Sound & Vision - - ENTERTAINMENT -

SOLO:ASTARWARSSTORY is sim­ply a ter­rific movie. Fans of Har­ri­son Ford’s time­less take on the flawed-but-gal­lant smug­gler should rightly re­joice as Han has been hand­ily re­ju­ve­nated by new­comer Alden Ehren­re­ich in this well-con­ceived “ori­gin” story. We learn all of the things we never knew we wanted to know about him, like where he got his name, his furry co-pi­lot, and of course the keys to the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy back when it was shiny and new. To sur­vive in an un­for­giv­ing world, he must re­sort to a life of crime at an early age. But de­spite the trade­mark swag­ger, he’s not quite as clever as he thinks he is, and soon finds him­self on the run from the op­pres­sive Em­pire and in deep with a nasty crime syn­di­cate.

Han be­lieves that one big score will make his dreams come true— and save his neck—so yes, Solo is a heist flick, but one steeped in the clas­sic look and feel of the fran­chise. Hav­ing pre­vi­ously co-writ­ten three of­fi­cial Episodes (in­clud­ing two thirds of The Orig­i­nal Tril­ogy), Lawrence Kas­dan is the sec­ond most ex­pert ex­pert in this sub­ject mat­ter af­ter Ge­orge Lu­cas him­self. This time he’s cre­ated a thor­oughly en­ter­tain­ing tale of a de­scent in­fused with hope, one that re­spect­fully shines light on an enig­matic good guy who’s some­how con­vinced him­self he’s the bad guy.

Echo­ing these dark times in the Star Wars uni­verse, direc­tor of pho­tog­ra­phy Brad­ford Young’s cin­e­matog­ra­phy is de­lib­er­ately murky, with scenes that fre­quently look shad­owy, misty, smoky, or muddy. This re­strained use of light is wellserved by the 4K/HDR10 pre­sen­ta­tion, which main­tains ex­tremely crisp de­tail plus punchy colors when ap­pro­pri­ate, such as the scenes with dandy Lando

Cal­ris­sian. HDR high­lights can be very bright, notably the il­lu­mi­nated bits on the Mil­len­nium Fal­con.

Like most good Star

Wars movies, Solo has a kick­ass sound­track. I’m not just re­fer­ring to the mu­sic, which in­cludes a brand-new hero theme by the one and only John

Wil­liams to sup­ple­ment the orig­i­nal com­po­si­tions by John Pow­ell, but the fa­mil­iar sound ef­fects that help to de­fine this world. The sprawl­ing Dolby

Atmos mix uses dis­crete cues here and there to put us in the mid­dle of the ac­tion, with am­ple low-fre­quency boom adding to the ex­cite­ment.

A movie-only Blu-ray is also sup­plied, along with a a sec­ond

Blu-ray con­tain­ing an above-av­er­age as­sort­ment of fea­turettes plus deleted scenes.

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