This is a brilliant film. For those who love the children's book, you will be blown away by Spike Jonze's ingenious take on the story. It is dark, funny, very moving, and both adults and kids will be mesmerized. Visually stunning cinematography and special effects create the landscape beautifully and convincingly. Max Records, as Max, is one of the finest debut performances I have ever seen. He conveys a child's wild spirit basking the world his imagination has created. The film has been criticized for its darker content...This annoys me as it speaks to the denial adults and parents have about how children see the world. Children understand the darkness of this world as their limitless capacity for joy is only matched by their primal sense of fear. Children feel the threat of dangers both seen and unseen in a way adults have forgotten. Intelligent and powerful, this is the best film I have seen in some time.
The Blu-ray is a beautiful hi-def 1080p presentation. Filmed in a 1:1.85 aspect ratio, the colors are vibrant despite Jonze's muted pallette. Textures and facial (and fur) detail is rendered beautifully and vividly. There is evident crushed blacks, but these are the intention of the director so they do not distract. Fine film grain present throughout which only renders the film quality image more brilliantly. The sound is a lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1, which is surprisingly powerful. Every wave crash, creature movement, and snapping twigs are rendered in crystalline detail. Immersive ambient sound fills all the speakers and LFE is deep, robust, but never exaggerated. Dialogue is crystal clear. This is a fine Blu ray presentation worthy of the film.