Malcolm X (1992) has been restored for release in 4k to celebrate 30 years since its debut in theaters. The Criterion Collection has packaged the new presentation on 4k Blu-ray along with the newly remastered film on 1080p Blu-ray and a second Blu-ray containing extras. The 3-disc edition released on November 22nd, 2022. A new 2-disc 1080p Blu-ray edition was released simultaneously with the 4k Blu-ray.
On 4k Blu-ray, Malcolm X is presented in 2160p resolution with Dolby Vision and HDR10 High Dynamic Range specs. The restoration of Malcolm X has maintained a vintage film quality, meaning there is no excessive brightening, sharpening, or other digital manufacturing to create a more contemporary cinematic image. It’s true to its nature, albeit soft when compared to other film movies from the 80s and 90s. Unfortunately, we can’t say the image is as sharp some of its contemporaries that have been upgraded.
As far as audio, the soundtrack to Malcolm X plays in English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 channels, the same format as the previous 1080p Blu-ray release from 2017. Subtitles are offered in English SDH for the feature film (not the extras). The 48kHz audio streamed at an average of 4.2 to 4.6Mbps, with a decent range of lows to brights.
Malcolm X is a transcending film that was well deserving of a 4k upgrade, even if soft at times and not as detailed as one might hope in the shadow areas. The Dolby Vision HDR is probably the jewel of this presentation, displaying rich color as if saturated gelatin emulsion film. The package itself is a welcome addition to any collection, and for those who follow Spike Lee and the art of filmmaking, the included booklet is a real bonus. We’re looking forward to more Spike Lee films getting restored and upgraded to the best of today’s home media standards.
Read our full review with scores of Malcolm X on 4k Blu-ray Disc.