My Two Cents
Monday, 13 January 2020 18:48

Joker reviewed in 4K, plus the Academy Award nominations are in, and a word on 8K at CES 2020

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As you may have heard, the 2020 Academy Award nominations have been made, and they’re causing a bit of a stir as usual both for who was nominated and who wasn’t.

But before we get to that, we’ve got a new review for you: I’ve taken a look at Todd Philips’ Joker on 4K Ultra HD from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. It’s a reference quality disc and a very good and well-made film that deserves its Best Picture nomination. I also think its star, Joaquin Phoenix, is likely to win a Best Actor Oscar for his performance in the film. But Joker is not... I think... a masterpiece. You’ll have to read the review, in which I elaborate further. The disc definitely gets high marks for its A/V quality though—you 4K really don’t want to miss it.

Now then, we’ve got a couple of topics to cover today. First, as I mentioned, the Oscar nominations were announced this morning. [Read on here...]

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The lead categories include...

Best PictureFord v Ferrari, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Little Women, Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood, Marriage Story, Parasite, 1917

I suspect 1917 has the edge there and it’s nice to see Jojo Rabbit get a nod. I just saw the film last night and it’s quite good—definitely among my favorites of 2019 and some of the sharpest satire since Blazing Saddles and The Death of Stalin. Very good to see Parasite on this list too.

Best DirectorMartin Scorsese (The Irishman), Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood), Bong Joon-ho (Parasite), Sam Mendes (1917), Todd Phillips (Joker)

Best ActressCynthia Erivo (Harriet), Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story), Saoirse Ronan (Little Women), Renée Zellweger (Judy), Charlize Theron (Bombshell)

Best ActorAntonio Banderas (Pain and Glory), Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon a Hollywood), Adam Driver (Marriage Story), Joaquin Phoenix (Joker), Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes)

It’s a big of a surprise not to see Eddie Murphy not get a nod here for his work on Dolemite Is My Name, but frankly there aren’t a whole lot of surprises in the list of nominees.

You can see the whole list here at the official Oscar website.

Now then, there’s one other topic I wanted to touch upon today, and that’s CES 2020...

Here’s the thing: Other than the Ultra HD Association’s announcement that two more major display manufacturers (Samsung and Philips) are going to be supporting Filmmaker Mode—which is great news to be sure—there’s almost no impactful news to come out of the conference in terms of the home video industry.

Yes, lots of new 4K and 8K displays were unveiled at the convention, many thinner and brighter than ever, and some of them even roll-able. But here’s the other thing (and I really feel the need to say this): The more ultra-posh A/V nerds may disagree, but 8K TVs are just ridiculous. Unless you work in medical or satellite imaging, almost literally nobody needs one. I mean, home theater fans already complain about 2K upsamples to 4K on Ultra HD—I hear them do so daily. So I can already hear the cries of “Fake 8K!” cries from the pixel counters.

The idea that Hollywood is going to embrace an 8K physical media format, when many new release films still don’t even have 4K Digital Intermediates is ridiculous. Seriously, there’s a better chance of laserdisc making a comeback than an 8K disc format being supported by the film industry (and actually finding a consumer market).

Now, I don’t say this to be a negative Nelly. But it is an important reality check. 4K Ultra HD is probably the last physical media format we’re going to see in the foreseeable future. So... when you’re making your purchase decisions about new and catalog films on disc, you should act accordingly. Buy the films you want on disc, while you can. Continue to support Blu-ray and 4K for as long as you can, while you can.

Just saying.

Back tomorrow with more. Stay tuned...

(You can follow Bill on social media at these links: Twitter and Facebook)



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