BlacKkKlansman 4K Ultra HD Review

  • Actors: John David Washington, Adam Driver, Topher Grace, Corey Hawkins
  • Director: Spike Lee
  • Writers: Spike Lee, Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott
  • Producers: Spike Lee, Sean McKittrick, Jason Blum, Raymond Mansfield, Shaun Redick
  • Format: 4K
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish, English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Restricted
  • Studio: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: November 6, 2018
  • Run Time: 135 minutes

        BlacKkKlansman has all of the subtlety that its title would suggest, and feels nearly as pointlessly gimmicky as well. One would think that Spike Lee was the perfect director to herald this project, but gone are the days of Do the Right Thing, or even Malcolm X. Although BlacKkKlansman still has Lee’s signature righteous anger over issues of race in America, the screenplay’s insistence that we see the connection to our current political climate becomes overbearing.

        Based on a bizarre true police case involving the Ku Klux Klan in 1970s Colorado Springs, BlacKkKlansman has a premise that is never really matched by the actual events or execution by Lee. At the center of the story is Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), the first black detective in the Colorado Springs Police Department. When he discovers that being the first is not always easy, and that racism exists even amongst his colleagues, Stallworth is not deterred. He takes the initiative to contact the KKK after there are suspicions that members might be planning a terrorist attack.

        Convincing the head of the KKK (played by Topher Grace) that he is a loyal white American, Stallworth is able to apply for membership to the organization as a way to infiltrate them. There is only the small problem of him being a black man to stop the plan from working, so a fellow detective named Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver) steps in to pretend to be him in person. Although a little more foresight and planning might have had Zimmerman as the undercover man all along, the rushed aspects of the operation are what leads to the film’s entire premise. Unfortunately, the set-up for the film is far more entertaining than anything actually done with it.

        On top of the fact that not a lot actually happens in the story, Lee’s film takes every opportunity to make certain that we see the correlation between racism in the 1970s and the current political/social climate in this country following the political career of Donald Trump. Littered throughout the film are references to Trump and his campaign slogans, and the movie closes with unsettling footage of the Charlottesville protest clash, just in case the point hasn’t been made. Unfortunately, this also makes for a very disturbing end to a film being sold as a comedy.

        The home entertainment releases for the film include DVD and Blu-ray (with a digital copy), along with this 4K Ultra HD edition. The 4K package also comes with a Blu-ray disc and a digital copy. The special features on the disc are surprising sparse, especially considering how much money was spent marketing the movie. There is a featurette with the cast discussing what it was like to work with Spike Lee, again playing off of the director’s past significance rather than what this film actually provides. There is also an extended trailer for the film with a Prince song included. The 4K presentation is fine, though the film doesn’t exactly demand enhanced visuals or audio.

Entertainment Value: 6.5/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 7/10
Historical Significance:  5/10
Special Features: 3/10

1 comment:

Harold F said...

Great read, thanks