The Man from UNCLE appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Across the board, this was an appealing transfer.
Sharpness usually looked strong. A little softness appeared at times, some of which seemed to be a stylistic choice, but the majority of the film provided a tight, well-defined image. Jagged edges and moiré effects remained absent, while edge haloes and digital noise reduction also failed to appear. Print flaws stayed absent as well.
Like most modern action films, UNCLE went with a teal and orange palette. These tones seemed a little surprising given the movie’s period setting – I thought UNCLE might favor tones that represented 1960s flicks - but they worked fine within the movie’s design parameters and showed good delineation. Blacks were dark and tight, while shadows boasted nice clarity and smoothness. I felt this was a consistently positive image.
As befits a slick action movie, the flick’s Dolby Atmos soundtrack offered a lot of pizzazz. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1 on my system, the mix used the channels in an involving manner throughout the majority of the film. This meant cars, gunfire and other mayhem all around the room, and the elements connected in a concise, smooth manner. Add to that music as a bold partner and the soundscape turned into an aggressive experience.
Audio quality always satisfied. Music was dynamic and full, and effects followed suit; those components came across as accurate and wel-developed. Speech seemed distinctive and crisp, without edginess or other issues. Everything impressed in this strong soundtrack.
In terms of extras, the Blu-ray comes with some featurettes. Spy Vision: Recreating 60s Cool runs eight minutes, 34 seconds and provides info from producer/writer Lionel Wigram, producer/writer/director Guy Ritchie, costume designer Joanna Johnston, supervising location manager Sue Quinn, production designer Oliver Scholl, action vehicles coordinator Alex King, and actors Armie Hammer, Elizabeth Debicki, Sylvester Groth, Hugh Grant, Alicia Vikander, and Henry Cavill. “Vision” discusses costumes, locations and production design, technology and vehicles. Despite an undercurrent of hyperbole, “Vision” mostly offers a good look at how the film recreated its 1960s period.
During the seven-minute, 13-second A Higher Class of Hero, we locate notes from Wigram, Ritchie, Vikander, Cavill, Hammer, King, 2nd unit director/stunt coordinator Paul Jennings, special effects supervisor Dominic Tuohy and actor Luca Calvani. “Hero” looks at the movie’s stunts and action. Like “Vision”, this can feel a bit over the top, but it comes with a reasonable amount of information.
Next comes Metisse Motorcycles: Proper – And Very British. It fills four minutes, 49 seconds with remarks from Hammer, assistant stunt coordinator Lee Morrison and Metisse Motorcycle owner Gerry Lisi. Here Hammer and Morrison get a tour from Lisi and let us see the inner workings of the Metisse. It’s a fun look at the motorcycle.
The Guys from UNCLE lasts four minutes, 57 seconds and features Wigram, Ritchie, Cavill, Hammer, Vikander, Calvani Tuohy, Jennings, and actor Jared Harris. “Guys” discusses cast and characters. A few facts emerge, but mostly this adds up to praise for Hammer and Cavill.
With A Man of Extraordinary Talents, we discover a three-minute, 16-second reel with Hammer, Cavill, Debicki, Vikander, Wigram, Calvini, Grant, producer Steve Clark-Hall. “Man” looks at Ritchie’s impact on the set. The featurette follows in the fluffy footsteps of “Guys” and lacks much real informational value.
Finally, UNCLE: On-Set Spy consists of four behind the scenes clips. With a total running time of five minutes, 16 seconds, we get “Don’t Swim Elegantly” (1:08), “You Want to Wrestle?” (1:11), “Heli Restored” (1:09) and “A Family Thing” (1:48). The first two show footage from the shoot without any commentary, but “Heli” offers notes from Wigram and helicopter owner/pilot Robert Hields and “Thing” features assistant director trainee Rory Gibb. I like the presentation and think these snippets can be enjoyable.
The disc opens with an ad for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. No trailer for UNCLE shows up here.
A second disc provides a DVD copy of UNCLE. It includes “A Higher Class of Hero” but lacks the other extras.
Aspects of The Man From UNCLE work well, but the movie seems curiously lackluster overall. While I think it delivers acceptable entertainment, it never becomes better than average. The Blu-ray offers solid picture and audio along with a handful of supplements. UNCLE keeps us moderately engaged but it fails to excel.