Crazy Rich Asians 4K Blu-ray Review
My Big Fat Singapore Chinese Wedding
Crazy Rich Asians Film Review
The all-American-Asian, Singapore set Crazy Rich Asians blends My Big Fat Greek Wedding with Meet the Parents for the social media generation.With two sequels already on the way, there's no doubt that the 2018 adaptation of Kevin Kwan's best-seller of the same name was a hit; a veritable celebration of the rich and famous on the other side of the world, enjoying an all-star cast of dubiously ethnically appropriate actors (not quite as controversial as the reverse-casting in Memoirs of a Geisha, but still living up to the generic description of 'Asians', when most of the characters are clearly supposedly to be Chinese) and making for the most successful of director Jon M. Chu's output, having cut his teeth on a number of lacklustre US sequels - two Step Up films, the slightly-better-than-the-first G.I. Joe: Retaliation and the risible Now You See Me 2 - before finally striking gold with what looks to be a guaranteed hit franchise in the making.
A frivolously fun ride which may even have a smattering of heart underneath its glitzy exterior.
The story follows Rachel, a NYU economics professor who gets invited to a wedding in Singapore by her boyfriend Nick, not realising what kind of world of pain she's walking into. Somehow, she never knew that Nick was rich and famous, the son of one of the founding families in Singapore, so when she lands in Singapore, suddenly her every footstep comes under the scrutiny of a wild, social-media-and-status-driven group of 'superiors' who question how she could possibly be worthy of walking alongside (and even potentially marrying) 'the' Nick Young. And that's even before she's met his mother.
Crazy Rich Asians is an exercise in embracing excess and exuberance, and excessive exuberance too (in the case of The Hangover's Ken Jeong), introducing you to a succession of players. From Humans' Gemma Chan to Ex Machina and Annihilation star Sonoya Mizuno, with Star Trek: Discovery's Michelle Yeoh on terrific form as the mother, and Ocean's 8's Awkwafina as Rachel's childhood friend and the only one really in her camp. Relative newcomer star Constance Wu and the more familiar Henry Golding (recently, and far more awkwardly, in A Simple Favour) navigate the ups and downs of such critical spotlight whilst sharing some veritable chemistry and even a few laughs along the way. It's hardly an exercise in originality, but the colourful setting and super-enthusiastic cast go a long way towards making up for that, affording a frivolously fun ride which may even have a smattering of heart underneath its glitzy exterior.
Crazy Rich Asians 4K PictureCrazy Rich Asians comes to UK Ultra HD Blu-ray courtesy of Warner Bros. who afford it the same excellent presentation that their US release delivered. Despite being inherently - at least technically - limited by a 2K Digital Intermediate, the 4K digitally shot feature still looks exceptionally good on the format.
The disc presents a native 3840 x 2160p resolution image utilising the film's original theatrical aspect ratio of widescreen 2.4:1. It uses 10-bit video depth, a Wide Colour Gamut (WCG) and High Dynamic Range (HDR), and is encoded using the HEVC (H.265) codec.
We reviewed the UK Ultra HD Blu-ray release of Crazy Rich Asians on a LG 55B7 Dolby Vision 4K Ultra HD OLED TV with an LG UP970 Dolby Vision 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player.
The 4K digitally shot feature looks exceptionally good on the format.
Detail is superior throughout, delivering exceptional clarity and a suitably glossy look for the vibrant courting and pre-wedding extravagances, taking in the shiny, polished locations, perfect hair and impressive outfits, revelling in the intricacies on offer and providing a nominal but still evident uptick in detail over its 1080p counterpart, affording just that little extra bit of fine observation.
Of course, HDR and WCG make all the difference here, as is almost always the case, but as is also even more evident in such a glossy, colourful extravaganza, with plenty of shimmering gold on offer, and primary glory; the picture frequently coming alive with colour explosions. There's an added richness to the palette too, with a broader range, deeper black levels and more brilliant peak whites, rounding out a presentation which defies its simple 2K DI labelling and remains demo in every way.
Crazy Rich Asians 4K SoundA great track.
Although it doesn't have a Dolby Atmos or DTS:X track - as we're growing increasingly accustomed to for relatively high profile releases (and as IMDB suggests it was mixed for theatrically) - the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track that we do get is largely excellent, revelling in the parties; the live music; the crowded bars and malls, and general insanity of the proceedings, but also attentive during the quieter moments, showing a keenness in observing the minutiae, and not just the helicopters and extravagant parties. Dialogue remains well-prioritised throughout, delivered with clarity and coherence, and effects keep the crowds all-encompassing, and the exterior noises authentic, even if the highlight almost always comes from the music side of things - whether live or otherwise. It's a great track.
Crazy Rich Asians 4K ExtrasA decent selection of additional features.
Crazy Rich Asians delivers a decent selection of additional features, headlined by a strong Audio Commentary from the Director, who is paired with the Author of the source novel (and its sequels), and supported by a short EPK Featurette, a slew of Deleted Scenes, and a very short Gag Reel. The extras are rounded off by some Previews.
Crazy Rich Asians 4K VerdictA great purchase for fans of the film.
Crazy Rich Asians may be a little too much for some (the prologue goes a little hard in the 'all Brits were racist in 1995' department and the whirling social media pop-ups lighting up the screen may be a nail in the coffin) but it's a glitzy, glossy, glamorous and undeniably fun traditional rom-com-with-a-difference. Sure, it would be nice if that difference also involved ethnically correct casting, but considering it's arguably one of the first ever high profile Hollywood films to go all-American-Asian, it's at least progress.
Warner's UK 4K release looks and sounds tremendous, and has a nice selection of extra features to boot, leaving it a great purchase for fans of the film.
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