Set at the intersection of the near future and the reimagined past, explore a world in which every human appetite, no matter how noble or depraved, can be indulged without consequence.

westworlds1bluStudio: HBO Studios
Year: 2017
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Run time: 619 minutes
Rating: R

Audio: Dolby True HD 7.1 mix; Dolby Atmos
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Disc Spec: 6 BD
Region: A

HBO’s Westworld is yet another example of why this new and exciting age of television, as well as the expansive narratives they provide, is causing a tectonic shifted in cinematic storytelling. Six episodes into season one and it’s safe to say that Westworld has earned a seat at the “big-boy table”, with other esteemed series like “Breaking Bad”, “House of Cards”, and “The Wire”. Each new and bold series being created, regardless of the platform used (e.g., Netflix, HBO, Amazon, Showtime, etc.) is influencing its counterpart, resulting in an astonishing, exponentially creative, alternative reality that we as viewers, or “hosts”, can step into.

Westworld is unique in that it both literally and metaphorically represents what it means to be “park directors” (show creators), “hosts” (characters and story lines), and “guests” (the viewer). It offers an expansive experience that will resonate differently with each viewer by delivering an orgy of creativity, depth, and by exploring the human experience. It is layered with mystery, philosophy, psychology, and blurs the line between reality and fantasy with non-linear timelines.

The best way to describe why Westworld works as a series is to quote Aidan Macallan, a fictional character from House of Cards, who said, “People didn’t know they wanted Jazz until they heard it for the first time.” Westworld’s bold experimentation captivates our imagination in a way that jazz does- by throwing out traditional formats to give space for chaos and unpredictability. Westworld offers rich characters, each seeking to change their predetermined destiny. It exposes us to great secrets and instability bursting with tension. It trusts us as the viewers to wander deeper, each episode, into a maze on the fringes of the park with no certain outcome.

Movie Quality: 9/10

Print/Audio Quality

The print is presented in 2160p/UHD with a 2.40:1 aspect ratio. The filming in ‘Westworld’ takes us back to the time period of the western just really showcasing that era, yet also we are in present day era. This is one of those films that shows how much picture quality is beautiful in UltraHD. From the colors to the details, your jaw will drop if you look for some of the superb details. Colors are vibrant providing an excellent looking picture. Flesh tones are natural and accurate looking. Blacks look inky. Details are where this film shines the most with the camera even panning away in many scenes. Not once did I feel like I was at a loss for details making this a very strong presentation. For a film set as a period piece, this western really shine through.
Print Quality: 10/10

The audio is presented in DTS-HD MA lossless 7.1 and DTS:X mix. This is a very atmospheric and immersive sounding film. The rears provide quite a few times where sound effects panned across the speakers. There are many scenes that are outside which also take advantage of the soundfield providing some dynamic sound. The soundtrack shines through so ever beautifully in this film as Tarantino is at his best with the soundtrack used in the film.
Audio Quality: 9.5/10

Special Features

  • About the Series [HD]
  • An Invitation to the Set [HD]
  • Teddy Versus the Man in Black [HD]
  • A Host Self-Sabotages [HD]
  • Welcome to Westworld [HD]
  • Realizing the Dream: First Week on the Set of Westworld [HD]
  • Imagining the Main Title [HD]
  • Reality of A.I.: Westworld [HD]
  • Maeve Gets an Answer [HD
  • Bernard Faces an Unlikely Saboteur [HD]
  • Dr. Ford’s Blood Sacrifice [HD]
  • Gag Reel [HD]
  • The Truth About Bernard [HD]
  • Dr. Ford’s New Narrative [HD]
  • The Key to the Chords [HD]
  • Crafting the Narrative [HD]
  • Corporate Guidebook

Special Features: 8/10

Final Thoughts

The themes that are raised within the subject matter are exciting and surely the ones science fiction fans will find familiar, asking the ever-growing questions of purpose, place and existence. Westworld initially lays down the necessary foundations to address these questions in a truly unique fashion, yet ends up being too indulgent in it’s form while delivering the answers. A really great show that is highly recommended!
Overall Rating: 7/10