After all the sniffy reviews I've seen for this film, I have to say that I really enjoyed this. One thing they all got right though is that it is an utter visual feast - every single shot is stunning and Verbinski has produced one of the most visually arresting films I think I've ever seen. Elements of Kubrick (the stillness and precision of the The Shining), Powell and Pressburger (the chilly yet beautiful compositions of Black Narcissus) and for me, mainly classic Argento (the mix of the striking and the almost mundane of Suspiria), the film is shot after shot of simply gorgeous composition, supported by wonderful gothic, art deco design of pretty much everything.
That alone would be enough for me (seriously its that stunning to watch), but I thought its script also mirrored these visual inspirations - if Shutter Island is the 40s noir version of this story (man goes to asylum to find someone and ends up caught in a game of 'what's real and what's not'), then this is the Argento/Bava version of the same story - surreal, beautiful with a touch of manic insanity. Its languid yes and it takes its own sweet time to get anywhere, but the look and sound of the film help it through - it goes a little gonzo at the end when we descend into almost gothic B-movie territory, but again, loving those Italian genre films of the 60s and 70s means I'm ready for the shift into almost campness that the rest of the film doesn't have.
Its well played by all (hello to Jason Isaacs!) - even Dane DeHaan doesn't annoy as much as he usually does! I loved the score almost as much as the visuals - the return of a leitmotif helped anchor the music with the rest of the film and I'm even humming that little creepy ear worm of a ditty as I type. Overall, I really liked this, but I can see why others didn't - fans of the likes of Bava and Argento will probably enjoy this more than those expecting something a little more mainstream. But everyone certainly can appreciate its a simply stunning looking and sounding movie.
And its more than ably supported with the transfer - simply put its one of the very best I've ever seen, even on UHD. Levels of fine detail that seem to go on forever, rock solid colours that are as rich as the design needs it to be or as bleak, its utterly stunning. And far from me to moan about the lack of an Atmos track, the lossless 7.1 track has an immediacy that only the best object-based soundtracks have. The room disappears and you are surrounded by sound, I fact if I didn't know better I would almost swear I was listening to an Atmos track! Extras are pathetic - 'meditations' are little more than 2 minute PSAs for the clinic that are dull as and there's no making of to further explore the look and design of the film. A huge waste.
Summary - I really enjoyed this very European feeling gothic drama: its a complete visual and aural feast that isn't afraid to let the viewers wallow in it rather than propelling between plot point A to get to plot point B. A stunning transfer is only slightly let down by the paltry set of extras, but that's no big deal. It will polarise and as many will loathe it as love it, but count me in as one for the love it camp.
A Cure for Wellness User Review
Simply put, one of the most sumptuous cinematic treats you will ever seeReview of A Cure for Wellness Blu-ray by Coz22998, Jul 9, 2017.This item was purchased for $17.99 from Walmart (US) in 2017. The reviewer still owns this product.