Hunt For Red October, The 4K Ultra HD (Steelback)

Featured In Issue 248, February/March 2020

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.
Paramount Home Entertainment
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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John McTiernan
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Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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"The Hunt For Red October" is a story about the tension of men who hold Doomsday in their hands. A new technologically superior Soviet nuclear submarine, the Red October, is heading for the U.S. coast under the command of Captain Marko Ramius (Connery). The American government thinks Ramius is planning to attack. A lone CIA analyst named Jack Ryan (Baldwin) has a different idea: he thinks Ramius is planning to defect, but he has only a few hours to find him and prove it because the entire Russian naval and air commands are trying to find him too. The hunt is on! (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary by Director John McTiernan, the featurette "Beneath The Surface" (HD 29.00), the theatrical trailer, and a Movies Anywhere digital code.

The 2.35:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10/Dolby Vision picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed in anamorphic Panavision® on Eastman film stock using the Panavision Panaflex Platinum and Panaflex camera systems and sourced from a 2K (not 4K) master Digital Intermediate format. As the 2K Digital Intermediate has been upconverted to 2160p, there is no real gain in native resolution. The picture is filmic throughout, with a very warm image quality with an excellent wide color gamut. Flesh tones are perfectly accurate, especially under challenging lighting conditions. Blacks are deep and solid and very much in play with the officers' uniforms, particularly those worn by the Russians. Shadow delineation is revealing. Spotlighting is bright and contrasty, and strong sub colors are effectively illuminated. Numerous color control lights enhance the dramatic look. The combination of dark shadows contrasted with the instruments and spotlighting is visually engaging. Resolution is good, especially in close-ups of facial features, but generally a bit soft overall. This is a very engaging visual experience that delivers compelling realism. This is the best the film has ever been presented. Fans will be thrilled. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby TrueHD 5.1-channel soundtrack delivers aggressively expansive spatial dimensionality that fully envelops the soundfield, at times with powerfully strong energy. Sound effects include constant low-level rumble din during scenes on the two subs and other noises that can become loud and directionalized. The din envelops the soundfield. Atmospherics deliver a sense of realism. The orchestral/choral score sweeps across the soundstage, extending to the surrounds, and is punctuated with deep bass extension. The quieter scenes within Washington D.C. Naval headquarters still deliver an effective atmospheric din quality, which, together with the din of the subs' interiors, establishes a superb holosonic® experience. Foley sound effects are precise and realistic. Deep bass energy extends to sub-25 Hz to heighten the sub's maneuvers and chases, surging torpedo attacks, as well as a flight of an anti-submarine aircraft, a jet taking off and helicopter sounds. Dialogue is intelligible throughout with good spatial delineation. While fidelity is dated, this is an extraordinary spatially and discretley dimensional soundtrack, whose designers understand the power of using surrounds effectively to create a strong engaging holosonic experience and phantom imaging that is exceptionally impressive and reference quality. (Gary Reber)