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Pan’s Labyrinth 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray (2006, 2019) - Blu-ray Review

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Pan's Labyrinth

Pan’s Labyrinth premiered at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival where it received a 22-minute standing ovation, followed by its North American premiere at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival.  The critically-acclaimed film won multiple awards, including three Academy Awards, three BAFTA Awards, the Ariel Award for Best Picture, the Saturn Award for Best International Film, and the 2007 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form.  The film also appeared on more than 20 critic’s top ten lists for 2006. It is now, thanks to Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, being released on Ultra HD!

"This release, especially in 4K resolution, is NOT to be missed."


Having cut his teeth on oral folk stories passed down through the ages, Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pacific Rim, The Shape of Water), turns his childhood fascination with Grimm's Fairy Tales into Pan's Labyrinth, a darkly disturbing yet mesmerizing R-rated, Spanish language fairly-tale set in the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War. The film carries on del Toro's legacy of mixing horror and fantasy into a huge pot of Gothic sensibility while stirring with a long spoon of insight into the human condition. Starting with the much-heralded Cronos, del Toro has honed his skills of using man-made evil and wrong-doing as a symbol of horror. Look at his filmography and you will see a thread that is similarly woven into his other films.  In Pan's Labyrinth, man's evil is represented by the violence of the Spanish Civil War.

As the movie opens, adolescent Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) and her very pregnant mother Carmen (Ariadna Gil), are driving to be with Carmen's new husband, fascist Captain Vidal (Sergi Lopez), who heads-up a remote military outpost and is charged with dispatching the remaining bands of rebels who are continuing to wage war against the brutal government of Generalissimo Francisco Franco in 1944 Spain.

Carmen is anxious for her daughter to meet the man to whom she has entrusted their future. But Ofelia is more interested in her books and the fairy-like dragonfly that captures her eye during a roadside stop. Upon arrival, led by the same dragonfly, Ofelia immediately begins to explore an aged, moss-covered stone labyrinth with intricately carved details and confusing pathways.

Through her exploration of the labyrinth, Ofelia is introduced to a realm of lore whose ambassador, a satyr named Pan (a latex-laden Doug Jones), tells her of her secret destiny and of the tasks she must complete to fulfill this pre-ordained fate. Ofelia's adventures in the dark and earthy netherworld, complete with giant scaly toads and a baby-eating ogre with eyes in its palms, are brilliantly paralleled in her world of reality. Pan's Labyrinth

As in most of his films, del Toro uses tales of fantasy and the supernatural to confront the violence of the real world. In this case, Ofelia's fairy-tale adventures help her understand and cope with the war raging around her. Pan's Labyrinth is a beautifully ugly film that emits an odor of pungent earthiness, kind of like clay and rotting leaves. It's a dark film, not only in its messages, but in the way the film is photographed as well. In fact, a bit too dark in some segments. But credit del Toro's sense of visual panache and his ability to create rich environments with bringing the tale to life with such resplendent vividness.

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE), the critically acclaimed fantasy will be released on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital on October 1st. The Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack will include more than seven hours of previously released special features, including an audio commentary by Guillermo del Toro.

This release, especially in 4K resolution, is NOT to be missed.

5/5 beers

Pan's Labyrinth

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital HD

Home Video Distributor: Warner Bros.
Available on Blu-ray
- October 1, 2019
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English, English SDH, Spanish
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; two-disc set
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE), the critically acclaimed fantasy will be released on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital on October 1st.  The Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack will include more than seven hours of previously released special features, including an audio commentary by Guillermo del Toro.

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 beneath the surface. The mood is sharpened throughout the feature by the costumes. 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:

  • Found on the Ultra HD disc, the audio commentary from Guillermo del Toro is, like the movie, a spellbinding affair.  There is much detail and there is much love that went into the recording.

Special Features:

With a detailed commentary by Guillermo del Toro found on one disc, the other disc (the blu-ray) best live up to expectations, too.  It does as it features a video prologue by del Toro and four featurettes detailing the making of the movie, its creature designs, and its overall look.

  • Audio commentary by Guillermo del Toro
  • Video prologue by Guillermo del Toro
  • The Power of Myth
  • The Faun and the Fairies
  • The Color and the Shape
  • The Director’s Notebook

Blu-ray Rating:

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

Overall Blu-ray Experience

4.5/5 stars

Pan's Labyrinth

MPAA Rating: R for graphic violence and some language.
Runtime:
118 mins
Director
: Guillermo del Toro
Writer:
Guillermo del Toro
Cast:
Ivana Baquero, Ariadna Gil, Sergi López
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
An imaginative gothic fairytale for adults set in Spain during World War II.
Memorable Movie Quote: "You'll meet her, she's very pretty, even though sometimes she's sad for many days at a time. You'll see, when she smiles, you'll love her."
Theatrical Distributor:
Picturehouse
Official Site:
Release Date:
December 29, 2006
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
October 1, 2019
Synopsis: In the Falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world.

Pan's Labyrinth

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