Red appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. This was a mostly appealing presentation.
Overall sharpness worked well. Some softness crept in at times, but the majority of the flick seemed well-defined.
I noticed no issues with jaggies, shimmering or edge haloes, and source flaws were absent. This was a grainier than average image, though.
Colors seemed satisfying – and the movie went with a surprisingly natural palette. Oh, I noticed a teal tint here and an orange tone there – especially during the film’s climax - but the flick was usually fairly straight-ahead in terms of hues. They tended to be solid, without runniness or other issues.
Blacks were tight and firm, while shadows looked concise and clear. This wasn’t a killer presentation, but it represented the film in a satisfying manner.
As one expects from a big action flick, the Dolby Atmos soundfield – downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1 on my system - opened up in a dynamic manner. The many action sequences used the channels well, as vehicles, gunfire and other elements fleshed out the room in a compelling manner. The track used the surrounds in an involving way and made them active partners in the mix.
Audio quality always seemed strong. Speech came across as crisp and concise, without edginess or other concerns.
Music sounded lively and full, and effects were well reproduced. Those elements seemed consistently accurate and dynamic, and low-end was tight and deep. All in all, this was a more than satisfactory soundtrack.
How does the 4K UHD release compare to the original 2011 Blu-ray? Audio showed a bit more movement and punch, while visuals were more accurate and natural. The limitations of the source meant this didn’t become a great improvement, but the 4K UHD provided the more satisfying reproduction of the film.
A full roster of extras appears on the included Blu-ray disc, but a few also appear on the 4K UHD disc. I’ll note materials that show up on both with red print.
We find an audio commentary from movie consultant/retired CIA field officer Robert Baer. He offers a running, screen-specific chat that occasionally discusses aspects of the movie and his work on it. However, Baer usually concentrates on his life in the CIA.
And that’s the selling point, isn’t it? Early on, Baer tells us that the CIA requires operatives to sign a non-disclosure agreement, so it’s unclear how much he can’t legally tell us, but he offers quite a few good observations about life in the agency. The track occasionally sags, and it takes Baer a while to get into the process, but he manages to make this an intriguing discussion.
For elements more closely related to the film’s creation, we go to an interactive program called Access: Red. This runs alongside the movie itself and offers elements across six subdomains:
“Did You Know?”: Trivia tidbits about the film and connected topics.
“Damage Control”: Info about the movie’s mayhem, with an emphasis on the cost of repairs and punishments for infractions.
“Retired Hall of Fame”: Facts about former CIA agents.
“CIA Exposed”: Video clips with info about some of the CIA’s tawdrier activities.
“Cast Insights”: Interview material from producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura as well as actors Mary-Louise Parker, John Malkovich, Richard Dreyfuss, Rebecca Pidgeon, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Brian Cox, Bruce Willis, Karl Urban, and Julian McMahon. They chat about cast and crew, locations and action scenes, characters and story, and costumes.
“Expert Intel”: Excerpts from Robert Baer’s audio commentary.
Though “Access” covers those six topics, don’t expect constant info on screen. Happily, it comes with the ability to skip ahead to the next tidbit, so you’re not stuck watching the entire movie; you can jump easily and don’t have to waste your time.
That’s a good bonus, as it makes “Access” much more enjoyable. The content itself is decent but not especially great. Still, they add a decent selection of insights about the movie and its real-life connections, so “Access” is reasonably productive.
10 Deleted and Extended Scenes occupy a total of eight minutes, 46 seconds. Most of these simply add a little to existing sequences, so they’re not especially memorable.
I do like the piece in which Marvin gripes about being called old, and we also see a little more about Cooper’s home life; those snippets would’ve added a bit of depth to the flick’s climax. Most of the cut pieces are pretty superfluous, though, and they’re too brief to make a positive or negative difference.
The Blu-ray disc opens with an ad for Fair Game. The 4K UHD disc also includes the trailer for