Sound & Vision - - ENTERTAINMENT - Chris Chiarella

Di­rec­tor/Pro­ducer Steven Soder­bergh is an ad­mirably free thinker, a true cre­ative with an eye on the fu­ture of film­mak­ing. He’s very par­tic­u­lar about the projects he chooses, emerg­ing from pseudo-re­tire­ment to di­rect his lat­est, Lo­gan Lucky. Made largely out­side the Hol­ly­wood sys­tem he walked away from, it still man­aged to score some A-list tal­ent on a mod­est bud­get, with James Bond and Kylo Ren likely wel­com­ing the op­por­tu­nity to play against type, as a down-on-his-luck ex­plo­sives ex­pert and a good­hearted sad-sack, re­spec­tively. Star Chan­ning Ta­tum plays it safe as yet an­other nice guy with a bad-boy streak, will­ing to do any­thing for his daugh­ter. This time out, that means ig­nor­ing his fam­ily curse and risk­ing ev­ery­thing to knock off the Char­lotte Mo­tor Speed­way, home of NASCAR. Lo­gan Lucky soon re­veals it­self as a heist flick, and an ex­tremely en­ter­tain­ing one at that, full of quirky char­ac­ters and no short­age of laughs. But in big ways and small it’s also quite de­riv­a­tive of Soder­bergh’s Ocean’s ( In­sert Num­ber Here) movies. There are al­ready three of those, with a fourth on the way, so the fa­mil­iar­ity is dis­ap­point­ing.

The video qual­ity, how­ever, is any­thing but. Lo­gan Lucky was shot and com­pleted at 4K, and there’s a down­right strik­ing clar­ity to the 2.4:1 im­age that can’t help but pull us into this world. Tiny tex­tu­ral de­tails pop, grass in par­tic­u­lar, in the in­field of the race­track and else­where. High dy­namic range is in ev­i­dence, with in­ter­est­ing light­ing choices in some un­usual set­tings, such as the dark con­struc­tion tun­nels be­neath the speed­way, with am­ple de­tail and blacks that are free of dis­trac­tion. The colors are strong and pleas­ing, if not ex­treme enough to re­ally daz­zle.

The DTS-HD Mas­ter Au­dio 5.1 sound­track is solid with­out im­press­ing. Di­a­logue is em­i­nently leg­i­ble, even with the af­fected ac­cents, while the cleanly ren­dered mu­sic—David Holmes’ com­po­si­tions and an eclec­tic mix of songs—works won­ders to pro­pel the movie for­ward. The cou­ple of ex­plo­sions are re­strained, and while I sup­pose that the race day se­quence ably cap­tures the thrill of these pow­er­ful cars, it’s not in­trin­sic to the story.

The Ul­tra HD disc is movie-only, while the ex­tent of the bonus con­tent on the in­cluded Blu-ray is a pair of deleted scenes, one of which gives Daniel Craig the chance to flex his thes­pian chops a bit. But for the Dig­i­tal Copy, that’s it: no in­ter­views, no mak­ing-of, no com­men­tary wherein Soder­bergh dis­cusses the bold new ap­proach to his craft. Like the Char­lotte Mo­tor Speed­way, I feel robbed.


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