Movies for Dad in ultra-high definition
Here are a few last-minute Father’s Day movie gift ideas for dads plugged into the ultra-high-definition revolution, and each features high dynamic range enhancements to color and lighting as well as eye-popping 2160p visual clarity.
The Matrix (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, rated R, 136 minutes, 2.39:1 aspect ratio, $33.07) Lana and Lilly Wachowski’s iconic, Academy Award-winning, scifi opus gets meticulously mastered to the 2160p format to give a new generation of fathers a mind-blowing experience.
Back in 1999, viewers were introduced to hacker Thomas “Neo” Anderson (Keanu Reeves) and learned of his obsession to meet the mysterious Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne). Anderson’s eventual encounter with the man turned his world upside down and gave movie audiences a technology-infused roller-coaster ride.
The film’s latest iteration highlights an HDR mastering effort, supervised by original cinematographer Bill Pope, that involved scanning the original negative and adding color correction.
Notable extras: The 4K disc contains four previously released optional commentary tracks including remarks from cast and crew; a critics track with Variety’s Todd McCarthy, NPR’s John Powers and cinema historian David Thomson; a philosophers track with activist Cornel West and transpersonal psychology expert Ken Wilber; and a composers track with Don Davis.
Fury (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, rated R, 135 minutes, 2.39:1 aspect ratio, $26.49) Surviving World War II inside an M4 Sherman tank came to brutal and claustrophobic life in director David Ayer’s 2014 graphic drama, now available in the ultrahigh-definition format.
The emotional and often hard-to-watch story delivers the horrors of battle witnessed by tank commander Don “Wardaddy” Collier (Brad Pitt) and his grizzled crew (portrayed by Shia LaBeouf, Michael Pena, Jon Bernthal and Logan Lerman). The brutal action plays out during the final days of the war as they push into Germany and meet stiff resistance.
The increased uptick in resolution during night scenes and the smothering and smoky colors of the violence unleashed during battle, combined with an immersive Dolby Atmos sound mix, make this release highly recommended for the elder war cinema connoisseur in the family.
Notable extras: The 4K disc includes a new collection of featurettes (more than 90 minutes in total) spearheaded by the 46-minute-long Smithsonian Channel documentary “Tanks of Fury” that mixes behind-the-scenes footage from the film and an informative history lesson on the use of tanks in World War II.
Die Hard (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, rated R, 132 minutes, 2.39:1 aspect ratio, $24.99) Director John McTiernan’s 1988 action thriller that turned Bruce Willis into a box office superstar returns with remastered 4K visual presentation sure to cause dads to scream “yippee ki-yay.”
The story of New York City cop John McClane (Mr. Willis) hoping to reunite with his estranged family in Los Angeles during the holidays turns into a life-and-death struggle after he stops by Nakatomi Plaza to visit his spouse. He finds that terrorists have taken over the building (led by Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber) looking for a big payout at any cost.
Notable extras: The 4K disc offers three previously released optional commentary tracks. Also, use the included download code on the Movies Anywhere cloud-based digital service to find a selection of vintage featurettes.
Saving Private Ryan: Commemorative 20th Anniversary Edition (Paramount Home Entertainment, rated R, 169 minutes, 1.85:1 aspect ratio, $31.99) Director Steven Spielberg’s Academy Award-winning World War II drama from 1998 comes to dramatic life with its latest iteration mastered in ultra-high definition.
The story of a group of grizzled soldiers (portrayed by Tom Hanks, Tom Sizemore, Barry Pepper, Giovanni Ribisi and Vin Diesel, to name a few) sent on a mission behind enemy lines to find a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in combat plays out over the D-Day invasion and subsequent Allies’ march to liberate France from the Nazis.
The Dolby Atmos soundtrack immersion is startling, as bullets whiz by the viewer in the D-Day assault, and the amount of firepower unleashed may cause a mild case of shell shock for those lasting through the credits.
Notable extras: Best of the bunch, culled from the 1998 home video release and included on extra Blu-ray Disc, is a vintage 90-minute documentary hosted by Mr. Hanks about the combat cameramen (roughly 1,500 men) who shot the reality of World War II.