Die Hard 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 229, July 2018

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
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John McTiernan
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Dolby TrueHD 5.1
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New York City detective John McClane (Willis) has newly arrived in Los Angeles to spend the Christmas holiday with his estranged wife (Bedelia). As McClane waits for his wife's office party to break up, terrorists take control of the building. While the terrorist leader, Hans Gruber (Rickman) rounds up hostages, McClane slips away unnoticed. Armed with only a service revolver and his cunning, McClane launches his own one-man war. Based on the novel by Roderick Thorp. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary by Director John McTiernan, scene-by-scene commentary by Richard Edlund, subtitle commentary by cast and crew; the featurette "The News Casts" (SD 07:59), an interactive still gallery, trailers and TV spots; and a Movies Anywhere digital copy.

The 2.36:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10 picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed in Panavision® on 35 mm film stock using Panavision cameras and sourced from a 4K master Digital Intermediate format. The picture quality of this all-new remaster is superb with excellent clarity, and while photographed on film, grain is virtually non-existent. The color palette is richly vivid with strong saturation yet is natural appearing. The wider color gamut exhibits subtle hue gradations and primaries that pop. Blacks are really black, and highlights are at times appropriately intense in white brightness, due to an excellent rendering of HDR. Shadow delineation is good but vague in the black sky night scenes. Resolution is outstanding with fine detail exhibited in facial features, skin pores, sweat, dirt and grim, blood, hair, Hans Gruber's beard, clothing, and on object textures, including broken window glass. WOW! segments include 0:27:34 to 0:28:25, 036:46 to 0:33:23, 0:51:44 to 0:52:38, 0:56:36 to 0:57:52, 01:12:22 to 01:13:05, 01:06:20 to 01:17:12 and 01:56:02 to 01:57:16. This is a wonderful Ultra HD presentation that is visually superior to the Blu-ray Disc edition. Fans of "Die Hard" will be thrilled. (Gary Reber)

Unfortunately, the original soundtrack was not upgraded to neither of the Immersive Sound formats. While the carried-over DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack from previous Blu-ray releases is nicely dynamic and intense, up-mixing to DTS Neural:X or Auro-Matic really enhances the spatial dimensionality and sense of depth and height. The soundtrack explodes with seemingly non-stop action and aggressive surround immersion and deep .1 LFE bass extension to sub-25 Hz during the intense shootout and explosions. The holosonic® soundfield provides constant directivity. Gunshots blast in all directions, helicopters whirl dimensionally, and cars and armored vehicles squeal, flip, and crash with metallic metal-rendering noises. Somehow dialogue manages to stay intelligible and just above the intensity. Michael Kamen's intense orchestral score is active throughout and nicely spatially articulated. This is an exciting sonic experience that won't disappoint. (Gary Reber)