Inferno UltraHD Blu-ray Review

Summary: In this contemporary action thriller, the famous symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia and finds himself the target of a manhunt. Langdon teams up with Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), a doctor he hopes will help him recover his memories. Together, they race across Europe and against the clock to stop a virus that would wipe out half of the world’s population.

UltraHD Specs
Studio: Sony
Title: Inferno
Audio: Dolby Atmos (TrueHD 7.1 Core)
Negative Formats: ARRIRAW (3.4K), Redcode RAW (6K)
Digital Intermediate: 2K
Peak Brightness: 4000 nits
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Length: 122 Minutes
Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones
Review Date: January 20, 2017
Price: $27.99

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Movie Review: Inferno is another entry from the Dan Brown series of novels that feature Robert Langdon, who seemingly knows everything about history without ever having to look anything up. This time he finds himself waking up in a hospital with no idea how he got there, or what has happened the past few days. After he is saved from an assassination attempt at the hospital by his doctor he begins to put things together. Bertrand Zobrist, a billionaire who has just committed suicide a few days earlier, has apparently devised a virus that will eliminate half of the world’s population. Using clues he has left behind, Robert Langdon must now search for this to save the world before it gets out.

The movie moves at a frenetic pace, as Brown’s books always do, with virtually no time to take it slow. The ride is enjoyable, but there are many questions left unanswered. How did Zobrist manage to create a super virus on his own while trying to disappear from the world for the past two years? How did people eventually track him down? Who is this shadowy company that seems to be playing both sides during the film? I’d say to just ignore these questions and try to enjoy the ride, which overall is fun.

Technical Review: After watching a few recent UltraHD titles that use 35mm film transfers, Inferno is a welcome return to the world of digital film. It’s only a 2K digital intermediate but it features a good amount of extra detail compared to the Blu-ray and lacks the grain and smearing of those 35mm transfers. HDR is used well with bright outdoor scenes as well as candles inside of various renaissance buildings. The expanded color gamut also comes into play here, with rich shades and sparkling golds that look superior to their Blu-ray counterparts. A native 4K transfer would improve things more if they had done that as the sources are 3.4K and 6K resolution. Close-ups of Tom Hanks show detail in his stubble, but ride that very fine line between adding detail in the upconversion and adding some unwanted edge enhancement. It’s a very good looking movie, but could be better with that native 4K transfer.

With much of the action in Inferno taking place inside of museums and tunnels, it benefits greatly from the provided Atmos soundtrack. Atmospheric effects bring you into the museums or place you into the middle of a chase sequence. It never goes too far with the effects, it could almost benefit from some more of them, and vocals are well preserved in the center channel. It isn’t demo quality Atmos sound, but it does a very good job for the film.

Special Features: Special features are found on the included Blu-ray and feature deleted and extended scenes, a director’s journal, and a selection of featurettes.

Review System: Vizio P65-C1 display, Oppo UDP-203 UltraHD Blu-ray Player, KEF Ci5160RL-THX Fronts, Ci3160RL-THX Center, 2x Ci200RR-THX Surrounds, 4x CI200RR-THX Atmos Speakers, SVS SB16-Ultra subwoofer, Anthem MRX 1120 Receiver.

Review Summary
Title: Inferno
Reviewer:
Pros: Strong visuals and soundtrack, enjoyable romp of a film
Cons: Not a true 4K transfer, quite a few loose threads in the plot
Summary: If you're a fan of the previous Dan Brown adaptations, you're likely to enjoy this one as well. A strong image with good use of HDR and WCG make it pleasing to watch, while the Atmos soundtrack does a good job with atmospheric effects during the continual chase scenes.
Video: 4.5/5
Audio: 4.5/5
Movie: 3.5/5

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