfying. Interiors could appear a bit tentative at times, but the majority of the film displayed positive delineation. I saw no shimmering or jaggies, and edge haloes remained absent. Print defects also failed to mar the proceedings.
Given the movie’s 1970s setting, should you expect a “period palette”? Nope - High-Rise went with a heavy orange and teal tint so typical of modern movies. The colors seemed unimaginative but the Blu-ray reproduced them well.
Blacks appeared dark and tight, and low-light shots offered good clarity. This was a satisfactory transfer.
I also felt pleased with the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, though it lacked a ton of ambition. The soundscape largely stayed with environmental information, though various scenes added some involvement to the proceedings. A party made good use of the various channels, and a few other sequences delivered reasonable activity as well.
Audio quality satisfied. Music was rich and lush, while effects seemed accurate and well-defined. Speech appeared concise and natural, with no edginess or other issues. The soundtrack suited the movie.
The disc includes an audio commentary with director Ben Wheatley, producer Jeremy Thomas and actor Tom Hiddleston. All three sit together for a running, screen-specific look at the novel and its adaptation, the movie’s path to the screen, story/characters, cast and performances, sets, locations and visual design, camerawork and editing, music, and other insights.
Pretty much everything about this commentary works. It gives us a deep look at the film and delivers a lot of nice thoughts. Even happy talk remains minimal, so this turns into a lively, informative chat.
Four featurettes follow. Building the World of High-Rise goes for nine minutes, two seconds and includes comments from Wheatley, costume designer Odile Dicks-Mireaux and production designer Mark Tildesley. “World” looks at set design and costumes. The show offers a smattering of good insights.
During the three-minute, 36-second Heady Special Effects, we hear from special effects artist Dan Martin. He tells us about the fake human head used in the film for a medical examination. Some disgusting visuals ensue, but the short reel tells us the details involved.
Breaking Down High-Rise and Its Tenants fills 14 minutes, 50 seconds with info from Hiddleston and actors Elisabeth Moss, Dan Renton, Jeremy Irons, Keeley Hawes, Sienna Miller, James Purevoy, Sienna Guillory and Luke Evans. “Tenants” covers cast and characters. It provides a perfunctory overview.
Finally, Bringing Ballard to the Big Screen lasts three minutes, 58 seconds and features Hiddleston, Miller, Evans, Thomas, Wheatley, Tildesley, Irons, and authors Ned Beaumann and Travis Elborough. “Screen” presents a short look at the adaptation of the source. It throws out a couple of worthwhile thoughts but lacks much substance.
The disc opens with ads for The Wave, Gridlocked, The Ones Below and The Last King. We also find a trailer for High-Rise.
Visually inventive and well-acted, High-Rise comes with potential. However, it suffers from over the top metaphors and a dearth of vivid storytelling, factors that make it frustrating. The Blu-ray presents good picture and audio as well as a reasonable selection of supplements. Parts of the film thrive but too much of it tries too hard.