4K December 2017 - The Prestige

The world of conjuring drew Christopher Nolan into its thrall in 2006, as he tackled a movie version of Christopher Priest’s novel The Prestige. It now comes to 4K along with many of Nolan’s other works. Is its treatment magic or tragic?

The story: An impressive cast – including Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson and Andy Serkis – weaves their magic in this tale of two early-1900s professional stage magicians who, following one tragedy, enter into a most unprofessional rivalry that will involve further tragic consequences. It’s all about creating the ultimate illusion, obsession and sleight of hand both onscreen and off – making Nolan the perfect man to take the tale on.

Are you watching closely?

The 4K disc: The second eldest of Nolan’s flicks in the current 4K release frenzy of his works, for the most part The Prestige looks excellent. As they were all basically done together, it should be no surprise that this pure 4K presentation demonstrates similar characteristics to the other Nolan-assisted transfers. As such, there’s very fine grain that shouldn’t disturb even the fussiest of grain haters, and detail is generally impressive. The odd effects scene is a little less detailed – a theatre establishing shot, for one example – but then we might be looking for something to whinge about so that we’re not typing the same thing in each of these reviews. HDR works well, from bleaker scenes through to fire-lit interiors and Tesla’s wonderful toys (we miss you, Mr Bowie). The other four 4K Nolan presentations have all had what we’re calling cinema blacks, where they’re more akin to screened black rather than actual black before the credits roll. It’s most prominent in this release, and will likely annoy some. The quick snap below may give you some idea as to what we’re getting at, with the black bars being pure OLED black. Finally, sound comes, once again, via a DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track. This is what Nolan wanted. We’re not exactly sure what he has against Atmos and DTS:X, but that being said this remains a powerful audio mix with killer bass when called upon.

4K December 2017 - The Prestige

Yes, it’s only a quick and dirty camera phone snap, but hopefully this illustrates in some way what we’re saying about black levels.

Release date: December 18, 2017
Format: 4K Ultra HD
Starring:
Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine

Buy now at JB Hi-Fi

The Prestige is also available in the 21-disc (7x 4K, 14x Blu-ray) Christopher Nolan Collection

4K December 2017 - Christopher Nolan Collection

Buy now at JB Hi-Fi

Want to know what to get next? Check out STACK‘s 4K Ultra HD specifications guide.