Doctor Sleep wasn’t the most enthralling film, but I did enjoy some of the performances, mostly Ewan McGregor and Rebecca Ferguson with a nod to young Kyliegh Curran, and the special attention writer-director Mike Flanagan paid to the material.
Genre(s): Drama, Fantasy, Horror
Warner Bros. | R – 152 min. / 180 min. – $44.95 | February 4, 2020
Date Published: 02/22/2020 | Author: The Movieman
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.
THE MOVIE — 3.25/5
Plot Synopsis: Struggling with alcoholism, Dan Torrance (EWAN MCGREGOR) remains traumatized by the sinister events that occurred at the Overlook Hotel when he was a child. His hope for a peaceful existence soon becomes shattered when he meets Abra (KYLIEGH CURRAN), a teen who shares his extrasensory gift of the “shine.” Together, they form an unlikely alliance to battle the True Knot, a cult whose members, led by Rose the Hat (REBECCA FERGUSON), try to feed off the shine of innocents to become immortal.
Review: The longtime, anticipated (?) sequel/adaptation to Stephen King’s follow-up to The Shining has finally arrived… and doesn’t seem many people cared. For myself, as someone who has never read a King novel although I know the author hates Kubrick’s adaptation. So, here we are with Doctor Sleep, a part-adaptation, part-sequel that is a bit long clocking in at around 2.5 hours, however, there were a few things to appreciate.
The first, the cast are all great. Ewan McGregor seems to be the right man to play a grown, and nearly down-and-out, Danny Torrance (who wouldn’t be?) and proves once more that the guy is, to me, a bit underappreciated (heck, he probably was the best out of the Star Wars prequels). And in terms of underutilization, Cliff Curtis as Danny’s only friend, has a couple nice scenes. Kyliegh Curran as a teen girl with a powerful shine was impressive. Lastly, Rebecca Ferguson proves her command of the screen once more and has a very spidery-esque persona and the way she “sweetly” delivers her lines was at times admittedly disquieting.
A special note of appreciation, which in one case was a bit distracting at the same time, was casting different actors to play roles in Kubrick’s film, Alex Essoe as Wendy Torrance (played by Shelley Duvall in The Shining), Henry Thomas as Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), Carl Lumbly as Dick Hallorann (Scatman Crothers) and that’s not to mention young Danny and the creepy Grady Twins. Essoe especially was wonderful while Thomas, with Nicholson’s 1980 hairline, took me out of the movie a bit, which I can say about for the entire finale at the painfully reconstructed Overlook Hotel.
Doctor Sleep was helmed by Mike Flanagan, who also wrote the screenplay, previously helming some horror-thrillers including the highly touted Gerald’s Game, Ouija: Origin of Evil (which was a significant improvement over the first) and Before I Wake and although I wasn’t terribly enthralled with this film, feeling it dragged in spots, I do think he had plenty of passion and respect for the material.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.5/5
This release comes with a glossy slip cover and inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD which contains both the Theatrical and Director’s Cut on separate discs.
Speaking of which, the 4K disc is the theatrical only with bonus material while the Blu-ray contains the 3-hour long Director’s Cut and no features. If you haven’t gone 4K yet, you will have to buy the Blu-ray release which has the TC on the Blu-ray disc (with features).
From Shining to Sleep (4:56) — Short featurette with author Stephen King and screenwriter/director Mike Flanagan look back at the original novel and classic film to discuss how they took on the sequel.
The Making of Doctor Sleep: A New Vision (13:57) — Behind-the-scenes featurette looking at the process of making the film including interviews with Flanagan, King, Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson and others.
Return to the Overlook (14:59) is a featurette on bringing the evil resort back to life, including characters, in amazing detail.
4K UHD VIDEO – 5.0/5, BLU-RAY VIDEO – 4.75/5
|Doctor Sleep comes to 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray, presented in the original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and given 2160p and 1080p high-definition transfers respectively. As noted, the 4K/BD combo pack has the Director’s Cut on Blu-ray and Theatrical on 4K while the standalone Blu-ray release has both on separate discs, which I did receive so I could do a more direct comparison.
So, with that out of the way, I felt both transfers looked fantastic giving a slight edge on the 4K with sharper detail and more vibrancy in the colors and starkness in the black levels. However, the difference isn’t vast and likely not noticeable unless you were paying particular attention. Otherwise, the picture quality on both was amazing, each one the film noise retained giving it what I feel is a more authentic theatrical experience.
AUDIO – 5.0/5
|Both the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray discs, as well as for the Director’s Cut, comes with a Dolby Atmos track which sounds absolutely remarkable. Dialogue comes through with good clarity and ambient noises make excellent uses of the front and rear speakers. But where this really excels is with The Newton Brothers’ pulse-pounding, heartbeat music soundtrack which really presents heavy depth with each beat. Unsure if this is reference quality, but it is close and rather imposing.
OVERALL – 3.75/5
Doctor Sleep wasn’t the most enthralling film, but I did enjoy some of the performances, mostly Ewan McGregor and Rebecca Ferguson with a nod to young Kyliegh Curran, and the special attention writer-director Mike Flanagan paid to the material was respectable. The 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray combo pack offers up excellent video/audio transfers and a good selection of bonus features.