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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Comedy > Surrealism > Horror > The Shape Of Water (2017/Fox 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)

The Shape Of Water (2017/Fox 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)

Picture: A/B+ Sound: B+ Extras: B- Film: B+

The Oscar Winner for Best Picture amongst several other prestigious rewards is visionary director Guillermo Del Toro's The Shape of Water (2017). Loosely inspired by Universal's classic The Creature from the Black Lagoon and its sequels, Shape features a mer-man (Doug Jones - who played Abe Sapien, a similar character in Del Toro's Hellboy films) that falls in love with a mute (Sally Hawkins) whilst in captivity at a secret government facility.

Heartwarming, at times silly, and ultimately romantic, Del Toro's signature writing and visual style are all over this film in what has been his most popular title since his award winning Pans Labyrinth many years ago. Fusing the quirkiness of Amelie with the fairy tale quality of E.T. and Del Toro's R-rated touch, The Shape of Water is a unique and incredible film.

Personally, I think Guillermo Del Toro has in many ways replaced Tim Burton as the curator of unique macabre cinema. Every one of Guillermo's films features a monster, a trend that he claims won't end throughout his exciting career. I'm a hardcore fan of his films and anticipated this project upon first hearing about it a year ago and am so happy that it has gotten the attention that it justly deserves after awards season. Now thanks to Fox, the film is available in 4K Ultra HD in a cinematic presentation that is on par with its original theatrical exhibition and a must have for Del Toro fans. Universal should be banging on Del Toro's door daily (again) in an attempt for him to godfather the Dark Universe films... maybe with someone of his caliber those films would be closer to their timeless source material.

The Shape of Water also stars Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Octavia Spencer, and Michael Stuhlbarg.

Set in 1962 doing the Cold War era, Elisa (Hawkins) works a low paying job as a janitor at a government research facility. Unable to speak due to a horrific incident as a child, Elisa still manages to have a few close friends including Zelda (Spencer) and Giles (Jenkins), who is a gay starving artist who lives next door to her. When a top secret experiment rolls into work, Elisa finds herself drawn to the unusual creature - an aquatic mer-man who is from South America and more than just an animal in captivity. After witnessing the cruelty being bestowed to this poor creature at the hands of Strickland (Shannon) and others, Elisa hatches a plan to free the Creature from the facility (along with the help of her friends) and falls in love with it along the way...

Shape is presented in stunning 2160p HEVC/H.265, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image is quite the sight to behold on disc. T he film has a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and a great sounding DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless track that sounds fine but one has to wonder why they didn't go with a 7.1 mix or DTS: X 11.1 for that matter. At any rate, the award winning score by Alexandre Desplat stands out through the mix and the beautiful cinematography shines through four times more detail than standard 1080p. The film has primarily green and yellow tones, even in many of the scenes set in the real world. Also included is the 1080p Blu-ray version with similar specs and a fine presentation for that format as well, but without the color range, depth or detail here.

Special Features, which are in 1080p and on the Blu-ray edition, include...

A Fairy Tale for Troubled Times

Anatomy of a Scene: Prologue

Anatomy of a Scene: The Dance

Shaping the Waves: A Conversation with James Jean

Guillermo del Toro's Master Class

Theatrical Trailers

Hopefully due to this film's success, Del Toro can continue making high budgeted and high concept films that stem purely from his imagination. It has been widely known that the director has a passion for iconic Sci-Fi author H.P. Lovecraft and would love to adapt In The Mountains of Madness to the big screen. Let's hope that happens soon... but regardless I'm there on day one for anything that Del Toro comes up with next.

- James Lockhart



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