A few words about…™ Black Hawk Down — in 4k UHD Blu-ray

Black Hawk Down is however, one of the poster children for the format, that once seen, can send home theater enthusiasts on the fence about moving up to 4k, to pull the trigger (no pun intended). 4 Stars

Every couple of months, a new 4k UHD release arrives, that is of such superior quality, in its reproduction of the look of cinema, that it needs to be highlighted.

Black Hawk Down, the 2001 Ridley Scott production, concerning U.S. forces in Somalia, under attack by a local war lord is such a release.

A film needs to be photographed in a style, and of high enough resolution, to be a candidate for 4k release.

Most are not.

Black Hawk Down is however, one of the poster children for the format, that once seen, can send home theater enthusiasts on the fence about moving up to 4k, to pull the trigger (no pun intended).

Photographed in S35 by Slawomir Idziak, in stark, realistic terms, this is perfect 4k fodder.

The film holds up beautifully, and two versions are available on the 4k disc – 144 and 152 minutes.

The track, originally in 8-channel SDDS, is beautifully rendered in Dolby Atmos, with some startling effects.

As an aside, as you inventory the actors, and faces, it might be the perfect time to do a bit of research on casting director supreme, Bonnie Timmermann.

Unlike the majority of 4k releases, Black Hawk Down is the real thing, and deserves to be in any serious library.

Image – 5

Audio – 5 (Dolby Atmos)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from Blu-ray – Absolutely

Highly Recommended

RAH

Published by

Robert Harris

editor,member

19 Comments

  1. Here is a capture that shows the best case increase in detail and textures over the previous Blu-ray version:
    https://caps-a-holic.com/c.php?a=1&x=748&y=421&d1=13115&d2=13114&s1=130833&s2=130832&l=0&i=0&go=1
    https://caps-a-holic.com/c.php?a=1&x=694&y=174&d1=13115&d2=13114&s1=130833&s2=130832&l=0&i=0&go=1

    or here a closeup, not to bad:
    https://caps-a-holic.com/c.php?a=1&x=510&y=149&d1=13115&d2=13114&s1=130848&s2=130817&l=0&i=14&go=1

    It is not like that for the whole movie but overall this is a serious increase in fine detail. Very impressive and I am glad this release is getting some attention!

  2. Robert Harris

    […]A film needs to be photographed in a style, and of high enough resolution, to be a candidate for 4k release.[…]

    In the history of film stock, cinematography and processing, is there a certain cut-off year where far older catalog titles should not even try to become 4K/UHD candidates? Or does the time and period have nothing to do with it, at all?

  3. Robert Crawford

    So the longer version is on 4K disc too? My copy arrives today and that's my preferred version of the film.

    Yes the 4k disc contains both cuts. The 1080p disc contains only the theatrical cut and is the same Blu-ray that has been out since 2006.

  4. Watched the extended version over the weekend awesome disc however I had two freeze ups about three fourths into the film, I didn't jot down the exact spots. I have also heard from some about audio issues but didn't notice any. Viewed on LG OLED with Panny 820.

  5. By the way, my HD stream on iTunes automatically upgraded to 4K/Dolby Vision without me redeeming the digital code, but without Dolby Atmos. Luckily, I pre-ordered this 4K disc when Amazon dropped the pricing down to $16.99 several months ago and I now have the disc in my hand as I type this post.

  6. Vegas 1

    Watched the extended version over the weekend awesome disc however I had two freeze ups about three fourths into the film, I didn't jot down the exact spots. I have also heard from some about audio issues but didn't notice any. Viewed on LG OLED with Panny 820.

    I’ve just spit (spot;))checked the disc and have encountered a few freezing spots already. One at the 40:54 mark. And two more at the 1:00 hour to 1:01 mark.

    And also lip sync issues but not sure if it’s the disc or my player (Penny 820) which I’m having issues with.

    Using the same equipment as you (LG OLED and panny 820).

  7. Tino

    I’ve just spit checked the disc and have encountered a few freezing spots already. One at the 40:54 mark.

    And also lip sync issues but not sure if it’s the disc or my player (Penny 820) which I’m having issues with.

    Using the same equipment as you (LG OLED and panny 820).

    Well then, don't spit on your discs prior to playing them!

  8. Tino

    Just tried it on my Xbox 1 and zero freezing issues.

    Must be a 820 issue( which I’m now returning).

    Black Hawk Down was the first 4K disc I have had an issue with, I have played quite a few 4K discs with no problems.

  9. I find it an engrossing film to watch from start to finish.
    Ridley Scott at one of his peaks as well as the actors.
    Superb cast from minor to major characters.
    Mine is arriving tomorrow and will be viewed tomorrow nite.
    I waited for the reviews and it cost me 3 whole dollar bills.

    Next up, Apocalypse Now 🙂
    With my recent OLED purchase it should be stunning

  10. Robert Crawford

    By the way, my HD stream on iTunes automatically upgraded to 4K/Dolby Vision without me redeeming the digital code but without Dolby Atmos.

    Not to derail the thread but score one for physical media!

  11. I own an 820 as well, but have held off this disc for now because I've seen one too many reports of 820 users having issues with this disc for some reason. I wonder if Panasonic will need to issue a firmware update.

  12. John Dirk

    Not to derail the thread but score one for physical media!

    You do realize I have several digital titles that are 4K with HDR/Dolby Vision and some with Dolby Atmos that have never been released on 4K/UHD disc. I even have several HD titles that only had Blu-ray releases with Dolby Atmos audio.

    Each home video format has its pros and cons which is why I utilized both formats to enjoy my movies.:)

  13. Robert Crawford

    You do realize I have several digital titles that are 4K with HDR/Dolby Vision and some with Dolby Atmos that have never been released on 4K/UHD disc. I even have several HD titles that only had Blu-ray releases with Dolby Atmos audio.

    Actually, no, I wasn't aware of the details of your personal collection [kidding 🙂 ] and also didn't realize the scenario you describe existed. I have always assumed anything in the streaming realm would have an identical companion on physical media which, presumably, was used to create the streaming version, at least for major films. i guess I have a lot to learn in this area.

    Robert Crawford

    Each home video format has its pros and cons which is why I utilized both formats to enjoy my movies.:)

    Absolutely agree. Personally, I've never redeemed a digital code. No idea how many I may even have. It's not out of any disdain for them, I'm just ultimately too lazy. 🙂 I stream almost daily for my casual [Netflix] viewing but have yet to do so for feature films.

    I know streaming is the future and have no problem with it. I just wish both formats could peacefully co-exist for the foreseeable future. Time will tell.

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