The timing of this written review is impeccable as Spiral was released today, an off-shoot to the Saw films starring Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson. Lionsgate purposely released this fresh and new 4K version on the heels of the latest cinema release. Does the new 4K release add a new dimension to this torture porn starter? Read on to get the ratings and recommendations. Movie reviews and disc quality reviews are color coded for your convenience, BillChete in orange and Lady Phantom in blue respectively.
IMDb Storyline: Waking up in a bathroom, two men, Adam and Dr. Lawrence Gordon, discover they have been captured by the infamous Jigsaw Killer. The men must escape before time runs out, otherwise, they will face the deadly consequences.
BillChete and Lady Phantom did an exhaustive review of the whole Saw franchise on the Considering The Cinema podcast back on November 26th of 2020. Listen to the AUDIO summary and rating by navigating to timestamp 0:13:03. The original Saw review ends at timestamp 0:33.12. Warning, unlike 99% of our other reviews, this discussion does discuss spoilers.
4K Disc Quality:
The opening of this 4K conversion got me super excited as the black levels were off the chart great with DNR utilized to diminish the annoying grain. But…as the movie progresses it definitely turned out to be a mixed bag. Some scenes are incredibly deep while being vivacious while other wide angle well lit scenes look poor and static-rich. They just didn’t spend enough time re-producing the film. Still though, it is head and shoulders above the previous HD Blu-ray releases and DVD counterparts. Reflections shine, detail is clearer and coloring is fuller. On to the Dolby Atmos multi-tiered sound, the resonance is a little fuller than previous releases and the voices are tonally strong, but other than that this movie in particularly doesn’t really gain much than other soundscape productions. Overall, if you are a fan of this franchise it is undoubtedly a worthy upgrade, but be forewarned, there is grain and some softness but in comparison to the other formats this is a no-brainer buy, specifically, the steelbook version which has new cover art.
My oh my, what a delightful surprise. I was very cautious about this release, because I know just how grainy Saw looks on Blu-ray. It was truly an unexpected surprise. Yes, it has grain, but they definitely used DNR. Thankfully, it looks much smoother than before. There are scenes where the grain is a bit distracting, but there is so much to look at! The black levels in this movie are outstanding, as inky as you could wish for. The contrast is beautiful, and since most of the movie is very dark, most looks incredible. HDR is used as much as you could hope for too; especially in a scene where Adam is taking pictures so the flash illuminates the room. It’s so bright! Also, there are multiple scenes where you can see metallic reflections and highlights. The close ups look very good. There’s so much texture, and you can see every shade of brown in that bathroom. Eewww. The color red looks really good. As for the sound, it’s also great. You can also hear every line of dialogue, even when there’s music or other sounds. The bass is punchy, and the surrounds helps you feel enveloped in the movie. All in all, I’m very happy to report that this 4K release is excellent. It’s not the best you can expect in general, but in my opinion it’s the best we could’ve hoped for.
Breakdown of “Saw (2004)“
|BillChete: 8 (Buy)||Lady Phantom: 10 (Buy)|
|4K Blu-ray Disc Grade|
|BillChete: C+ (Worthy)||Lady Phantom: B- (Worthy)|
Average 4K Disc Grade