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WARNER

MOVIE INFO

Created By:
Jonathan Nolan, Lisa Joy
Cast:
Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, Thandie Newton, Ed Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Anthony Hopkins
Writing Credits:
Various

Synopsis:
Set at the intersection of the near future and the reimagined past, explore a world in which every human appetite, no matter how noble or depraved, can be indulged without consequence.

MPAA:
Rated TV-MA

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Castillian Spanish Dolby 5.1
Portuguese Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Subtitles:
English
French
Portuguese
Latin Spanish
Castillian Spanish
Dutch
Danish
Finnish
Norwegian
Swedish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
Portuguese
Latin Spanish
French
Castillian Spanish
Dutch

Runtime: 619 min.
Price: $54.97
Release Date: 11/7/2017

Bonus:
• “About the Series” Featurette
• “An Invitation to the Set” Featurette
• “The Big Moment” Featurettes
• “Welcome to Westworld” Featurette
• “Realizing the Dream” Featurette
• “Imagining the Main Title” Featurette
• “Reality of AI” Featurette
• Gag Reel
• “The Key to the Chords” Featurette
• “Crafting the Narrative” Featurette
• Booklet


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


Westworld: Season One [Blu-Ray] (2016)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 30, 2017)

Prior to Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton wrote and directed 1973’s Westworld, another tale of a fantastic theme land. This notion came to HBO for a series in 2016, one that explores the same concepts and pushes past the confines of the 88-minute movie.

This package includes all 10 episodes for Season One of Westworld. The plot synopses come from IMDB.

The Original: “Programmer Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright) detects aberrant behavior in recently re-coded hosts. Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) and Teddy's (James Marsden) narrative is upended by a mysterious Man in Black (Ed Harris).”

A pilot episode like “The Original” exists for two reasons: to set up narrative/character elements and to intrigue us enough to bring us back for more. “Original” satisfies these requirements, as it opens the series well.

It gives us an introduction to Westworld and creates an interesting enough plot to push toward the next show. “Original” launches Westworld on a positive note.

Chestnut: “Two guests arrive at the park with very different expectations. Maeve's (Thandie Newton) emotions are tweaked. The Man in Black seeks help from a condemned man.”

S1 of Westworld comes with the subhead “The Maze”, and “Chestnut” initiates that plot direction, one that presumably will deepen as we go. This also leads to more intrigue based on characters old and new, and these help make the episode vivid and dynamic.

The Stray: “Elise (Shannon Woodward) and Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) search for a missing host. Teddy gets a new backstory. Bernard investigates the origins of madness and hallucinations within the hosts.”

Is it a coincidence Wood’s Dolores looks so much like Grace Kelly in High Noon? Probably not, though I do wonder if there’s anyone in the show who won’t fall in love with her.

That potentially tiresome plot trend aside, “Stray” works to deepen matters pretty well. It moves along intrigue with the ways the hosts seem to be “awakening” and also offers a look at plans for the future. All of these factors make it another effective show.

Dissonance Theory: “Dolores joins William (Jimmi Simpson) and Logan (Ben Barnes) on a bounty hunt. The Man in Black makes a significant discovery. Ford (Anthony Hopkins) and Theresa (Sidse Babett Knudsen) discuss the park's future.”

Of all the series’ characters, Ed Harris’s Man in Black seems most intriguing to me, and he deepens here, as we get a hint of his real life outside the park. That side of the show works best, but other elements add intrigue as well and move along the series in a satisfying manner.

Contrapasso: “Dolores, William and Logan reach Pariah, and are recruited for a dangerous mission. The Man in Black meets an unlikely ally.”

I like the ways the series has slowly expanded past the boundaries of its main location – it’s unclear how far away the “guests” can venture, but I appreciate the consideration of this topic. Add to that more expansion of the hosts’ self-awareness as well as the background of co-founder Arnold and “Contrapasso” works nicely.

The Adversary: “Maeve charms Felix (Leonardo Nam). Elsie discovers evidence that could point to sabotage. Teddy and the Man in Black conflict with a garrison.”

While Man in Black offers the most intriguing character, Maeve becomes the one with the biggest arc – so far, at least. Newton excels in the part – the series throws all sorts of challenges at her, and she handles these shifts with aplomb. Amidst other good plot points, Maeve’s journey becomes the most impactful aspect of “Adversary”.

Trompe L'Oeil: “Dolores, William and Lawrence journey into treacherous terrain. Maeve presents her demand. Bernard considers his next move.”

I have to admit I don’t take a lot of interest in the Dolores thread – perhaps it’ll pick up as the season goes, but so far, it leaves me semi-cold. The rest of “Trompe” fares much better, though, especially when we see the increasing independence of the hosts – and the ramifications among the park’s staff, with one major revelation along the way.

Trace Decay: “Bernard struggles with a mandate. Teddy is troubled by dark memories. Maeve looks to change her script.”

Once again, Maeve’s story remains the most involving, especially as she goes farther into her plan for escape/revolution. Teddy’s evolution adds more intrigue and becomes another positive factor, though Maeve’s elements shine the brightest.

The Well-Tempered Clavier: “Dolores and Bernard reconnect with their pasts. Maeve makes a bold proposition to Hector. Teddy finds enlightenment, at a price.”

With little time left in S1, matters intensify via “Clavier”. In particular, various hosts come to terms with their status and pursue their differing goals. These elements combine to amp up the drama and push us toward the finale in a satisfying manner.

The Bicameral Mind: “Ford unveils his bold new narrative. Dolores embraces her identity. Maeve sets her plan in motion.”

Season One’s long journey comes to an end on a positive note with “Mind”. The episode musters some major revelations and character developments, all of which wrap up with a bang. S1 delivers great entertainment and I look forward to the next batch of shows.


The Discs Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus C-

Westworld appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on these Blu-ray Discs. The episodes boasted fine visuals.

Sharpness worked well. While the occasional wide shot betrayed a sliver of softness, the majority of material appeared accurate and concise. No issues with moiré effects or jaggies occurred, and I saw neither edge haloes nor source flaws.

Despite the Western setting, the series favored a fairly teal and orange palette – though on the dusty brown side of things. Within the stylistic constraints, the Blu-rays reproduced them in a favorable manner.

Blacks came across as deep and dense, while shadows – important in such a dark series – appeared smooth and well-developed. The shows offered pleasing picture quality.

Though not as good, the series’ DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio also satisfied. Music showed nice stereo presence, while effects added immersive material. The series’ occasional action sequences boasted fine use of the side and rear speakers, all of which brought us into the episodes well.

Audio quality seemed strong. Music was full and rich, while dialogue seemed natural and distinctive. Effects offered clear elements with warm, tight lows. I liked the soundtrack across these episodes.

As we move to extras, we begin with the two-minute, 13-second About the Series. It involves creators/executive producers Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan, executive producer JJ Abrams, and actors Thandie Newton, Evan Rachel Wood and James Marsden. They give us vague thoughts about story/characters – it’s all promo fluff.

In a similar vein, An Invitation to the Set fills two minutes, 16 seconds with comments from Nolan, Abrams, Joy, Newton, Wood and actor Jeffrey Wright. It’s another general overview that exists to attract viewers to the series.

Across all three discs, we find seven featurettes under the banner of The Big Moment. These include “Teddy Versus the Man in Black” (1:55), “A Host Self-Sabotages” (1:55), “Maeve Gets an Answet” (1:38), “Bernard Faces an Unlikely Saboteur” (1:23), “Dr. Ford’s Blood Sacrifice” (1:38), “The Truth About Bernard” (2:23) and “Dr. Ford’s New Narrative” (3:53). Through these, we hear from Nolan, Marsden, Wood, Joy, Newton, Wright, Abrams, and actors Rodrigo Santoro and Sidse Babett Knudsen.

The “Big Moment” clips offer more thoughts about characters and story elements. They tend to be short and forgettable, though at least “Narrative” brings some hints about Season Two.

Welcome to Westworld runs seven minutes, 43 seconds and offers info from Nolan, Joy, Abrams, Marsden, Wood, Newton, and Santoro. “Welcome” looks at the original Westworld movie and its adaptation as well as story and character domains. It includes a little more substance than the prior clips, but it remains fairly fluffy.

Next comes Realizing the Dream: First Week on the Set, an 11-minute, 22-second piece with Nolan and Joy. They offer reflections about aspects of the production. This isn’t the meatiest reel, but it adds a few decent insights.

After this we get the 14-minute, eight-second Imagining the Main Title. It involves Nolan, Joy, composer Ramin Djawadi, Elastic managing director Jennifer Hall, Elastic designer Felix Soletic, and Elastic Head of CG Kirk Shintani.

As expected, this one looks at elements involved in the series’ opening credits sequences. It throws out some useful notes despite the usual fluffy tone.

Reality of AI takes up four minutes, 30 seconds and gives us material from Nolan, Joy, Abrams, Wright, Marsden, Wood, and Newton. They reflect on the nature of artificial intelligence in this lackluster promotional reel.

A Gag Reel lasts one minute, 40 seconds. It offers a little silliness – there’s nothing memorable but it’s too short to be a problem.

A view of music comes with the eight-minute, five-second A Key to the Chords. Here Joy, Dwajawdi, Nolan, discuss the player piano we see throughout the series. It’s a moderately interesting view of this topic.

The package’s longest bonus feature, Crafting the Narrative goes for 29 minutes, 16 seconds and gives us details from Nolan and Joy. They cover locations, effects, cast and performances, photography, story/characters, stunts, and connected topics. Once again, we find decent information but overall detail remains lacking, so expect another show without great depth.

The set also includes a booklet. This text offers a “Corporate Guidebook” for new employees of Westworld. It becomes a clever and fun addition.

A deft mix of science-fiction, Western and character drama, Westworld opens up its material well. The series boasts top-notch talent and production values to develop into a rich tale of humanity and morality. The Blu-rays offer positive picture and audio as well as a mediocre set of supplements. While I wish the set came with more substantial bonus materials, the series offers more than enough quality material to make this a worthwhile purchase.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.6666 Stars Number of Votes: 3
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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