Review: The Hunt for Red October (4K)

Author Tom Clancy’s renowned CIA analyst returns this month when the new series “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” debuts on Amazon. In anticipation, fans can catch up on all of the celebrated character’s cinematic exploits when a new new 4K UHD/Blu-Ray Combo Collection which arrives today via Paramount.

With four times the resolution and more than double the number of colors available with full HD, the 4K UHD disc offers the highest quality picture for your home entertainment system. The 10-disc Jack Ryan Collection is available now at Amazon and Best Buy. Furthermore, the films are also available on 4K UHD Digital through select retailers.

First up, you get my favorite in the series; The Hunt for Red October. The USSR’s best captain (Sean Connery) heads for the U.S. in a technologically advanced submarine. Whole the American government thinks it’s an attached, a lone CIA analyst (Alec Baldwin) insists the captain is planning to defect. Both the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-Ray Discs include commentary by director John McTierman and the Blu-Ray additionally includes a 29-minute behind-the-scenes look at the film.

Plot: Based on the popular Tom Clancy novel, this suspenseful movie tracks Soviet submarine captain Marko Ramius (Sean Connery) as he abandons his orders and heads for the east coast of the United States. Equipped with innovative stealth technology, Ramius’ submarine, “Red October,” is virtually invisible. However, when an American sub briefly detects the Russians’ presence, CIA agent Jack Ryan (Alec Baldwin) sets out to determine Ramius’ motives, fearing he may launch an attack on the U.S.

Director: John McTiernan

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Runtime: 135 min

Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 86% & IMDB 7.6/10

Unboxing (see below)

Review:

Officially, this was shot on 35mm film and for this Ultra HD release, it was scanned in full native 4K and given a HDR color grade in both HDR10 and Dolby Vision. Moving forward, there is a fine layer of grain that can be seen throughout the film. This movie, which mostly takes place in submarines, sees very little light — so the focal points that stood out to me are the black levels and the little color that is shown in these scenes.

Where you will see these focal points shune are in the majority of the cabin scenes with all the lighting coming from the overhead lights, buttons and radars glowing off the screen. These particular scenes look more real then they ever had before. The lighting off of crew members faces in various colors like red, green, blue and yellow look crisp and add depth that wasn’t seen in the Blu-Ray. Keeping to point, the blacks also hit hard making any color on screen stand out more so than before. It’s a great mix that all worked together nicely.

Even some of the underwater scenes, like the the docking between the two submarines look great and hit all the right marks in color and darkness.

Overall, what this transfer does well is put forth a big boost to the clarity with the added solid-subtle use of HDR. It’s by no means an eye-popping-stellar 4K disc, but it does the original film justice. (You can see this in the added detail, textures, depth and color.)

Conclusion:

Like I mentioned, this is my favorite film in the Jack Ryan franchise and while it isn’t exceptional eye-candy, this awesome spy-thriller has never looked better than it does right now on UHD. If you’re a fan of The Hunt for Red October, I highly recommend you pick this up and enjoy it again.

Cheers,

Matt.