Clear and Present Danger appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. Though not stellar, the image held up pretty well.
Sharpness varied but usually seemed strong. Though occasional shots looked oddly soft – usually during interiors – the majority of the movie offered accurate, concise visuals.
No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge haloes created no distractions. Print flaws also failed to pop up during this clean presentation, though I thought a little digital noise reduction could make the movie a bit too “smoothed-out” at times.
Colors were generally good given the movie’s low-key palette. Much of the film opted for grays or earth tones, so the hues lacked much room to dazzle, but they seemed true to the project’s intentions.
Blacks came across as deep and tight, while shadows showed nice visibility. Though the image didn’t seem consistently great, it was good enough for a “B”.
In addition, Danger presented a stellar Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundfield. The louder scenes benefited the most, of course, as the various action sequences presented excellent use of all five channels.
For example, the motorcade assault really took great advantage of the various speakers. Bullets and vehicles moved efficiently and accurately all around the room, and everything remained logically placed.
Quieter scenes also demonstrated a strong feeling of environment, and helped place us in the moment well. Even something as simple as a room filled with computer operators gave us a good sense of atmosphere.
Audio quality mostly appeared excellent, with only some small exceptions. Actually, I only detected one occasional exception, and it related to speech. At times dialogue came across as mildly stiff, but that didn’t occur frequently.
For the most part, the lines seemed distinct and natural. Music appeared vibrant and dynamic, with bright highs and rich bass.
Effects stole the show as expected. Those elements sounded vivid and robust, and they packed a nice punch.
Low-end response was consistently terrific, as bass appeared loud and clear. The audio of Clear and Present Danger nicely complemented the action and helped make the movie more satisfying.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray version? Audio remained identical, as both discs provided the same TrueHD material.
Visuals became a different matter, though, as the 4K UHD presented a clear – and present – improvement over the BD. The 4K UHD looked more concise and cleaner with superior colors and depth. Even with its minor drawbacks, the 4K UHD seemed much more appealing than the blah Blu-ray.
No extras appear on the 4K UHD itself, but the included Blu-ray copy brings some elements. In addition to the film’s trailer, we get a documentary called Behind the Danger.
This 26-minute and 35-second program presents interviews with producer Mace Neufeld, director Phillip Noyce, and actors Harrison Ford, Donald Moffat, Harris Yulin, Ann Magnuson, James Earl Jones, Henry Czerny, Anne Archer, Miguel Sandoval, and Joaquim de Almeida.
This program talks about the producer’s desire to keep the party going after everyone enjoyed making Patriot Games and then goes over subjects such as Noyce’s influence on the set, the film’s expansion of the Ryan character, the relationship between Greer and Ryan, the development – or lack thereof – accorded the character of Cathy, casting the new actors, creating the computer duel and motorcade assassination sequences, and the destruction of a house.
This program indulges in more happy talk than the other two; much of the time we hear little more than how wonderful everyone is. However, it includes some good information about the technical topics, and the inclusion of some animated storyboards for the motorcade scene provides a cool look at those techniques. “Danger” is a fairly average documentary as a whole, though.
Probably the best of the Jack Ryan flicks, Clear and Present Danger offers a satisfying action flick that consistently fires on all cylinders. Boasting a solid cast and some excellent action pieces, the movie seems exciting and dramatic. The 4K UHD delivers excellent audio with generally positive visuals and mediocre supplements. I wish the Ryan movies would get better bonus materials, but at least the 4K UHD presents the movie itself well.
Note that as of August 2018, this 4K UHD version of Clear and Present Danger can only be purchased via a five-movie package. The “Jack Ryan Collection” also includes 4K UHD versions of The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, The Sum of All Fears and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.
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