The Hunt For Red October (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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Old 07-25-2008, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=116053&d=1217010260
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109942&d=1210373647

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

84






Studio and Year: Paramount - 1990
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 135 Minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: MPEG-4 (AVC)
Video Aspect: 2.20:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Starring: Alec Baldwin, Sean Connery, James Earl Jones, Scott Glenn, Sam Neill
Directed by: John McTiernan
Music by: Basil Poledouris
Written by: Larry Ferguson & Donald Stewart based upon the Novel by Tom Clancy
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: July 29, 2008







" Invisible, Silent, Stolen "



Film Synopsis:



Based on Tom Clancy's bestseller, directed by John McTiernan (Die Hard) and starring Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin, The Hunt For Red October seethes with high-tech excitement and sweats with the tension of men who hold Doomsday in their hands. A new technologically-superior Soviet nuclear sub, the Red October, is heading for the U.S. coast under the command of Captain Marko Ramius (Connery). The American government thinks Ramius is planning to attack. A lone CIA analyst (Baldwin) has a different idea: he thinks Ramius is planning to defect, but he has only a few hours to find him and prove it - because the entire Russion naval and air commands are trying to find him, too. The hunt is on!



My Take:

Well I have to tell you that I am ashamed to admit that I have NEVER seen The hunt for Red October in its entirety. I have caught glimpses here and there on cable etc. but that is about it. I saw Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger first and really liked Harrison Ford in the Jack Ryan role and just couldn't see Alec Baldwin in the part. Since most are probably familiar with this movie I will forego any in depth commentary on the film. I am sure that I am not stating anything new to those reading this when I say that I really enjoyed this film. Its strength lies in its story about a decorated Russian submarine Captain who along with a few of his key officers desires to defect to the United States. In order to facilitate this he needs the use of the newest and most advanced (Russian) submarine on the planet. The protagonist in the story is the only one who believes that the Russians are not looking to attack the U.S. and is under the gun to prove it before its too late. Add to that the excellent casting and John McTiernan's superb direction and the results speak for themselves. It is easy to see how this film started the Clancy/Ryan movie franchise that followed.





Parental Guide:

The rating is for some violence and brief language. I see no problem for pre-teens and above.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 84



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699



Video: 84


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

The hunt for Red October comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 32 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround sound that has an average bitrate of 4 mbps.

Having never seen this film I felt at a bit of a disadvantage when trying evaluate it. Grain is definitely part of the equation and is visible throughout. Its presence is obvious and at times heavier than others. I wouldn't say that it impeded the ability to clearly render detail but on occasion fidelity wavered during scenes where grain's presence was more noticeable. I noticed some minor mosquito type noise during a low light scene where the Red October is about to submerge. It can be seen on the submarine's hull as it begins to lower into the water. The anomaly was visible briefly and most may not even notice it. I was pleased with the level of detail present and thought that image depth was quite good. The interior shots of Red October were brimming with object detail that made it easy to see the dials, electronics etc. on the instrument panels. The weave of the fabric on the black uniforms worn by the crew was apparent as was visible texture on the skin and hair of the cast. Long distance shots such as the one at the beginning of chapter 3 when Jack enters the large Maryland Shipyard had excellent dimensionality and plenty of descriptive representation. I did notice a few instances where sharpness was inconsistent which created a slight softening effect but this was brief in duration. Resolution was quite good which helped to give the video a stable and clean overall appearance. Colors were well saturated and visually pleasing. Flesh tones had natural tonality with good delineation and lifelike pigmentation. Blacks were deep with good dynamic range and contrast. Visible detail in dark areas and shadows was present but lacked the visual acuity of the best that I have seen. This was a high bitrate encoding that I felt that was solid for an 18 year old catalog title release.

The lossless Dolby TruedHD audio easily equaled the video presentation in terms of overall fidelity. It was obvious from the start that this was going to be a mix that was going to utilize the entire surround platform. Imaging, clarity and detail combined to create an atmosphere where subtle nuances contained in the soundtrack were easy to comprehend. Dynamics were excellent and really helped to drive the film's underwater battle sequences. This mix made regular and fervent use of the surround channels. Sounds passing through the room had a wonderfully immersive feeling as they matched the onscreen action. I detected that surrounds may have been mixed just a tad too hot which sometimes overshadowed dialogue. During quieter passages dialogue was intelligible with concise tonal quality and articulation. I would like to have seen (or felt) deeper bass impact. It was present but didn't have the quality and tactility that would have made it a better match with the rest of the audio. Like the video I felt that this was a high bitrate encoding that made its high resolution benefits obvious. Well done.



Bonus Features:



The bonus supplements offered here featured a 29 minute making of documentary with cast/crew interviews and behind the scenes footage which was pretty informative. A Director's audio commentary track and theatrical trailer (in high definition) rounded things out with little fanfare.




  • Commentary with Director John McTiernan

  • Beneath the surface - cast and crew interviews

  • (HD) Theatrical Trailer




Final Thoughts:



Considered by many to be the best of the Clancy/Jack Ryan films, The hunt for Red October is an excellent film. This high definition Blu-ray presentation was my first experience with it and what an impressive introduction. This is sure to be an upgrade over any previous home video version in both audio and video quality which fans will appreciate. This is a film that should have a place in your collection. Recommended.







attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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Old 07-25-2008, 05:20 PM
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Thanks Ralph, I will be picking this one up!

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Old 07-25-2008, 05:23 PM
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Instant purchase for me.

Blu Ray... 3-D TV... 4K... I Like New STUFF!!!

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Old 07-25-2008, 10:38 PM
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Def going to pick this up.

Ralph, the original DVD of this movie suffered the problem where the english subtitles were outside the frame of the movie. Have they got it right in the Blu-ray? Important for those with anamorphic projector setups.
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Old 07-26-2008, 03:09 AM
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Is the BD better than the HD DVD?
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Old 07-26-2008, 04:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Honey1 View Post

Is the BD better than the HD DVD?

Question is it better then the first edition DVD because chances are its been toyed around with and without proper listening and I don’t mean just listening to it straight as 5.1 I mean you, need to really listen as I’ve heard this several times projected in Dolby stereo SR type.

Looking at the top of the extras and I’m also fully aware that a special edition was realised with Paramount pictures dts campaign just for the sakes of dts!

dts was never around on the time of realise of this film. It was ether Dolby stereo A and SR types along with 70mm six-track Dolby stereo A and SR magnetic. I didn’t bother buying the special edition because the extras was underwhelming and are the same extras used on this bluray so much of double dipping.

A film is film its mealy a copy of the original and its not film based emulsion ether, its video and that’s it.

If there special edition was 2 disc DVD with enough extras to sink a battle ship, then maybe I would have brought it, without thinking its scam just because its got dts on it, big deal!

The first edition DVD that I have is perfect enough in the video copying realm world.
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Old 07-26-2008, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Honey1 View Post

Is the BD better than the HD DVD?

HD DVD was ~20 Mbps AVC, while this one is ~30 Mbps.

Everything else should be the same.
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Old 07-26-2008, 11:29 AM
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This is among my top 5 favorite movies, which is why I ordered the HD DVD set with overnight shipping from a well known (in this forum anyway) company that shipped before release dates.

It was also a very good transfer, I think only being topped out by Clear and Present Danger (my 2nd favorite in the series). If they did a re-encode with more detail, or just the same encode - I think you all will be pleased with what you get. Grain seemed true and consistent and with no/little processing (maybe some EE, I usually can't see it unless in a screenshot). It's about as good as it's gonna look, put it that way.
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Old 07-26-2008, 02:00 PM
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HD DVD was ~20 Mbps AVC, while this one is ~30 Mbps.

Everything else should be the same.

Thanks for the info.
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Old 07-27-2008, 11:45 AM
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Nice Review, this one is definitely on the shopping list.
As a former Submariner, I find most submarine movies are riddled with so many techincal inaccuracies and unrealistic portrayals, they are unwatchable for me. However in Red October, the scenes onboard the US Submarine showing the crew interaction are well done and realistic.
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Old 07-27-2008, 07:43 PM
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Great review.

I too have never seen this film despite seeing the other Jack Ryan movies. I'm tempted to just blind buy this one, but will probably just give it a rental.

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Old 07-27-2008, 11:18 PM
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The tone for this film and portrayal of Jack Ryan is quite a bit different in approach to Harrison Ford's. Nevertheless, the film IS one of the best in the series with strong performances (I know a lot of folks are not fans of Ford as Ryan buy I would have loved to see Ford and Connery together again in a film)
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Old 07-28-2008, 05:52 AM
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GREAT MOVIE...I'll be geting it (again) in bluray for sure. LOL at the comment DTS...big deal..hahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaa...ya right!
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Old 07-29-2008, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Borvio View Post

Grain seemed true and consistent and with no/little processing (maybe some EE, I usually can't see it unless in a screenshot).

What size is your screen, and how far do you view it from?
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Old 07-30-2008, 08:47 PM
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Has anyone gotten Hunt for Red October to work on TMC? I can get to the menu, but hitting OK/ENTER will Pause the movie, and after hitting play again nothing will work. I can set the audio settings in the movie alright, but anything that will trigger the movie to play will do nothing.
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Old 09-14-2008, 06:52 AM
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The ironic thing about this movie is that Harrison Ford turned down the Jack Ryan role because he didn't want to appear with Sean Connery. He felt that there should only be one star of that calibur in it, and since Connery was already signed he passed. It was only a year or two later that they did team up for Indy 3.

I actually prefer Alec Baldwin's performance as Jack Ryan. It's much closer to how the character is written in the books.

This review really isn't helpful at all for those of us who are trying to decide if an upgrade is in order. They should have had someone who has at least seen the movie before write the review.
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Old 09-14-2008, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oragustus View Post

The ironic thing about this movie is that Harrison Ford turned down the Jack Ryan role because he didn't want to appear with Sean Connery. He felt that there should only be one star of that calibur in it, and since Connery was already signed he passed. It was only a year or two later that they did team up for Indy 3.

This movie was released March 2, 1990 and Indy 3 was released on May 24th, 1989, so I'm confused by what you're saying.

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This review really isn't helpful at all for those of us who are trying to decide if an upgrade is in order. They should have had someone who has at least seen the movie before write the review.

Perhaps you should get both and add your thoughts to this review?

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Old 09-14-2008, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oragustus View Post

The ironic thing about this movie is that Harrison Ford turned down the Jack Ryan role because he didn't want to appear with Sean Connery. He felt that there should only be one star of that calibur in it, and since Connery was already signed he passed. It was only a year or two later that they did team up for Indy 3.

I actually prefer Alec Baldwin's performance as Jack Ryan. It's much closer to how the character is written in the books.

This review really isn't helpful at all for those of us who are trying to decide if an upgrade is in order. They should have had someone who has at least seen the movie before write the review.

Oragutus,

Where did you get that information? According to the supplements, this isn't what happened...they went in wanting a relatively unknown actor to play Ryan to hopefully set up a character for a string of films. Baldwin was "the man," but his and Kim Bassinger's antics on another movie and his commitment to another project through a monkey wrench in Paramount's plans, so they went a different direction and Ford became available when another film he was doing was canceled (for other reasons).

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Old 10-29-2008, 04:59 AM
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Watched this BD last night, hadn't seen the film in a very very long time. It's even better then I remember, fantastic story and wonderful casting. First time I'd seen it was soon after I'd read the book, and you never want to do that with Clancy's stuff...the films always seem shallow in comparison. If you enjoy the story, do read the book. It's an absolute classic, with a delicious amount of detail that fills in all the stuff glossed-over in or left out of the film.
The picture left little to complain about, detail was great in facial close-ups and grain is intact.


Quote:
I actually prefer Alec Baldwin's performance as Jack Ryan. It's much closer to how the character is written in the books.

Agreed.

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Old 11-02-2008, 06:46 PM
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Definitely a pickup for me - heck I got to get it just for the fact my screenname is named after one of the characters . I have it on dvd as well, but after the review it seems worthy of picking it up in blu.
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Old 11-05-2008, 07:37 AM
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Definitely a pickup for me - heck I got to get it just for the fact my screenname is named after one of the characters . I have it on dvd as well, but after the review it seems worthy of picking it up in blu.


Definitely worth owning. HFRO is one of my most favorite 80's action movie.
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Old 11-05-2008, 08:14 AM
 
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Definitely worth owning. HFRO is one of my most favorite 80's action movie.

With ALL due respect Tom Clancy's novels are definitely characterized by suspense which made them top sellers. The action on Mr. Clancy's novels is therefore a by product. The action label to this movie categorically does NOT apply.
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