• The Green Knight (Lionsgate) UHD/Blu-ray Review

    Released by: Lionsgate
    Released on: October 12th, 2021.
    Director: David Lowery
    Cast: Dev Patel, Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton, Sarita Choudhury, Sean Harris
    Year: 2021
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    The Green Knight – Movie Review:

    Directed, written, edited and produced by David Lowery and based on the English poem Sir Gawain And The Green Knight (penned anonymously in the late 14th-century), 2021’s The Green Knight opens in a brothel where Sir Gawain (Dev Patel) is woken up on Christmas morning by his ‘commoner’ girlfriend Essel (Alicia Vikander). He heads back to Camelot and after being chastised for his behavior by his mother, Morgana le Fay (Sarita Choudhury), takes his seat at The Round Table with his uncle, King Arthur (Sean Harris).

    Elsewhere, Morgana summons The Green Knight who enters Arthur's court and challenges any knight to land a blow on him to win his green axe. The catch is that whoever does this must receive the same from The Green Knight in one year's time. Gawain accepts and uses Excalibur to cleave The Green Knight's head off.

    A year passes and Arthur sends Gawain off to Green Chapel to honor his end of the bargain. He sets out on horseback and not too long after his departure is ambushed, his axe, girdle and horse all stolen in the fracas. Afterwards, he encounters a ghost named Winifred (Erin Kellyman) who asks him to find her missing head located nearby. When he does so, he finds his stolen axe. From here, he meets a fox that follows him on his quest. That night, when he takes refuge in the castle of a Lord (Joel Edgerton) the Lady of the castle (Viakdner again) attempts to seduce him. That morning, his girdle is returned to him. Nearly once again prepared to face The Green Knight, Gawain's journey becomes increasingly strange as he prepares to meet his fate.

    A slow moving, languid and dreamlike story of adventure and romance, The Green Knight is sure to disappoint those hoping for a traditional action picture but it is an impressive technical achievement even if the odd pacing of the film will no doubt turn some viewers off. The visuals, however, are nothing short of wholly impressive, this is in beautiful looking film full of fantastic cinematography, great costuming and some very memorable set pieces and design work. In fact, it’s pretty easy to get lost in the visuals even when the film, which clocks in at two hours and ten minutes in length, just sort of plods along.

    Performances are pretty strong across the board. Dev Patel is an interesting choice to play Gawain and he makes the role his own. His character is flawed and human, but likeable and interesting to watch. He’s a good actor and makes the most of the part. Alicia Vikander is solid in her dual role and Saria Choudhury pretty impressive as Morgana. Sean Harris proves to be a good choice to play King Arthur, bringing the right amount of presence to his part.

    It’s a weird and meandering film that could have used some more judicious editing, but The Green Knight has got enough solid acting and more than enough atmosphere to carry things through to the end.

    The Green Knight – UHD Review:

    Lionsgate brings The Green Knight to UHD in an HEVC encoded 2160p high definition transfer with HDR framed at 1.85.1 widescreen. Shot digitally, the image is as spotless as you’d expect, the transfer doing a great job of replicating the movie’s odd color scheme. There’s loads of depth, texture and detail here and compared to the included Blu-ray disc, which looks great by the standard of that format, it’s clear that the encode takes full advantage of the higher resolution and HDR to create a noticeably more impressive viewing experience. It results in an impressive and beautiful picture.

    Audio options are provided in Dolby Atmos and 24-bit Dolby TrueHD 7.1. Removable subtitles are offered in English SDH and Spanish. The Atmos track is reference quality stuff, quite aggressive and enveloping when it needs to be, but even during the calmer, quieter moments there’s a lot to listen for, such as little background details or subtleties in the score. The audio is perfectly balanced and crystal clear, it sounds great.

    The biggest and best of the extras on the disc is Boldest Of Blood & Wildest Of Heart: Making The Green Knight. This is a thirty-five minutes featurette made up of interviews with pretty much all of the core cast and crew members, each of whom elaborates on their respective roles, what went into getting this unique picture made, the effects, collaborations and much more. The fifteen minute Practitioners Of Magic: Visual Effects spends some time with the crew that did most of the digital effects work, which were applied over the live action footage shot during production rather than by using a more traditional green screen for the shoot. Illuminating Technique: Title Design is an eighteen minute fun interview with title designer Teddy Blanks who speaks pretty bluntly about the trials and tribulations of getting the film’s interesting title sequences put together – it’s a lot more interesting than you might expect it to be.

    Outside of that, we get a theatrical trailer for the feature, menus and chapter selection options. Lionsgate bundles the UHD disc with a Blu-ray disc and an insert for a digital HD download version of the movie and a slipcover.

    The Green Knight - The Final Word:

    A deliberately paced but beautiful adaptation of Sir Gawain And The Green Knight, this certainly isn’t a film for all tastes but if you’re in the right frame of mind, it’s an impressive achievement in filmmaking. Lionsgate’s UHD release offers an excellent presentation and some decent extra features that explore the film’s background. Recommended!

    Click on the images below for full sized The Green Knight Blu-ray screen caps that don’t look as good as the UHD reviewed above (but reviews without screen caps are boring)!