4k reviews

STAR TREK (4K UHD BLU-RAY) – ATMOS IMMERSIVENESS LEVEL

Paramount

4k UHD Blu-Ray • Atmos

I never really got too into Star Trek and its many TV incarnations, or movies, and whatever else that universe spit out commercially. But back in the day, when I heard the nerds that made Lost were doing their own Star Trek, I knew I had to jump on. So I went to the theater and saw this movie and I was hooked. I remember buying the blu-ray as soon as it came out and it was one of the regular demo fixtures in my first 5.1 theater room I had. Now, it’s on beautiful 4K and sports a brand new Atmos track that is sure to blow anyone away. Here are the scenes that really stood out on my first Atmos watch:

• Chapter 2: The car chase has some really cool overhead moments as the cop on the hover bike jumps up and down behind the convertible and Beastie Boys’ Sabotage blasts through each of the speakers behind the action. Spock’s holographic lessons are taught from overhead speakers and the voices drift across the ceiling from every angle

• Chapter 5: Once everyone is finally on the Enterprise, the various bleeps and space bloops from all over the ship are constant and come from all directions. When Vulcan is being destroyed, the beam stretching down to the planet’s surface dances from the front to the back of the stage and crawls across the ceiling. Really cool

• Chapter 7: The sword fight on the Romulan platform has some really cool effects when fireballs erupt from some vents, and the sound follows the flames up the ceiling. Beeps on the Enterprise seem to be getting more frequent as the story gets more tense. When Kirk skydives to save Sulu, the wind whips all across the stage as they descend

• Chapter 9: When the red creature chases Kirk on the snow planet, he jumps around the stage and it kind of feels like the ceiling is caving in. Each roar comes down from right above you. It’s wild. Old Spock shows Kirk what happened in his timeline but it’s narrated through overhead speakers and dances across the ceiling. Easily, the best ‘god voice’ effect I’ve heard since I’ve toyed with Atmos movies at home

• Chapter 12: When Spock and Kirk board a Romulan ship, a firefight breaks out and phaser blasts bounce around the ceiling, sending pieces of wall and metal ricocheting all over

• Chapter 13: The Romulan drill is destroyed by Spock and it falls from Earth’s atmosphere into the water below the Golden Gate Bridge, and the sound cascades downward from the ceiling. The camera moves through red matter aboard the Romulan ship and the sound of the bubbles creeps through all the speakers and you can almost feel it

Overall, this Atmos mix is a leap over the already stellar TrueHD mix I was so used to. It’s got so many cool moments and at times, really immerses you into the movie. That being said, the front mix carries most of the weight throughout. This isn’t a bad thing. This is a big, loud, SPACE movie. It needs those fronts to be throaty and that dialogue needs to be clear amidst all the action. This is a great all around Atmos mix, but it’s not going to get all 5 rated speakers because it won’t really immerse you throughout the entire film.

DOLBY ATMOS IMMERSIVENESS:

🔊 🔊 🔊 🔊 / 5

Cliffhanger (4k UHD Blu-Ray) – Atmos Immersiveness Level

Sony

4k UHD Blu-Ray • Atmos

Helicopters, trickling caves, and explosions galore! I never got to see this classic in theaters, though I was only 8 when it came out, so I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it like I do now anyway. After buying an Atmos receiver, this was one of the first purchases I made, and I knew that I had to dedicate a Saturday afternoon to it so I could savor every second of this new transfer. And wow, as many times as I have seen this movie, this was like a brand new watch all over again. Not only is that 4K transfer simply incredible, the Atmos track is almost dumbfounding. Here are some moments that really stuck out:

• Chapter 1: Helicopter over your head before any credits even begin to roll. Continues throughout scene as a dramatic rescue attempt unfolds

• Chapter 3-5: Scene begins with a jet going right over the middle listening position to the front of the stage. Rain pours over the roof of a ranger’s station. The two planes attempting to tie off on each other features a lot of ambient, overhead noise and talking into headsets. Ends with an insane jet explosion and crash landing that makes use of all the speakers across the stage. Ridiculously fun. Really active Atmos scene that is definitely demo material

• Chapter 7: Wind and snow dance across the ceiling as Stallone begins his first free climb. Makes you feel like you’re there. Bullets and explosions whizz from back to front right over you, causing an incredibly active avalanche that’ll wake your neighbors

• Chapter 10: Stallone and companion are in a cave. Water drips from above all around you before they find some bats who begin to flutter from all directions. Pretty much every scene that is shot in the caves goes insane with the overheads. Really fun use of Atmos

• Chapter 12: After blowing up a mountainside with C4 and debris rains down all around you, a helicopter climbs through the sound field to a windswept peak. Stallone runs across a bridge and you can hear the ropes tearing all around you before another C4 explosion rocks the entire room. Insane

From here until the final credits, the movie is just a full sonic assault. It has to be seen to be believed. Yeah, it’s probably overkill, but so is Atmos anyway, right? Like many 90’s movies that got the 3D Blu-Ray treatment and caused you to think halfway through, “This 3D transfer is insane!,” the Atmos mix on this disc is probably excessive, but it’ll be to the delight of those who really love incredibly active overheads and dramatic explosions every few minutes. Whoever mixed this over at Sony knew what the average Cliffhanger viewer wanted. Buy this one immediately.

ATMOS IMMERSIVENESS LEVEL:

🔊 🔊 🔊 🔊 🔊 / 5