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Requiem For A Dream 4K UHD Review

Be excited for the “Requiem For A Dream” 4K.

Based on the novel by Hubert Selby, Jr., 2000’s “Requiem For A Dream” tells the story of 4 individuals in NY falling victim to drug addiction all while they try to seek a better life. Harold dreams of opening a clothing store with his girlfriend Marion and hopes to sell drugs in order to get rich, but Harold’s heroin addiction catches up with him. Marion’s store dreams becomes derailed by her own heroin addiction and she begins to sell herself essentially in order to get the next fix. Tyrone (Harold’s pal and biz partner) hopes to escape his dive home and make his mother proud. Harold’s mother Sara, meanwhile, falls for a scam to be on TV. Wanting to look good and lose weight for her alleged TV appearance, she turns to diet pills which causes a severe downward spiral.

Make no mistake about it, “Requiem For A Dream” (the director’s cut to be exact) is a tough watch that is filled with anxiety inducing moments and a sense of soul crushing hopelessness. It’s not exactly a movie you will want to revisit much, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an artfully made and impactful story about addiction, routines, failure, and chasing dreams. Director Darren Aronofsky (who co-wrote the script alongside author Hubert Selby, Jr.) created a stylish and faithful adaptation that packs an emotional wallop. There’s nothing Hollywood or watered down about this bleak story which is rare. It tells an unfiltered story of the tragic downfall of these characters. It also signaled just how talented of a filmmaker Aronofsky was before he went on to make other acclaimed gems like “The Fighter” and “Black Swan.”

The performances here are fantastic across the board. Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher McDonald (as Tappy the motivational speaker) and Marlon Wayans (who should really do more dramatic work) are all deeply dedicated to their roles, but it’s Ellen Burstyn as Sara that wows the most. She truly throws herself into a very physical (and often isolated) role. It’s no wonder she was nominated for an Oscar for her performance. 

Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of this entire film is the music by Clint Mansell and the Kronos Quartet. It is truly a score for the ages. Not only is this haunting score frequently sampled since its release, but it’s simply one of the best of all time. It elevates every scene.


Presentation: 1.85:1 2160p. How does it look? In honor of the film’s 20th anniversary, the film gets a new 4K transfer that provides a nice upgrade which also maintains that grit and grain of the original print.

Audio Track: Dolby Atmos. How does it sound? An effective track to be sure.

* Blu-ray copy
* Digital copy
* 2 commentary tracks- one by Darren Aronofsky and the other by DP Matthew Libatique.
* “Ellen Burstyn On Requiem For A Dream”- A new 16 minute interview with the actress.
* “Transcendent Moments: The Score Of Requiem For A Dream”- A new 17 minute interview with composer Clint Mansell.
* “Revisiting Requiem For A Dream”- Another new extra about Aronofsky and ‘Requiem.”
* The last of the new extras is titled “On Set: 1999” which features behind-the-scenes footage and cast and crew interviews.
* 9 deleted scenes
* A making of featurette
* The self-explanatory “Memories, Dreams And Addictions: Ellen Burstyn Interviews Hubert Selby, Jr.”
* 2 theatrical trailers and 2 TV spots

November 12, 2020 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | , , , , , ,

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