Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - August, 2013


"The Great Gatsby" (2013, Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Stephen Hornbrook



In this movie of the same name, Baz Luhrmann has taken on the classic novel, The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  The story is narrated by Nick Carraway, a writer and bond trader that lives in a small house on long island.  He just happens to live next to a mysterious individual, Jay Gatsby, who no one seems to know much about, except that he throws incredibly lavish parties. Across the water lives Tom Buchanan and his lovely wife, who is also Nick's second cousin, Daisy. Nick gets a first-hand account of Tom's affair when they travel to the coal district for a party with his mistress and friends.  Soon after, Nick is invited to one of Gatsby's fabulous parties where he finally meets the man.  It turns out Gatsby's only goal in life is getting back is true love, Daisy, from the unworthy Tom.


  • Warner Brothers
  • 2013, PG-13, 2 hr 23 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Video: 1080p AVC
  • Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Joel Edgerton, Carey Mulligan
  • Directed by: Baz Luhrmann
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Some
  • Sex: Light
  • Language: Some


From the very opening scene, even in a flat two dimensions, you could tell this movie was filmed in 3D. Baz is very deliberate in his use of multiple viewing planes, scaling in and out of the computer generated mansions of Gatsby and Tom Buchanan. Gatsby did not receive much praise by critics or its audiences.  So what is wrong with the film?  For one, the look is oddly artificial. Much of this movie features some degree of digital manipulation and I think it hurts this classic tale.  I had a hard time being sucked into the artificial world Baz has created. The pacing felt off as well. Scenes would drag on and pull the movie back instead of pushing it forward.  However, the movie does do a couple things well. The acting by this impressive cast was solid and the music score was very good as well.  


Image quality on The Great Gatsby was superb.  The brilliant, vibrant colors jumped off the screen, while image contrast added plenty of depth to the 2D image.  The 5.1 DTSHD-MA track was located mostly in the front three channels, but usage of the surrounds was effective in it's subtleness.  Bass was low, powerful and clear.  The lovely score by Craig Armstrong was one of the best aspects of this movie.


The Greatness of Gatsby - 9 minute look at Fitsgerald's novel, Within and Wtihout - 9 minute behind the scenes with Tobey, The Swinging Sounds of Gatsby - 12 minute look at the music, Gatsby Revealed - 30 minute production feature, The Jazz Age - 16 minutes, Razzle Dazzle - 16 minutes, Fitzgerald's Visual Poetry - 7 minutes, Deleted Scenes - 14 minutes, 1926 Gatsby Trailer