Sony brings the Clint Eastwood thriller In the Line of Fire to 4K UHD Blu-ray in a stunning new transfer.
The Production: 4/5
Clint Eastwood play aging Secret Service agent Frank Horrigan, who is still haunted by his failed attempt to stop the assassination of President John F. Kennedy thirty years earlier, spending most of his time tracking down counterfeiters with his young partner Al D’Andrea (Dylan McDermott). When the President (Jim Curley) receives an assassination attempt, Horrigan is sent to investigate, starting a cat and mouse game with Mitch Leary (John Malkovich) as Horrigan and a team of agents including Lilly Raines (Rene Ruso) try to track down the assailant.
In the Line of Fire is still a very effective thriller 28 years after its initial theatrical release. Eastwood is at the top of his form, Malkovich is at his creepy best, and director Wolfgang Petersen keeps the tension level high. Parts of the film have not aged well, though, such as the relationship between Horrigan and Raines (Eastwood was 62 at the time, Russo was 39), Horrigan’s almost misogynistic overtones (by today’s standards), and the layered matte effects that were revolutionary at the time are blatantly obvious in this new 4K transfer. If you can look past those rather minor details, thew movie is still a fun ride.
3D Rating: NA
Wow! Sony has gone back to the original 35mm camera negative to create a new 4K scan and 4K digital intermediate for this 4K UHD Blu-ray release. The 2160p HEVC-encoded transfer uses HDR10 high dynamic range. This is a razor sharp image that still retains its organic film grain structure, nearly everything is noticeably visible, from facial features and hair to fabric textures and imperfections in walls and furniture. The image is almost too good, with some of the early digital composites now really showing their age. Colors are vivid yet do not appear overly saturated. Contrast is excellent, with deep blacks and strong shadow detail, even in the darkest of scenes. This is definitely one of Sony’s best 4K catalog releases to date.
The new Dolby Atmos mix bests the 5.1 mix (included on this disc in DTS-HD MA) which was based on either the theatrical SDDS 8-channel mix or 6-channel mix for 70mm prints. The Atmos mix is much wider and deeper, but also provides seamless panning and more exact placement of sounds within the viewing area. Crowd scenes are more immersive, thanks to use of heights and rear surrounds. Dialogue is clear and understandable throughout. Sony has also included a 2.0 stereo DTS-HD MA track, as well.
Special Features: 4/5
Sony has opted to release In the Line of Fire as a single 4K disc and digital copy combo, ditching a Blu-ray copy. The good news is that all of the bonus features from the previous Blu-ray and DVD releases have been included on the 4K disc.
The Ultimate Sacrifice (upscaled 1080p; 22:13)
Catching the Counterfeiters (upscaled 1080p; 5:28)
Behind the Scenes with the Secret Service (upscaled 1080p; 19:55)
Audio Commentary with Director Wolfgang Petersen
How’d They Do That? (upscaled 1080p; 4:58)
Deleted Scenes (upscaled 1080p; 4:53)
Teaser Trailer (1080p; 1:20)
Digital Copy: An insert contains a code to redeem a 4K digital copy on Movies Anywhere.
Sony delivers yet another stellar 4K transfer for a catalog title.
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