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UNIVERSAL

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Jordan Peele
Cast:
Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss
Writing Credits:
Jordan Peele

Synopsis:
A family's serene beach vacation turns to chaos when their doppelgängers appear and begin to terrorize them.

Box Office:
Budget:
$20 million.
Opening Weekend
$71,117,625 on 3741 Screens.
Domestic Gross
$175,005,930.

MPAA:
Rated R.

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Audio:
English Dolby Atmos
French Dolby 7.1
Spanish Dolby 7.1
English DVS
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French

Runtime: 116 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 6/18/2019

Bonus:
• “Monsters Within Us” Featurette
• “Tethered Together” Featurette
• “Redefining a Genre” Featurette
• “The Duality of Us” Featurette
• “Becoming Red” Featurette
• “We’re All Dying” Featurette
• “As Above, So Below” Featurette
• Scene Explorations
• Deleted Scenes
• Previews
• DVD Copy


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


RELATED REVIEWS


Us [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 10, 2019)

After a fairly good career as a comedic actor, Jordan Peele leapt to the big screen as the director of 2017’s horror tale Get Out. Peele made this jump with enormous success, as the film did great at the box office and also nabbed Peele an Oscar for his screenplay.

Peele did so with low hype, but his follow-up came with much higher expectations. I don’t know if 2019’s Us will earn Peele more Oscar love, but with a US gross of $175 million, it became another hit, and critics loved it. I suppose we’ll have to wait until 2021 to see if Peele can make it three in a row.

As a child, Adelaide (Madison Curry) went through a spooky experience where she appeared to meet her double in a boardwalk attraction. This left an emotional scar, though as an adult (Lupita Nyong'o), she seems to enjoy a pretty good life with husband Gabe (Winston Duke), daughter Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) and son Jason (Evan Alex).

When they head to a summer house for vacation, an odd family confronts them. This pushes toward a life and death battle that eventually leads to major repercussions.

With Get Out, Peele managed to create a film that worked as both pure horror – albeit fairly psychological – as well as social commentary. While Peele didn’t make the latter side incredibly subtle, he also didn’t beat the viewer over the head with his themes, a choice that worked nicely.

With Us, Peele attempts the same feat, but he can’t quite pull it off a second time. Though Us brings a pretty engaging and creepy horror experience, it doesn’t capture the themes as well.

I won’t say success went to Peele’s head, but I do believe the movie’s stellar reception put pressure on him to follow up with something as penetrating and impactful. Maybe he should’ve gone for a film without the attempts at commentary, as I think that might’ve allowed him to branch out a bit better.

Those who want to read into Us will enjoy a field day, but I’m not sure how satisfying Peele’s layers are. I feel like he tried too hard to create a reflection of modern American society and the material gets mucked up along the way.

That means Peele lays on “deep” imagery thick, and these elements pop up from start to finish. Peele might as well post a flashing sign that screams “symbolism!!!” half the time, as he doesn’t deliver this side of the film in a subtle manner.

When Peele semi-forgets the movie’s themes and allusions, Us fares much better. This makes the film’s second act easily its most effective.

Act One forms basic set-up and introductory material, while Act Three piles on explanations – hoo boy, does Act Three go into explanatory mode! Peele still leaves plenty of events and themes uncommented on, but he devotes a lot of the finale the summaries.

Too much time, I think. Peele provides information we really don’t need, all of which leads to a predictable and borderline eye-rolling reveal.

When Peele just lets go of all the pretensions and indulges the movie’s horror, it works pretty darned well. The interactions between Adelaide’s family and the mystery clan lead to lots of action and suspense, elements that expand in surprising ways to become a ball of fun.

Then Peele remembers he needs to be a “serious filmmaker” and matters go downhill – to a degree, at least. I don’t want to dump on Acts One and Three, as they seem reasonably compelling, but I really think Us fares best when it simply shoots for popcorn action and ignores its delusions of grandeur.

Peele assembles a pretty good cast, and Nyong'o soars as our lead. Her role requires her to go through a wide variety of emotions and attitudes, and she pulls these off exceedingly well. The other actors do fine, too, but Nyong'o elevates the material.

Ultimately, I regard Us as a disappointment, but only a minor one. While it bites off more than it can chew in terms of themes and symbolism, it brings enough horror thrills and cleverness to wind up as a mostly engaging effort.


The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus B-

Us appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a fairly appealing reproduction of a challenging source.

Much of the movie came in dark circumstances, and those made shadows more important than usual. A smidgen of murkiness could occur at times, though I suspect this largely reflected the original photography. Blacks felt dark and deep, and low-light shots were visible within the choices on display.

Sharpness felt good, with delineation that mainly came across as accurate and well-defined. Again, the dimly-lit circumstances could make the image a little on the soft side, but this became a reflection of the source.

No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects occurred, and I saw no edge haloes. Print flaws remained absent.

Colors veered toward a pretty standard mix of amber and teal, though some red popped up as well. They seemed fine within those parameters, and this ended up as a quality image.

Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the film’s Dolby Atmos soundtrack tended toward a pretty standard horror soundscape, one that tended to favor atmosphere above all else. This meant a mix with a creepy vibe that added to the material.

Occasional action scenes brought more life to the soundfield, though, and those made the track engaging. Don’t expect these to crop up on a frequent basis, but they occurred often enough to give a boost to the mix and make it involving and impactful.

Audio quality worked fine, with speech that appeared natural and concise. Music came across as bold and dynamic as well.

Effects showed nice clarity and reproduction. Those elements felt accurate and bold, and they contributed deep low-end when necessary. All in all, the soundtrack worked well for the film.

Surprisingly, we find no audio commentary here, even though writer/director Jordan Peele offered a very good chat for Get Out. We do find a mix of featurettes, and these launch with The Monsters Within Us. It goes for four minutes, 45 seconds and includes notes from Peele, and actors Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex.

“Monsters” looks at cast, characters and performances. Despite the show’s brevity, it comes with a few useful notes.

Next we get Tethered Together, a seven-minute, 29-second reel with Nyong’o, Peele, Joseph, VFX supervisor Grady Cofer, production designer Ruth De Jong, and makeup/makeup effects department head Scott Wheeler.

In “Tethered”, we examine the challenges related to the use of actors as two different characters. It presents the material in an engaging manner.

With Redefining a Genre, we locate a five-minute, 31-second program that features Peele, Nyong’o, Duke, producer Jason Blum, and actor Elisabeth Moss. This show views Peele’s approach to horror and various influences. Though not a great featurette, it comes with a few productive notes.

After this comes The Duality of Us, a nine-minute, 56-second piece that includes Peele as he covers themes and meaning in the film. Peele manages a nice collection of revelations.

Becoming Red lasts four minutes, nine seconds and offers behind the scenes footage that shows how Nyong’o remained in character while she played “Red”. It’s a fun glimpse of the actor’s method approach.

During the six-minute, 22-second We’re All Dying, we find outtakes set at the beach. These mainly concentrate on improvisation between Winston Duke and Tim Heidecker. They’re entertaining.

Up next, we get As Above, So Below, a five-minute, two-second reel that shows an extended version of the pas de deux scene. It gets a little tedious.

Three Scene Explorations fill a total of seven minutes, 37 seconds and involve notes from Peele, Moss, Heidecker, choreographer/movement consultant Madeline Hollander and actors Cali and Noelle Sheldon. These offer decent insights about the three sequences in question.

Six Deleted Scenes occupy a total of six minutes, 28 seconds. Most of these offer insignificant character elements, though a few add some value.

The disc opens with ads for Ma, The Best of Enemies, Inside Man, Greta and Hotel Mumbai. No trailer for Us appears here.

A second disc presents a DVD copy of Us. It includes the Blu-ray’s extras except for the “Scene Explorations”.

As Jordan Peele’s follow-up to the acclaimed Get Out, Us seems inconsistent but still largely engaging. While it doesn’t achieve all its ambitions, it fires on enough cylinders to make it a worthwhile effort. The Blu-ray comes with positive picture and audio as well as a decent roster of bonus materials. Us turns into a mostly effective horror tale.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.4 Stars Number of Votes: 5
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main