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The Natural 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray (1984) - Blu-ray Review

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The Natural (1984)

Swing for the lights! 

I am not sure there is any other film in cinema that screams out AMERICANA as much as The Natural does.  It is steeped in everything that makes AND breaks America.  This story, about the rise and the fall and the redemption of one baseball player, continues to work its magic.  And, now on 4K Ultra HD for its 35th anniversary, this sports movie – slow motion pitches and red sunsets and all – just looks damn magical.

"I can think of no better way to celebrate Father’s Day then with a viewing of The Natural"


And where do I even begin with the score from Randy Newman.  Up against the cinematography from Caleb Deschanel, it is the perfect marriage, making The Natural THE best sports movie ever made.  Fight me if you disagree. 

The scene, early on, when Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford) makes his bat out of the tree that was struck by lightning and we get the first hint at the theme?  Oh, man.  The chills.  The feels.  That lump in the throat.  Yeah it’s all there.  This film, directed by Barry Levinson, is STILL earnest in its roll out, quiet in its execution, and absolutely AMAZING in its treatment of the American Dream.  Of course, this is a movie for baseball fans.  Is it necessary to find favor in this film?  Probably not, but it helps.

And then there is the cast: Redford, Robert Duvall, Glenn Close, Kim Basinger, Wilford Brimley, Joe Don Baker, Richard Farnsworth, Darren McGavin, Barbara Hershey, and Michael Madsen.  Every one hits a bright note here, contributing to the success and failure of a rising baseball player, Roy Hobbs, drawing the interest of the Chicago Cubs, who is shot by a femme fatale and, sixteen years later, winds up on the awful New York Knights, who get the same speech every night after losing their games. 

And they aren’t sure that they want him; they seem content being losers and Hobbs came here to play ball.  It is a long battle back into the game for Hobbs.  Ironically enough, it is an unfortunate death that gets him on the field.  But what he brings to the game and to the team is a lot of heart and natural talent, but there is a lot more to The Natural that makes it a VERY special film and words won't do it justice; this film must be experienced.The Natural (1984)

To help celebrate The Natural’s EPIC specialness, Sony’s new 4K release includes both the theatrical and the Director’s Cut of the movie, a making-of the movie called Creating The Natural, and a lot of other supplemental materials highlighting the heart and the magic of this film. 

The man, the myth, the magic of Roy Hobbs and a bat named Wonderboy returns this week in 4K.  I can think of no better way to celebrate Father’s Day then with a viewing of The Natural.

5/5 beers

The Natural (1984)

Blu-ray

Blu-ray/4K UHD Details:

Home Video Distributor: Sony Pictures
Available on Blu-ray
- June 4, 2019
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English, English SDH, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Korean, Mandarin (Traditional), Norwegian, Polish, Russian, Swedish, Thai, Turkish
Audio:
English: Dolby Atmos; English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0; German: Dolby Digital 2.0; Italian: Dolby Digital 2.0; Japanese: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0; Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set; Digital copy; Movies Anywhere; 4K Ultra HD
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

This 4K release from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment contains both the Theatrical version and the Directors Cut of The Natural with HDR, Dolby Atmos audio for both versions, along with the original theatrical stereo audio and 5.1 audio for the Theatrical version, and 5.1 audio for the Directors Cut.  The image is crisp and black levels – especially at the pier – absolutely POP.  Colors are bold, bright, and shadows are thick with lines and deep blacks.  The night scenes – and there are a lot of them – are detailed and heavy with edges.  The colors are bold enough.  Saturation levels are on point and so too is the restored audio, appearing here in a DTS-HD master audio HD track.  Presented with a widescreen 1.85:1 aspect ratio, Starman has never looked as good as it does here.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

The Ultra HD and Blu-ray and Digital 4K release of The Natural contains what has been released before on the Director’s Cut Blu-ray.  There is nothing new.  Fans get the featurette "The Heart of the Natural," a 44-minute documentary, "When Lightning Strikes: Creating The Natural," a 50-minute documentary, "Knights in Shining Armor," and "A Natural Gunned Down" which tells the story of Eddie Waitkus, a baseball player who was shot by Ruth Ann Steinhagen, which obviously inspired author Bernard Malamud.

  • Barry Levinson Intro to the Directors Cut
  • The Heart of the Natural
  • When Lightning Strikes
  • Knights in Shining Armor
  • Clubhouse Conversations
  • Extra Innings
  • A Natural Gunned Down
  • Theatrical Trailer

Blu-ray Rating:

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

Overall Blu-ray Experience

5/5 stars

The Natural (1984)

MPAA Rating: PG.
Runtime:
138 mins
Director
: Barry Levinson
Writer:
Roger Towne
Cast:
Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, Glenn Close
Genre
: Sports | Drama
Tagline:
Boyhood dreams, a bat made from a tree struck by lightning and most importantly, a never-ending passion for the game.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Well you're better than any player I ever had. And you're the best God damn hitter I ever saw. Suit up."
Theatrical Distributor:
TriStar Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
October 23, 1987
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
June 4, 2019
Synopsis: An unknown comes seemingly out of nowhere to become a legendary player with almost divine talent.

The Natural (1984)

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