Sunday, March 5, 2023

Digital Review: Empire of Light


Director and writer Sam Mendes brings us a drama about human connection during turbulent times.  We find ourselves in a coastal English town in the 1980s. We meet Hilary (Olivia Colman), a manager of the local movie theater and struggling with mental health issues. New employee Stephen (Michael Ward) looks to leave this town where he faces racial issues each and every day. These two unlikely souls find each other and learn about the power of movies and community.

Sadly, the movie suffers from a script that is not engaging for the audience. Perhaps it is the subject matter that makes the film feel depressing and joyless. The saving grace is the brilliant cinematography by Roger Deakins. The vintage theater becomes a character and conveys mood in many of the scenes. 

Video Quality:

The 1080p image here is striking. From facial textures to color reproduction, the vivid imagery pushes the HD image as far as it can go. Black levels are deep and inky. The field of depth is natural with no blur at all. 

Audio Quality:

The 5.1 track is solid here. The dialogue, score and sound effects are all loud and clear and yet never get in the way of one another. The rear channels are put to good use as well creating a nice ambiance in each scene. 

Bonus Features:


  • Creating Empire of Light - Go behind the scenes of this personal film with writer-director Sam Mendes, and uncover the story’s origins and the director’s love of cinema. See how the perfect location was found to rebuild a classic movie theater that had the cast in awe.

Empire of Light is a depressing tale that does have wonderful video and audio. There is only one bonus feature. This is recommended as a rental or viewed on a streaming service before deciding if this needs to be a purchase.

*The movie was provided by Walt Disney Home Entertainment for the sole purpose of review. The review is solely my own opinion.*

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