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Gremlins 4K Ultra HD (1984, 2019) - Review

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Gremlins (1983)

To this day, Gremlins remains director Joe Dante’s most successful movie. That seems pretty damn incredible when you consider Dante’s inspired body of work. For my tastes, there’s not a dud in the bunch. From Explorers to Small Soldiers, The Burbs and beyond, Dante is King Creole in my book, which makes this 4K Ultra HD release from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment a truly special thing. I mean, consider that this movie happens during the Christmas season and, well, this flick – especially with hours of bonus material – makes for a solid stocking stuffer.

"Gremlins is more than a classic film. It is a rite of passage"


Written by Chris Columbus, Gremlins is the madcap tale of what happens when a cute and cuddly mogwai named Gizmo (voiced by Howie Mandel) comes to stay with Billy Peltzer (Zach Galligan), gets wet, and is fed after midnight. All things that should never happen, according to Mr. Wing (Keye Luke) who warns Billy’s father, a struggling inventor, when he purchases the pet. It is good advice; however, it goes unheeded thanks to Pete (Corey Feldman) and an unfortunate series of events which fall in the wake of water accidentally being spilled on poor Gizmo’s fur.

Gizmo knows his offshoots are nothing but trouble. We don’t yet. How could these cute and cuddly creatures EVER be deadly? Dante and Columbus, thankfully go where more successful directors would fear to tread and embrace the anarchy of these Looney Tunes-like characters and invite all sorts of madcap and violent fun as the small town of Kingston Falls, knee-deep in the Christmas season, gets wrapped up in some creature-caused chaos.

Led by Spike, the five mogwai created in the wake of the spilled water accident start their plotting to get fed after midnight rather quickly. They want to destroy all things once bright and beautiful around the town and they also want to mutate into their worst selves: reptilian-like creatures with mischief on their minds, creating more and more monsters with which to burn the town down with.Gremlins (1983)

Full of unsettling (yet hilarious) Christmas-themed set pieces, Gremlins earns its stripes (pun intended) as one of the best Christmas movies out there. And that’s thanks to Dante’s swift direction, who lets the madness of the movie be exactly what it is: gag a minute monster mayhem. This is, after all, a director who loves his E.C. Comics, grew up on a steady diet of B-movies, and worked with Roger Corman on some of the producer’s best-known flicks.

With a cast of characters that includes Phoebe Cates as Kate Beringer, Judge Reinhold as Gerald Hopkins, Dick Miller as Murray Futterman, Jackie Joseph as Sheila Futterman, Polly Holliday as Mrs. Ruby Deagle, and Scott Brady as Sheriff Frank Reilly, Gremlins is all about embracing the purity of what it is: an anarchy-embracing creature feature.

Gremlins is more than a classic film. It is a rite of passage and now, thanks to Warner Bros, the film is now in 4K, looking brighter and merrier than ever before.

5/5 beers

Gremlins (1983)

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Warner Bros.
Available on Blu-ray
- October 1, 2019
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, French, German SDH, Italian SDH, Japanese, Cantonese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Hungarian, Mandarin (Simplified), Mandarin (Traditional), Norwegian, Russian, Swedish, Thai
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit); French: Dolby Digital 5.1; German: Dolby Digital 5.1; Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0; Czech: Dolby Digital 2.0; Hungarian: Dolby Digital 2.0; Russian: Dolby Digital 5.1; Japanese: Dolby Digital 2.0
Discs: 4K Ultra HD; Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE), this beloved creature feature will be released on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital on October 1st. The Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack will include previously released special features, including an audio commentary by Dante.

Video:

The film is expertly color graded and the color saturation provides minute detail puncturing, replicated here in great moments of detail, textures in the city, and atmospheric environmentals as one small town gets the Gremlin treatment. The fun-loving mood is sharpened throughout the feature by the costumes and the puppets. Fortunately, even threads are visible in this fine presentation. The transfer handles all the happenings expertly. Blacks are deep and colors, as mentioned early, are varied and supple.

Audio:

The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track that accompanies the picture is just as strong, rattling window frames and walls with its immersive field of sound.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • See Special Features for details about the commentary.

Special Features:

While the featurettes have been issued before, having them ported over onto the new 4K transfer – which includes a Digital Copy – is more reason to celebrate.

  • Filmmakers’ Commentary with Director Joe Dante, Producer Michael Finnell and Special Effects Artist Chris Walas
  • Cast Commentary with Director Joe Dante, Zack Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Dick Miller, and Howie Mandel
  • Gremlins: Behind the Scenes Featurette
  • Additional Scenes with Commentary
  • Photo Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • Additional Scenes
  • Cute. Clever. Mischievous. Intelligent: Making Gremlins
  • Gremlins: The Gift of the Mogwai (motion comic)
  • The Last Gremlin (motion comic)
  • From Gizmo to Gremlins: Creating the Creatures
  • Hangin’ with Hoyt on the set of Gremlins

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 5/5 stars
  Video  5/5 stars
  Audio 5/5 stars
  Extras 4/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

4.5/5 stars

Gremlins (1983)

MPAA Rating: PG.
Runtime:
106 mins
Director
: Joe Dante
Writer:
Chris Columbus
Cast:
Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Hoyt Axton
Genre
: Horror | Comedy
Tagline:
You can't get burned seeing 'Gremlins'!.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Now I have another reason to hate Christmas."
Theatrical Distributor:
Warner Bros.
Official Site:
Release Date:
June 8, 1984
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
October 1, 2019
Synopsis: A boy inadvertently breaks three important rules concerning his new pet and unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town.

Gremlins (1983)

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