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  1. #1
    Senior Member David Vaughn's Avatar
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    Shape of Water (UHD Blu-ray) review

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    Plot
    From master storyteller, Guillermo del Toro, comes THE SHAPE OF WATER, an otherworldly fairy tale set against the backdrop of Cold War-era America circa 1962. In the hidden, high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa’s life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment. Rounding out the cast are Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Michael Stuhlbarg and Doug Jones.

    My Thoughts
    I never got to see this on Blu-ray but when I saw it was finally being released in 4K I was able to obtain a review copy from Fox. It’s rare that I don’t go out of my way to view the Best Picture nominees, but the topic of this movie didn’t really enthrall me and frankly, this year’s crop of Best Picture nominees was arguably the weakest in the last 20 years. Even so, I would have given the Best Picture nod to Darkest Hour or Dunkirk.

    Regardless, I didn’t hate this movie by any stretch (although my wife didn’t care much for it). It’s a fable and as such, you have to suspend belief. My biggest gripe with the film is that it checks virtually every Hollywood box of stereotypes which are too numerous to list here, but you’ll know what I mean when watching the film.

    On the plus side the musical score is fantastic and definitely deserved the Oscar, the directing was excellent as well (and also won), and I found the cinematography to be mesmerizing and can see why it was nominated but ultimately lost to Bladerunner 2049.


    Video 9.5/10 (MVC)

    Audio 8.5/10 (DTS-HD MA 5.1)


    Special Features:

    • A Fairy Tale for Troubled Times
    • Anatomy of a Scene: Prologue
    • Anatomy of a Scene: The Dance
    • Shaping the Waves: A Conversation with James Jean
    • Guillermo del Toro’s Master Class
    • Theatrical Trailers
    • Blu-ray + Digital Copy




    Conclusion
    Maybe my expectations were too high going into this given all the Oscar nominations and wins, but I found it to be somewhat middling in the story department, but it excelled in its acting, directing, and production value. The 4K presentation is definitely the way to watch this because it showcases the phenomenal cinematography with exemplary use of HDR and WCG. If I were to get a vote for Best Picture, it would have been The Greatest Showman, which is something I've been able to watch multiple times since its release on 4K, but maybe it suits my tastes more. Regardless, this is an easy one to recommend for fans of the film.
    David Vaughn
    Technical Writer/Blu-ray Reviewer
    Sound and Vision Magazine

  2. #2
    Senior Member NoUDont's Avatar
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    I really liked the film. Production value is off the charts! Sets, costumes, lighting, effects. I get what ur saying Dave about checking off Hollywood's checklist, but i think thats the point of fables. That is, to exaggerate the normal.

    Now, this is an ADULT fable, as u will be able to tell from the opening scene. I love Del Toro for films like this, Pan's Labyrinth and the underrated Crimson Peak. Just beautiful to watch and extremely enjoyable.

  3. #3
    Senior Member David Vaughn's Avatar
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    I think my expectations were much too high and I'll revisit it again in another year or so to see if I like it more. Octavia Spencer is outstanding and I should have said that in the original review.
    David Vaughn
    Technical Writer/Blu-ray Reviewer
    Sound and Vision Magazine

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