Dolittle 4K Blu-ray review

May 08, 2020- Permalink

Learning to talk to the animals is easy compared to dealing with shipping during a pandemic. So while Universal Home Entertainment’s Dolittle came out April 7th, I received my review copy last week. As home entertainment, from movies to sitcoms, is helping us get through this period of self-isolation, I’d like to thank all those workers who helped get it to me. I recently sat down with the 4K version of the movie, which also comes with a Blu-ray copy and digital code. The critics weren’t too kind to Robert Downey Jr.’s version, citing a reliance on cheap laughs and toilet humour, but they weren’t kind to the versions with Eddie Murphy and Rex Harrison either, so maybe it’s the whole talking to animals genre. Anyway, let’s take a look at the technical aspects of this release.

The HEVC/H.265-encoded 2160p HDR10+ and Dolby Vision transfer is presented in the theatrical release’s 1.85:1 aspect ratio. It’s stunning to look at. The colour palette is intense from lush greens of foliage, to earthen colours, and an array of brilliant animal tones. The image is crisp and sharp, whether it’s skin, hair, textiles, environmental or manmade elements, real or CG. The computer-generated elements blend in seamlessly with the actors and real environments and that is an improvement over previous iterations of this story: the technology is at a point where an actor can quite believably be having a conversation with a polar bear. There is no real sign of digital noise or compression artifacts and as video presentations go, this one is just stunning.

On the audio side of things, your ears are given the choice of English Dolby Atmos and Dolby TrueHD 7.1 soundtracks as wells as French and Spanish Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 tracks. Subtitles are availe in nglish SDH, French and Spanish. The surround speakers will place you into the action with elements moving throughout the soundscape and the low end gives necessary oomph to the action and the music. The score is dynamic and crystal clear, as is the dialogue, which you’ll have no trouble understanding. It’s not the type of audio presentation that will blow you away and earn bonus marks, but it checks all the boxes and does an excellent job.

Besides a Blu-ray copy and a Movies Anywhere digital code, the movie comes with a series of six very short video extras that basically delve into characters and production. Given the visual artistry is the strongest thing Dolittle has going for it, it would have been nice to see some more pieces on the visual effects that went into making this flick.

Dolittle does little with story and relies on some cheap laughs (fart jokes anyone?) but it’s surrounded by excellent visuals and good sound. The little ones — and fans of Adam Sandler’s work with Rob Schneider — might be amused and as we’re all going through this strange time, it does provide an example of great visual effects and something to look at.