Melina Matsoukas' Queen & Slim is a poignantly telling tale of an unlikely pair of criminals on the run layered with a weighty feel of both sorrow and beauty. The film debuts on Blu-ray with a gorgeous HD video presentation, an excellent Dolby Atmos soundtrack but an underwhelming set of supplements. The overall package is nonetheless Recommended.
You can read our full thoughts on Queen & Slim in our review of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray HERE.
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Universal Studios Home Entertainment brings Queen & Slim to Blu-ray with a glossy slipcover. The Region Free, BD50 disc sits comfortably opposite a DVD-9 copy and a flyer for a Digital Copy, unlocking only the HD version with Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 audio. After a few skippable trailers, viewers are taken to a menu screen with the usual options, full-motion clips and music playing in the background.
The romantic crime drama makes a run for Blu-ray with a beautiful and highly-detailed 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode. Coming from a mix of digital and 35mm, the freshly-minted transfer displays clean, well-defined lines in the vehicles, the urban neighborhoods and in the architecture of various buildings. The stitching and threading in the clothing are sharp, the individual leaves and blades of grass are distinct, and facial complexions are healthy and accurate with revealing, lifelike textures in the entire cast. A few sequences are slightly softer than others, but such moments are a result of the filmmakers' deliberate aesthetic choice.
Presented in its original 2.39:1 aspect ratio, the video presentation also debuts with intentionally restrained contrast balance, somewhat flattening the image but again, is part of the creative design. Nevertheless, whites are vivid and brilliantly crisp while brightness levels provide the action with rich, accurate blacks and ebony, midnight shadows that penetrate deep into the screen without obscuring the finer details within the darkest corners. At the same time, Tat Radcliffe's highly-stylized cinematography boasts vibrant, richly-saturated primaries. On the other hand, secondary hues are more controlled and a bit limited, largely focused on soft pastels, lots of warm yellows and fiery oranges. (Video Rating: 90/100)
Queen & Slim debuts on Blu-ray with the same excellent Dolby Atmos soundtrack as its Ultra HD counterpart. For a more in-depth take on the audio quality, you can read our review of the 4K Ultra HD HERE. (Dolby Atmos Audio Rating: 84/100)
The seemingly straightforward road crime drama Queen & Slim is, on the surface, a budding romance film about an unlikely pair of fugitives. But writhing behind that simple tale of criminals on the run is a deeper, more poignant conversation about the conditions that led to their tragic ends. With outstanding performances by Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith, Melina Matsoukas' film is masterfully told with a weighty feel of both sorrow and beauty. The film debuts on Blu-ray with a gorgeous HD video presentation and an excellent Dolby Atmos soundtrack. Featuring an underwhelming set of supplements, the overall package is nonetheless recommended.