Killers Of the Flower Moon Freed From Streaming Jail

Killers Of the Flower Moon, of course, is Martin Scorsese's big, Oscar-nominated epic for Apple TV.  Yup, ten noms but no wins.  My mother asked me if I thought Lily Gladstone got robbed, but nah.  This is by far the superior picture, but in all fairness, Emma Stone really went to great lengths for that role and earned every award she got.  But I digress.  The point is, I was able to watch Killers Of the Flower Moon with my mother this Mother's Day despite not having Apple TV because there's actually an official 4K Ultra HD and 1080p BD combo-pack importable from Italy.  It's not available in any other country around the world, but for whatever reason, Italy's Eagle Pictures have got it.  And like all UHDs, it's region free.  Well, not this one, but there's a region free edition now.  It's complicated.  I'll get into it.
Flower Moon is based on the 2017 non-fiction novel Killers Of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann.  I haven't read it, but my mother has, so I can tell you it's basically faithful but the big difference is that the book tells the story of the many(!) murders of Oklahoman Osage Indians in the 1920s from the perspective of the FBI investigators.  But in the film, they don't roll in until the final act.  The film really shifts gears at that point, with Jesse Plemons as the lead agent and John Lithgow & Brendan Fraser duking it out in the court room.  Up until that point, and indeed through to the end, the film is really with the victims and the two central perpetrators, played by Robert DeNiro & Leonardo DiCaprio in a very atypical role.  It takes its time at three and a half hours, with this deep, thudding bassline like a perpetual drum beat pounding through the entire picture as it builds to a grim, inevitably unjust peak, where it's pointed out you'd have better hope convicting a man of kicking a dog than killing an Indian.  Yeah, it's grim stuff.  Welcome to America.
So yes, Eagle Pictures released this in January, and they really did it right.  It's a 100GB triple-layer disc (and 50GB BD).  There's the regular combo-pack, a steelbook, and a BD-only version.  They're fully English-friendly, even including English language menus.  But there's one problem: all UHDs are supposed to be region free, but this is one of those rare cases where they were accidentally pressed locked to region B.  If you're on this site, there's a good chance you're region free anyway and can play whatever.  I've got it and it's fine for me.  But Eagle has said this was a genuine mistake and have already released a corrected, truly region free version as part of their 4Kult line.  You can see on the new cover[right], it's got a big "4KULT" printed on the top left-hand corner.  There's no other difference between the two discs, but that's the one you want if you can't play region B discs.  Oh, and yes, all the 1080p BDs are region B locked in every set, which is how they were intended to be.
2024 Eagle BD top; 2024 Eagle UHD bottom.

BD left; UHD right.
As you can see, these are beautiful transfers; Eagle has done a first rate job.  They're presented in the original 2.39:1, with deep, rich colors.  Remember, HDR screenshots (this UHD has Dolby Vision/ HDR10) look darker on a standard def screen like on this blog - though, fun fact: if you click through to the uncompressed full-sized screenshots on an HD monitor, like an IMac, the screenshots do match the original video in color and brightness, too.  The UHD is actually more vivid than the BD.  The brights are more natural and edges are more naturally rendered in the 4k.  You can see in the close-up how details that get eaten away and blocky on the blu-ray are more nuanced and photo-realistic on the UHD.

The film is has lossless DTS-HD 5.1 mixes of the original English track as well as an Italian dub.  There are three subtitle tracks, all removable: full Italian, Italian just for the Osage dialogue, and yes, English subtitles for the Osage dialogue.  So the movie is fully English friendly and can be watched without any foreign subs.  There are a handful of Italian title cards early in the film, but the English subtitles cover those, too.
And yes, there are extras, too... although not much.  There are three brief interviews, with Scorsese, DiCaprio and Gladstone.  They're in English with removable Italian subtitles.  And there are five even briefer featurettes, just one to two minutes each, with interviews, glimpses behind the scenes and clips from the film.  These do have burnt in Italian subtitles below the letterbox and are clearly promotional pieces.  A couple of the interview soundbites even repeat in the featurettes, but they do include a few bits of worthwhile info, like why Scorsese chose to not subtitle certain Osage lines of dialogue, or introducing us to the principal chief of the Osage nation who consulted on this movie.
I'm just happy to be able to be to add this film to my collection... or in this case, my mother's.  It's in full 4k, looks and sounds great, completely English friendly, and the extras aren't anything to get excited about, but better than nothing.  There's been no indication of a US or other release.  Criterion put out The Irishman, so there's hope they'd want to do this film, too.  But that was Netflix and this is Apple, so who knows?  And considering what an expert job Eagle's already done of it, who cares?

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