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The Shape Of Water Blu-ray Review

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“The Shape Of Water” is arguably Guillermo Del Toro’s best work to date.

“The Shape Of Water” is a mish mash of genres and a collection of everything that film geek, director and co-writer Guillermo Del Toro holds dear. It’s a creature feature (namely one in the vein of “Creature From The Black Lagoon”), a fairy tale, a Cold War spy film, a period piece, a romance, an ode to cinema with a touch of sci-fi. The story itself is about a mute cleaner (Elisa) that works in a secret Government lab. As she soon finds out, the lab staff is studying a mysterious amphibious humanoid creature. Eventually, Elisa begins to bond with and fall for the creature. Obviously, there’s more going on with the story than just that, but I’m not here to spoil it for you.

On paper, “The Shape Of Water” seems like an oddity that wouldn’t work, but writers Vanessa Taylor and Guillermo Del Toro have crafted something special here. While there are clear influences from stories such as “Beauty and the Beast,” there’s much more going on with this film thematically. At its heart, it’s a relevant and timely story about love, compassion, and acceptance in a time of fear, racism and hatred. It’s the type of film that runs the gamut of emotions. It’s enchanting, it’s dark, it’s stressful and it’s moving all at once. It’s also beautiful thanks to Del Toro’s always stunning visual style.

Another thing ‘Shape’ has going for it is an extraordinary cast. I honestly wish all of the main players were nominated for an Academy Award because they were that good. Veteran actress Sally Hawkins is in peak form as the lonely mute cleaning lady Elisa. Octavia Butler crushes it once again as Elisa’s humorous and loyal friend and co-worker. Richard Jenkins gives the film’s best performance in my humble opinion as Elisa’s gay friend/starving advertising illustrator. Michael Stuhlbarg is seemingly in everything these days and you can see why thanks to his impressive turn as a secretive Government scientist. Michael Shannon amazes yet again as the crazed villainous Colonel in charge of the project. Last, but not least you can’t forget Doug Jones as the amphibious man. Jones had a hell of a year in 2017 between this and his fantastic performance as Commander Saru in “Star Trek: Discovery.” He truly is a master of playing creatures and aliens. It’s no wonder Del Toro uses him so frequently.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? The film’s distinct color palette looks glorious in hi-def.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? This 5.1 track is perfect for this film. Everything from the score to the sound FX is crisp and clear.

Extras: DVD copy, Digital copy, Fox trailers, 3 theatrical trailers, a 4 part extra titled “A Fairy Tale For Troubled Times” that covers the themes, story, the creation of the creature, the production design, and Alexandre Desplat’s beautiful score, 2 extras titled “Anatomy Of A Scene: Prologue” and “Anatomy Of A Scene: The Dance” in which Guillermo Del Toro talks about the opening sequence and the dance sequence, the featurette “Shaping The Waves: A Conversation With James Jean” includes an interview with the artist, and last, but not least is a roundtable Q&A discussion about the technical aspects of “The Shape of Water” titled “Guillermo Del Toro’s Master Class.”

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March 14, 2018 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , ,

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