'Tenet' (4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital)
(John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Clémence Poésy, Kenneth Branagh, et al / 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital / PG-13 / 2020 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: Armed with only one word — Tenet — and fighting for the survival of the entire world, the Protagonist (John David Washington) journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time. Not time travel. Inversion.
Blu-ray Verdict: Warner Brothers Home Entertainment is expanding their 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray catalog offerings this month with the release of the breathtakingly mind-bendingly frenetic 'Tenet’ in the expansive 4K Ultra HD video format this December 15th, 2020.
For my money, this 'Tenet: 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital' combo pack's sharpness takes a fairly large step forward from others in their 4K Ultra HD catalog and even comes with HDR (High Dynamic Range) for the complete 4K Ultra HD experience, of course.
So, what we have is 'Tenet' presented to us as a two-disc combo pack with a sheet for a Digital HD Copy. Other stand out points you should know are: Codec: HEVC / H.265 (57.45 Mbps), Resolution: Native 4K (2160p), HDR: HDR10, Aspect ratio: 1.78:1, 2.20:1 and Original aspect ratio: 2.20:1.
Featuring Dolby Vision and HDR10 for brighter, deeper, and way more lifelike colors, as with most all 4K UHD's, everything that we watch features these qualities - but somehow, this film gloriously shines within them all.
Noticeably crisper with the overall clarity receiving an obvious boost here on this release, what's more is that it's enjoyably noticeable.
For as well as some new nuances to the somewhat drab palette courtesy of Dolby Vision we also get to witness sudden bright pops of color; such as the truly excellent scene now known as The Opera Opening.
I mean, we all know Nolan has a serious talent for constructing a genius opening scene and this one is chock full of tension, fantastic music from Ludwig Görranson, and exciting action.
The much later reveal of Neil being the mysterious soldier who saved the Protagonist, and the subsequent death of the Protagonist after this scene only serves to improve its meaning and importance; let alone the huge explosion as they escape the building, of course!
Indeed, the picture enjoys the fruits of the added resolution in terms of bringing out the aforementioned extremely fine facial and some of the yellow graded material (notably the plane crash, as it also allows us to see the join of a previous scene - known as Infiltrating The Airport and Hallway Fight - where the crash, which gets used to trigger the airport security while Neil and the Protagonist infiltrate the airport, is nonetheless incredible to behold due to the sheer magnitude of the explosions that come forth thereafter); and which now allows for each actors contorted facial expressions to become much more detailed and alive within this incredible 1080p Blu-ray rendering.
As for the audio, well we have: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1, French: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 16-bit), German: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 16-bit), Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps), Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps), Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps), Czech: Dolby Digital 5.1, Hindi: Dolby Digital 5.1, Polish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps), Thai: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps), and Japanese: Dolby Digital 5.1.
Overall, this is a very strong 4K HDR Blu-ray presentation, and, for the most part, the audio track remains fairly similar to its DTS-HD counterpart; with much of the action occupying the surrounds with outstanding directionality and placement where effects flawlessly pan between the sides and rears.
Phew! OK, so, as for the movie itself, well, you know when filmmakers and studios insist their movies need several watches to truly get to grips with the things you missed that pertain to the finished storyline, well, here that is actually a VERY true statement and command, trust me!
In truth, I never understand Nolan's movies the first time! They're both more complex and simpler than I initially anticipate. As in, there are too many details to fully take in with one viewing, but, at the same time, many events and themes overlap with each other.
The answers were already there, but I know I had to see it a few times to really get it. In the meantime, the movie was stuck in my head like nothing I'd ever seen before!
Many of the classic Nolan tropes are here - weird time stuff, people in fancy suits explaining rules and one-upping each-other alternately with threats and quips, epic action scenes with shooting, explosions, cars and planes, jittery pounding music, people looking at watches, seeing events from multiple angles, saving the world coming down to personal relationships, etc.
There are also interesting themes of lifting yourself up by the bootstraps and transcending or breaking the rules to kind of have your cake and eat it too.
Characters do the impossible and we're not sure if they were on top of things the whole time or barely fluked it!
Nolan's movies are sometimes criticized for being too pretentious or laborious with exposition, but they're just very intricate and intelligent.
Do people want him to explain everything thoroughly or let you work it out for yourself? It's a fine line between accessibility and mystery, not to mention how bold and original he's trying to be.
When brand new concepts are being explored, I think a little confusion on the first watch is perfectly reasonable. It's not like Einstein's theory of relativity was immediately accepted as obvious!
The music is suitably intense, but it was very loud in places and I couldn't always understand the dialogue; which was already tricky to follow.
The plot was very tricky to follow although it keeps you involved and excited about where everything's leading. In particular, it's very vague in terms of who the bad guys are or what's actually at stake and why.
But the plot thickens and starts to come together, quite literally, before too long.
There were some touches which I enjoyed like the red logos at the start and a blue one at the end and a scene with trains going in opposite directions from each other forming a nice visual metaphor (those will make more sense once you see the movie).
The actors were all really good. Branagh plays a convincing and very nasty Russian (or Ukrainian) criminal, Pattinson's an intelligent buddy with mysterious intentions, while Washington's a likeable and funny protagonist for us to relate to; although seemingly as confused as us for most of the film!
The main thing that stands out for me is the concept of this movie itself which has never been done before. It's simple and implied in the posters and trailers, but I couldn't predict how Nolan would actually make it work.
Even if the broader story still has loose ends for me, I can't stop thinking about it. They apparently consulted Kip Thorne or other scientists (I saw his name in the credits) and the physics seem to hold up pretty well under the circumstances.
The implications are fascinating and yet at the very same time hard to get your head around.
Some of the action scenes echo Inception's hallway fight scenes but with a different twist to them. Instead of playing with gravity, Nolan's playing with time.
Again, it makes you marvel at what you're watching and how on Earth they filmed it. A lot of clever planning, choreographing, editing and multiple takes, one assumes.
After 'Tenet,' other movies seem so plain and light, what with their exclusively forward motion of time and entropy.
I mean, few movies will ever match the sheer intensity and intricacy of 'Tenet' (which I can't wait to watch for the fourth time soon!) and, in conclusion, none of Nolan's movies have disappointed me on multiple viewings (and I hope the same goes for you also).
Ultra HD showcases 4K resolution with High Dynamic Range (HDR) and a wider color spectrum, offering consumers brighter, deeper, more lifelike colors for a home entertainment viewing experience like never before.
'Tenet,' the must-see motion picture event, playing now on the big screen wherever theatres are open, will arrive on 4K, Blu Ray, DVD and Digital on December 15th, 2020 in time for the holidays.
This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.20:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs via 1080p and comes with the Special Feature of:
• Looking at the World in a New Way: The Making of 'Tenet' - An hour-long exploration of the development and production of the film as told by the cast and crew.
'Tenet' - Official Final Trailer  (4K ULTRA-HD)
Official 'Tenet' Facebook Page
'Tenet: 4K Ultra HD' Blu-ray Amazon Purchase Link