Braveheart – 4K UHD Review

Braveheart is a 1995 American epic war film that was directed by Mel Gibson, who stars as William Wallace, a late 13th-century Scottish warrior who led the Scots in the First War of Scottish Independence against King Edward I of England. The story was inspired by Blind Harry’s epic poem titled The Actes and Deidis of the Illustre and Vallyeant Campioun Schir William Wallace and was adapted for the screen by Randall Wallace.

Set in 1280, King Edward “Longshanks” invades and conquers Scotland following the death of Alexander III of Scotland, who left no heir to his throne. Young William Wallace witnessed the treachery, survives the deaths of his father and brother, and is taken abroad on a pilgrimage throughout Europe by his paternal Uncle Argyle, where is educated. Years Later, Longshanks grants his noblemen land and privileges in Scotland, including Prima Nocte.

It ended up grossing $210.4 minion worldwide, and was nominated for ten Academy Awards at the 68th Academy Awards and won five: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Makeup, and Best Sound Editing. Roger Ebert gave the film 3.5 stars out of 4, calling it “An action epic with the spirit of Hollywood swordplay classics and the grungy ferocity of The Road Warrior.” And the film’s depiction of the Battle of Stirling Bridge was listed by CNN as one of the best battles in cinematic history.

The Film Itself (4/5):

Much like GladiatorBraveheart is another one of those films that I personally have to be in the mood to watch.  This film gives audiences a historically evasive, yet brutally epic experience that’s loaded to the brim with violence, drama, romance and ambition.  Performances from all cast members involved were amazing as the group of “manly men” work to free Scotland from the oppression and strife that has been caused by King Edward.

Picture Quality (5/5):

The 4K UHD release of Braveheart is yet another absolutely beautiful release, providing audiences a considerably more realistic feeling to the story at hand.  Offering some very beautiful looking scenic shots of the Scottish countryside, and much, much more grit when compared to the previously released Blu-ray copy, you can definitely tell that the folks over at Paramount Pictures went above and beyond with this release.

Audio Quality (5/5):

Bundled with an English Dolby Atmos audio track, the UHD copy of Braveheart offers an absolutely all out immersive experience for its viewers that are capable of making use of the technology.  With acknowledgement of the camera positioning, the transition from channel to channel was seamless and offered absolutely no distortion in the overall experience.  Dialogue was spoken cleanly, allowing for everything to be heard and understood without having to manually adjust the volume levels as it progressed.

The Packaging (2.5/5):

The 4K UHD release of Braveheart comes packaged in a three disc 4K UHD amaray case.  Within that case is the standard 4K UHD copy of the film, the standard Blu-ray copy of the film as well as a third Blu-ray disc that contains the majority of the special features and additional content for this release.  None of the discs within this release feature any artwork that’s related to the film outside of the standard release text and the generic blue or black background respectively.  There are no DVD copies included, but there is a digital copy redemption pamphlet included for the various streaming options.  A slipcover has been included during the original pressing that features the same piece of art that’s available on the case.  This release also includes both the theatrical and unrated presentations of the movie.

  

Special Features (5/5):

The UHD release of Braveheart comes fully packed with special features that not only allows the audience to explore the story further, but there are some that shows some of the work that went into making this film.  Surprisingly enough, some special features are also included on the UHD disc, which is starting to become more of a common item now.  Included with this release is:

  • 4K
    • Feature Audio Commentary By Mel Gibson
  • Blu-ray
    • Feature Audio Commentary By Mel Gibson
    • Braveheart Timelines
    • Battlefields Of The Scottish Rebellion
    • Braveheart: A Look Back
    • Smithfield: Medieval Killing Fields
    • Tales Of William Wallace
    • A Writer’s Journey

Technical Specs:

Video

Codec: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)

HDR: Dolby Vision + HDR10

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Original Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Audio

English: Dolby Atmos

English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1

Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles

English, English SDH, French, Spanish

Runtime

Original Film: 178 minutes

Final Thoughts:

As previously mentioned, you could definitely tell that the folks over at Paramount Pictures really put in a lot of time and effort in making this release of Braveheart available.  This particular release is most definitely another one that should be the feature piece of everyone’s UHD collection.  Not only is the presentation above and beyond what I had expected, but the overall amount of content that’s packed into this release is something that I personally didn’t expect at all.  If you’re considering grabbing this release for your collection, I would hands down recommend grabbing it.  Braveheart will be available for purchase on 4K UHD beginning on Tuesday, May 15, 2018.

Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.

Doug

Movie lover, technophile, moderator of /r/dvdcollection and just your average, everyday movie viewer. Haven't heard of our subreddit? Check us out!

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