Ralph Potts reviews the second installment in the popular Jack Ryan film franchise, based on the book series by Tom Clancy, which are making their debut on Ultra HD Blu-ray from Paramount Home Distribution.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )


Studio and Year: Paramount - 1992
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 116 minutes
Genre: Thriller/Drama

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Subtitles: > English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Starring: Harrison Ford, Anne Archer, Patrick Bergin, Sean Bean, Richard Harris, Thora Birch
Directed by: Philip Noyce
Music by: James Horner
Written by: W. Peter Iliff & Donald Stewart
Region Code: A

Release Date: August 21, 2018
"Not for Honor. Not for Country. For his Wife and Child"
My Take:

I reviewed Patriot Games’ 2008 Blu-ray release, and have included my comments from that review here. Ratings for film, audio, and bonus content will be the same, as they are identical to that release. New comments and ratings for the Ultra HD video are below.

It should be noted that this Ultra HD release is only available as part of the Jack Ryan 5-film Collection Ultra HD release.

Harrison Ford stars as Jack Ryan in this explosive thriller based on Tom Clancy's international best-seller. His days as an intelligence agent behind him, former CIA analyst Jack Ryan has traveled to London to vacation with his wife and daughter. Meeting his family outside of Buckingham Palace, Ryan is caught in the middle of a terrorist attack on a member of the Royal Family. Ryan helps to thwart Holmes' assailants and becomes a local hero. But Ryan's courageous act marks him as a target in the sights of the terrorist whose brother he killed. Now Ryan must return to action for the most vital assignment of his life: to save his family.

Patriot Games is solid thriller that introduces Harrison Ford to the Jack Ryan character. The story’s tone is more personal and one dimensional than Clear and present danger. I think that Ford gave a more emotional performance here which came as no surprise based upon the nature of the story. Of all of the Clancy/Ryan films I felt that this one had the weakest group of characters (other than the staples). It seemed like a waste to have an actor like Richard Harris in the role of Paddy O’Neil. The character’s part in the film had little significance although I am sure that he had more impact in the book. I couldn’t help but feel like Sean Miller, Kevin O’Donnell and their minions were a bunch of inept assassins ONLY when it came to killing their primary target (s).

They executed a daring and flawless rescue of Sean from the authorities while he is being transported, and easily manage to stay a step ahead of the law along the way to achieving other goals. The problem is the two failed assassination attempts on Lord Homes and the three failed attempts at retribution on Ryan and his family. The last of which occurs simultaneously at the Ryan’s home after they successfully wipe out the entire armed security detail. They go in fully armed with night vision goggles and automatic weapons and can’t compete with three men, two women and a little girl who initially are all unarmed.

I don’t mean to sound condescending because when all was said and done I do like the film. It moves along quite nicely and has plenty of suspenseful moments. Anne Archer and Thora Birch had larger roles and I liked the family-oriented aspect of the story. I seem to remember liking it more the first time I saw it which was some time ago. I guess perhaps it felt a little dated because this re-visit left me feeling less enthusiastic about it.

Replay Value:
Parental Guide:

The rating is for violence, sexuality, and language.

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.**

UHD Presentation(HDR-10): 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
  • HDR: Bright Highlights:
  • HDR: Expanded Color:
  • Resolution: 
  • Visual Impact: 


UHD Presentation (Dolby Vision): 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
  • HDR: Bright Highlights:
  • HDR: Expanded Color:
  • Resolution: 
  • Visual Impact: 


Audio: 78
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics: 
  • Low frequency effects: 
  • Surround Sound presentation: 
  • Clarity/Detail: 
  • Dialog Reproduction: 


Patriot Games comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Paramount Home Distribution featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel sound.

From what I was able to gather from the studio Patriot Games recently underwent a 4K re-mastering and its presentation on Ultra HD Blu-ray was derived from that process.

It's important to note that the ultimate goal for any release on home video is to present a film in the highest possible quality based upon its original elements. A film like Patriot Games has an aesthetic that incorporates film grain and the use of optics that won't result in the type of high gloss, tack-like sharpness of a film shot using digital cameras. This isn't a problem and shouldn't be seen as such.

Looking at the film's opening sequence, the improvement in depth, definition and color rendering was immediately noticeable. I was struck by the finer details present in the clothing and backgrounds. The exterior shots of London and around the Ryan home as well as the variety of earth tones and colors represented over the course of the film appeared noticeably more vivid and pleasing to the eye. The addition of high dynamic range added a tangible visual element that enriched both natural and artificial light. The car bombing and attack on the prison convoy sequences had excellent visual pop. This was the case during brightly lit exterior scenes also.

Dark highlights were rendered with excellent dimension especially when coupled with brighter visual elements. The image isn't razor sharp and, there are intermittent issues with innate softening, but detail rendering is very good overall. Grain remains intact with predominantly natural rendering that occasionally takes on more emphasis. As I watched I felt as though I was rediscovering this film all over again. Kudos to Paramount on a job well done.

Dolby Vision vs HDR-10:

I utilize the TCL 55P607 UHD Dolby Vision HDR flat panel in my review system to enable me to compare the visual quality of titles that contained the Dolby Vision metadata versus its HDR-10 counterpart on the same disc. All titles are first watched via my JVC front projector. I then select specific scenes which are watched on the TCL, first via HDR-10 then via Dolby Vision. The TCL isn’t among the top tier flat panels with DV, however it came recommended by AVS Senior Editor Mark Henninger, and calibrates/performs extremely well for a set at its price point.

* The cumulative A/V score will still be based upon the HDR-10 rating, with the DV rating serving as informational only for now.*

Comparing the DV and HDR-10 presentations for Patriot Games, I found the HDR renderings to essentially be the same. As I alluded to earlier, this film’s elements aren’t lent to bright color and a consistent flow of vibrant highlights, however the subtleties that are present lie in the warm accents and reproduction of secondary hues. Switching back and forth between the DV and HDR-10 renderings yielded minute differences that are probably more subjective and not enough to warrant a rating difference.

The lossless Dolby TrueHD sound faithfully reproduced the soundtrack’s elements. This is not a very dynamic soundtrack to begin with and this was evident in the form of dull sounding gunfire and explosions that lacked forceful impact. The front three channels carry the majority of the track’s audio with the surrounds being used sparingly for ambient delivery of the music score and background filler. Dialog was clear and concise through the center channel. Imaging up front was on the narrow side which made panning sequences feel a bit compressed. Low frequency effects were present in the mix but didn’t deliver any memorable impact. There are a few explosive moments in the film. During these scenes bass reproduction was present but lacked deep extension. At the end of day I found this to be a serviceable audio presentation but, a remix probably wouldn’t hurt.

For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Bonus Features:
  • Disc 1: Patriot Games Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: Patriot Games Blu-ray
  • Legacy Bonus Material
  • Digital Copy
Final Thoughts:

Patriot Games is another successful film adaptation from a Tom Clancy novel based upon the Jack Ryan character. Its story does not have the engaging action-based elements of the other Ryan films but, I think that is where it succeeds. I like Harrison Ford in the lead role and enjoyed his dramatic performance here. It comes to Blu-ray from Paramount Home Distribution in this Ultra HD Combo Pack that features faithful overall Ultra HD video quality, fair lossless sound, and legacy supplements. Patriot Games on Ultra HD is currently only available as part of the Jack Ryan 5-Film Collection. Hopefully we’ll see a separate UHD release so fans can have their pick of which films to own.
Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from  Spectracal )
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-11 Gen 3 Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems