Disney

Dolby Atmos Immersiveness

Updated 01/19/2022

Dolby Atmos is the latest in Home Theater right now, and since I finally picked up an Atmos-enabled receiver and have managed to dial everything in just right for the theater room in my basement, I thought I’d share my experiences with just how immersive particular titles get.

Below, you’ll find a running list of Atmos (and in some cases, DTS-X) titles from both streaming and physical media that I’ve watched. I’ll be ranking each title out of 5 “speakers” (1 being not very immersive at all, 5 being insanely immersive) and will point out any scenes that stood out, so you can fast-forward to your ears’ delight!

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT (4K UHD BLU-RAY – 01/18/22)

Paramount

This is the kind of movie that was made for Atmos. And while the sound more than shines throughout the film, the Atmos effects often take a backseat to the more-than-well rounded out mix of the movie itself. Dialogue is often whispered, and tense conversations through gritted teeth pop up in almost every scene. However, there are some Atmos-heavy scenes that are worth mentioning:

• Chapter 1: Tom Cruise and Simon Pegg are talking beneath an overpass where cars are driving overhead in both directions

• Chapter 3: Skydiving is a workout for every speaker

• Chapter 6: Police bike chase is wild. Stuff going on everywhere

• Chapter 7: Really tense scene with a traincar going right overhead then right into another chase scene with some wild alternating between left and right heights

• Chapter 10: Gun battle in a sewer has some really fun overheads

• Chapters 12 – 14: Helicopters just live overhead for minutes straight. Absolute helicopter porn that ends with a Cliffhangeresque scene that is almost exclusively overheads

This is a really cool movie and the sound is more than excellent. But if you’re looking for a movie full of demo-worthy scenes to show off those Atmos muscles, you might look elsewhere unless you’re really into helicopters.

ATMOS IMMERSIVENESS LEVEL:

🔊 🔊 🔊 🔊 / 5

THE CONJURING 2 (BLU-RAY – 01/18/22)

Warner Brothers

Blu-Ray • Atmos • 1080p Upconverted

I’ve seen this movie my fair share of times, but this is my first time in Atmos, and fucking hell, what a difference. The overhead effects are put to full use throughout its run time. Rain pours almost the entire movie, British pop invasion tunes are crawling across the ceiling almost as much as whispers of demons, and it makes the jump scares that much more effective. Here are some moments that stood out:

• Chapter 5: Footsteps overhead when cops are poking around

• Chapter 6: Bells ringing all over the soundstage, house being torn apart chaotically in every speaker

• Chapter 8: Persistent rainstorm with thunder and lightning

• Chapter 10: Sounds of a flooded basement, water everywhere, kids running around upstairs. This scene was actually one of the coolest I’ve heard with an Atmos movie so far

• Ch 12 to the end of the movie: Downpour & Ed’s breathing in overheads. Demon begins grunting and breathing, and it bounces all over the ceiling

As far as Horror films are concerned, I think this is what Atmos was built for: another thing to scare the living shit out of the audience. I already really liked this movie, but this brought a whole new element to the table. This might be my go-to demo for now 🤘

ATMOS IMMERSIVENESS LEVEL:

🔊 🔊 🔊 🔊 🔊 / 5

DOCTOR SLEEP: DIRECTOR’S CUT (BLU-RAY – 01/17/22)

Warner Brothers

Blu-Ray • Atmos • 1080p Upconverted

Since I can remember, The Shining has been my favorite movie – a go-to every Halloween, I get sucked in by Kubrick’s magic touch and cinematic trickery. It’s an incredible movie experience that gets better with every viewing. Lucky for us, Mike Flanagan (The Haunting of Hill House, Bly Manor, etc.) was given the reins to the adaptation of Stephen King’s Shining sequel, and I’m happy to say that this is everything I hoped for and more. Now, I’ve seen both versions, and while the Director’s Cut doesn’t change too much, I would still definitely recommend getting your hands on that version.

There are too many scenes of overhead sonic excellence to mention in this release, that I’m just going to have to suggest that you experience it yourself. There’s a persistent heartbeat pouring through the overheads and surrounds throughout the entire film that will rattle your nerves by the time the characters arrive back at the iconic Overlook, and then the Atmos effects take center stage, and you’ll be smiling from ear-to-ear until the credits roll. If you’re not too sure about Atmos yet, Doctor Sleep will definitely get you on the train.

ATMOS IMMERSIVENESS LEVEL

🔊 🔊 🔊 🔊 🔊 / 5

OVERLORD (BLU-RAY – 01/17/22)

Paramount

Blu-Ray • Dolby Atmos • 1080p Upconverted

Superhuman Nazi Zombies aside, the sound design on this movie is fun as hell. From the get-go, nervous soldiers on a plane rattle through the air, and we’re right in the middle of every bullet and explosion from there on out. There’s a scene where the main character falls out of said plane, and the wind whooshing around him covers the entire overhead landscape. There are a few other standout scenes, including footsteps over creaking boards that might convince you someone is upstairs, and great water trickling in tunnels throughout. This was a really fun one.

ATMOS IMMERSIVENESS LEVEL

🔊 🔊 🔊 🔊 / 5

ARCHIVE 81 (NETFLIX – 01/17/22)

Netflix

Netflix • Dolby Atmos • 4K

This show is really fun. It goes off the rails in the last two episodes or so, but that’s also when the Atmos effects really kick in. Without spoiling anything for you, there’s a scene in the last episode where a particular structure begins crumbling all around a couple characters and it really feels like the stonework is crashing down over your head. Add in some really cool overhead music effects throughout the entire show, and this makes for one really fun immersive viewing experience. Definitely would recommend this show (especially in the last few episodes) for Atmos demo.

ATMOS IMMERSIVENESS LEVEL:

🔊 🔊 🔊 🔊 / 5

CinemAbysmal: The Podcast – Episode 33: DCOM Bonanza!

Welcome to Episode 33 of CinemAbysmal: The Podcast, where contributors of CinemAbysmal.com talk about what society would consider some of the worst of the worst media out there. This week, Holly tortured us with two Disney Channel Original Movies (DCOMs) including Wish Upon a Star and Brink! We give Haley Joel Osment a hard time, too. Check it out on all your favorite apps below! As always, please SHARE, RATE, AND SUBSCRIBE!

iTunes –https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/cinemabysmal/id1153464020?mt=2

SoundCloud

Google Play Music –https://play.google.com/music/m/Irjld24rxpsi22hdnugilmxh57u?t=CinemAbysmal

Stitcher https://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=128435&refid=asa

Spreaker http://www.spreaker.com/show/cinemabysmals-show

You can also find us on BeyondPod! Just search forCinemAbysmal.

CinemAbysmal: The Podcast – Episode 26: Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood & The Luck of the Irish

You guys ready to get lucky? Welcome to Episode 26 of CinemAbysmal: The Podcast, where the three writers of CinemAbysmal.com talk about what society would consider some of the worst of the worst media out there. This week, we put on our green and head back to the hood with the sixth Leprechaun shitshow, then discuss a DCOM (Nick is somewhere sighing about this acronym) with The Luck of the Irish. Check it out on all your favorite apps below! As always, please SHARE, RATE, AND SUBSCRIBE!

iTunes –https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/cinemabysmal/id1153464020?mt=2

SoundCloud –https://soundcloud.com/cinemabysmal/23-movies-everyone-loves-that

Google Play Music –https://play.google.com/music/m/Irjld24rxpsi22hdnugilmxh57u?t=CinemAbysmal

Stitcher https://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=128435&refid=asa

Spreaker http://www.spreaker.com/show/cinemabysmals-show

You can also find us on BeyondPod! Just search forCinemAbysmal.

Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Beauty and the Beast (2017) – Musical | Drama

Directed by: Bill Condon

Starring: Emma Watson and Dan Stevens

How I Watched: Theatres

Review by Holly Hill

A tale as old as 1991. You may have not stopped hearing about how much money Beauty and the Beast made this weekend. How much, you ask? $174.8 Million. No big deal. The Disney machine cannot be stopped. The conversion of all of Disney’s classic cartoons into live action films will soon be complete and there’s not much we can do to stop it. It’s not a new thing. You’ll remember all those Snow White remakes, and Maleficent interpretations. Once Upon a Time, that shitty tv show everyone forgot about, has somehow managed to butcher all the classics for six seasons and no one is really complaining about it except me it seems. So what’s the deal? Are these remakes a bad thing? Yes and no.

The good news? The remakes that Disney has come out with in the last three years are actually really good. The Jungle Book came out earlier in the year and gave us a really good peak at what The Lion King is going to look like and I approve. Cinderella was fantastic, although missing some of the great songs the cartoon had. They’re now casting for Aladdin, and Mulan is also in the works.

So what’s the bad news? Well, it depends on what kind of movies you like to see and how you feel about Disney, singing, and remakes.

You’ll love this film if you can answer yes to the following questions:

  • Do you love Disney? 
  • Do you constantly find yourself wanting to throw money at anything Disney’s name is on? 
  • Do you want to hear all the same songs from the cartoon movie? 
  • Do you want to hear new songs that aren’t in the original cartoon movies?  
  • Do you want lines from the cartoon movie repeated back to you almost verbatim? 
  • Do you want blocking that’s almost move for move what it is in the cartoon?
  • Did you ever ask yourself what happened to Belle’s Mom? 
  • Did you ever wonder what happened to Mr. Potts? 
  • Did you ever ask yourself, is LeFou gay for Gaston or was I just picking up weird vibes in that cartoon movie? 
  • Do you worship Emma Watson? 

If you answered yes to these questions then this movie is for YOU! That’s great! This movie is for me too. I loved it, but I completely understand why some people wouldn’t.

It does feel like Disney is really pushing it here with all these live action remakes but when the results are $174.8 million more in the bank, who can blame them?

Emma Watson gives us her feminist perspective of Belle which we all knew was there in the cartoon movie, but with her convincing and wonderful acting, we see a Belle full of action and bravery. She joins the fight with Gaston and the Beast at the end. She constantly stands up for literacy in her village. Belle invents a washing machine so she has more time to read. She tricks her father into taking his life sentence. She manufactures a rope to climb out of the castle and escape. Most importantly, she takes a giant snowball to the face and doesn’t give any fucks about it. She’s wonderful.

The rest of the cast is just as good. Josh Gad, voice of Olaf in Frozen, plays LeFou. He’s taken ridiculous criticism from hard line Christians all week long about how LeFou is too gay in the movie. Um, have you not seen the cartoon? He literally waltzes with Gaston and eye fucks him everytime he walks by. I’m confused as to why this is suddenly now a problem, and wasn’t in 1991.

Luke Evans plays a great well rounded Gaston. He starts as a comical joke but soon turns super dark. At one point he punches Maurice in the face, then ties him to a tree for wolves to eat him alive. No big deal.

If you’re a Dan Stevens fan you will not be disappointed. You may remember him from his days at Downton Abbey as Matthew Crawley. He also is on the incredible FX show Legion where his acting really shines. His face is only in the movie in the beginning and end, but you can really see his facial recognition in The Beast. His standard side smile, the shrug of his shoulders. It’s all Dan Stevens even as a seven foot tall hairy Beast.

There’s a few new things to this movie, songs, small holes of plot filled that the cartoon created. The film plays on provincial France as the background of the cartoon and really outdoes themselves with the costumes and what French royalty would have been like at the time. It’s truly a visual delight.

Overall though, the movie is the same as the cartoon, which is honestly what people wanted. They proved it by throwing their money at it all weekend long. Maybe we need to start coming to terms that we as a society just want to eat the member berries for the rest of our lives. I for one think they’re delicious.