Green BookOverview -
The winner of this year's Academy Award for Best Picture, Green Book is a rousing bit of movie entertainment that features two wonderful performances by its leads. This Blu-ray release of the film features a well-rendered transfer along with a solid Dolby Atmos track. Although the extras are somewhat lacking, this one is still Highly Recommended. (We have also reviewed the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.)
Academy Award® nominee for his roles in Captain Fantastic and Eastern Promises, Viggo Mortensen, and Academy Award® winner for Moonlight, Mahershala Ali, star in Green Book, a film inspired by a true friendship that transcended race, class, and the 1962 Mason-Dixon line. When Tony Lip (Mortensen), a bouncer from an Italian-American neighborhood in the Bronx, is hired to drive Dr. Don Shirley (Ali), a world-class Black pianist, on a concert tour from Manhattan to the Deep South, they must rely on The Green Book to guide them to the few establishments that were then safe for African-Americans. Confronted with racism, danger as well as unexpected humanity and humor—they are forced to set aside differences to survive and thrive on the journey of a lifetime.
Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take
Really well made and entertaining, Green Book was at the top of my personal list as the best movie of 2018. Featuring two powerful performances from Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen, the film is many ways an old fashioned road movie about two very different people learning to understand one another during a time when it was very hard for two such people to make a connection.
You can read our full thoughts about Green Book in our 4K UltraHD review of the movie HERE.
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Green Book drives onto Blu-ray inside a standard Elite keepcase, which houses the 50GB disc, a dual-layer DVD, an insert containing a code for a digital copy of the movie. A slipcover matching the artwork of the keepcase slick slides overtop. The Blu-ray is front-loaded with skippable trailers for On the Basis of Sex, The Bookshop, Boy Erased, A Private War, and Backdraft 2. The main menu features the same still image as the box cover, with menu selections vertically down the left side of the screen in the typical Universal Blu-ray menu style.
The Blu-ray is region-free.
The filmmakers used ARRIRAW digital cameras to Green Book, which is presented on Blu-ray in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.00:1. The overall quality of the transfer is strong, with colors that pop (although sometimes a bit muted, although my guess is that was a cinematography choice to give the movie a more "historical" feel), fine details, and realistic skin tones. About the only problem I saw here was a mild bit of noise that creeped into darker/nighttime sequences, but that seems to be par for the course for almost any title shot on Arri equipment (and, indeed, may very well be present in the source rather than some flaw with the transfer). I didn't pick up on any banding, aliasing or other problematic glitches in the presentation. Overall, a really good looking image from the folks at Universal that viewers/buyers of this release should be pleased with.
Both the Blu-ray and 4K UltraHD of Green Book feature the same audio options, lead by a strong Dolby Atmos mix that isn't going to be anyone's demo track, but is done with the distinction and dynamic range that only hemispherical surround mixes can provide. You can read more about this mix in our 4K UltraHD review of the movie HERE.
- Virtuoso Performances (HD 4:36) – A look at the two lead characters in the movie, with comments from the actors who play them, Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali. Also included are comments from the movie's director/co-writer/producer, Peter Farrelly, as well as other members of the cast and crew.
- An Unforgettable Friendship (HD 5:09) –Once again, we get members of the cast and crew (including the two leads and the director) discussing the bond between the two main characters in the film.
- Going Beyond the Green Book (HD 4:20) – Members of the cast and crew talk about what the "Green Book" was and how it was used back in the days where racial segregation was still going on, particularly in the Deep South.
I feel safe in saying that for good or for ill, Green Book is a movie we'll still be talking about 10 years from now. For some, it will be that the movie wasn't "important" enough to win the Best Picture Oscar; for others, like myself, it will be remembered as the first time in years the Academy has given its award to such a mainstream "crowd pleaser." As far as this Blu-ray is concerned, the solid transfer and Dolby Atmos track provide a home video rendering of this movie that both the creators and the home viewers should be quite satisfied with. Highly Recommended.
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