Monday, July 19, 2021

Jigsaw is Back! Spiral (2021) Lionsgate UHD Review!

Spiral AKA Spiral: From the Book of Saw (2021) Lionsgate Entertainment 7/20/2021

Directed By: Darren Lynn Bousman 

Starring: Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, Marisol Nichols, Max Minghella 

Disclaimer: Lionsgate Entertainment has provided me with a copy of this film free of charge for the purposes of review. All opinions contained within are my own honest reflections. 

       Saw (2004) was a tense bottle film that somehow actually worked as an interesting trilogy of films...In fact, its hard to believe that at a certain time a new Saw movie was a staple of October just as much as pumpkins and trick or treating. Then the series started to decline with an ever more outrageous and convoluted plot. The series, whilst still fun in a gory, pulpy kind of way  had certainly seen better days. Fans of Jigsaw was shocked to find out that comedian Chris Rock  of all people wanted to do a soft-reboot of the series. 

      While I dont think its one of the worst entries into the Saw series it has its host of issues. Darren Lynn Bousman film is a mish-mesh of tone, plot holes that sway from head scratching to painfully dumb. If we are being totally real the Saw series has always had its host of plot-holes and huge gaps in logic. What was the saving grace of a lot of those previous films were they fact that they always had a sense of cheesy low-brow entertainment value. Spiral never has this kind of cheeky fun, nor does the tracks have the same kind of high-energy wow-factor. Its almost criminal that a Saw movie is this bland and flavorless. Chris Rock is decent but again his characters tone is all over the place. Not to mention painfully predictable. It feels like Bousman and Rock and ashamed of the Saw series and it feels like a hollow-stuffy entry into a franchise that was always fun guilty-pleasures. 

Not horrible with a few decent moments but overall its a very forgettable film. 

Picture: Spiral is presented in a 2:28:1 aspect ratio and according to IMDB was shot on a Sony CineAlta Venice cameras. This allowed the DP to cover up to 6k in quality. So, I am happy to report that when transferred over to UHD we get a really excellent overall picture. Colors are well balanced throughout and skin tones have a nice natural look. Thankfully, the film never looks overly worked or processed. Probably what viewers will take away is how darker lit scenes are incredibly well defined. Spiral may not be what one would ever call a visually amazing movie but I am glad that a lot of care went into making it look the best it can. 

Sound: Much like the picture presentation Spiral really hits the mark with its audio. The UHD sports a really robust and hearty Dolby Atmos track. Where the movie may lack a huge visual presentation it more than makes up for in its use of sound design to ratchet up tension. This Atmos track does a great job at featuring a layered and in my opinion 3D surround experience.  

Extras: Spiral has some great features including: Commentary with writer, director Darren Lynn Bousman, Josh Stolberg and Composer Charlie Clouser, a second commentary track with Producers Oren Koules and Mark Burg

Featurette's: The Consequences of Your Actions: Creating Spiral, Drawing Inspiration: Illustrated Trap Breakdowns, Decoding the Marketing: Spiral, Teaser Trailer and Theatrical Trailer 

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