A Few Good Men 4K Blu-ray
By Chris Heinonen on
Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson and Demi Moore star in Rob Reiner’s unanimously acclaimed drama about the dangerous difference between following orders and following one’s conscience. Cruise stars as a brash Navy lawyer who’s teamed with a gung-ho litigator (Moore) in a politically explosive murder case. Charged with defending two Marines accused of killing a fellow soldier, they are confronted with complex issues of loyalty and honor, including its most sacred code and its most formidable warrior (Nicholson). Superbly directed with a trio of powerhouse performances and an outstanding supporting cast including Kevin Pollak, Kiefer Sutherland and Kevin Bacon.
Celebrating its 25th Anniversary, A Few Good Men is a movie I hadn’t revisited since I originally saw it in a theater (having to sneak in, being 14 at the time). Originally a stage play by Aaron Sorkin, the film is very good. The entire film is almost all dialogue driven, as you’d expect for a play, and builds the whole time to the now classic end scene. Tom Cruise is still not my favorite actor, but he does a fine job here. Jack Nicholson is fantastic of course, and you’ll see plenty of actors that went into much larger careers afterward. I’d probably only watch the film every 5 years or so, but it certainly was worth visiting again.
A Few Good Men was shot on 35mm film and here has a new 4K transfer for the 4K UHD Blu-ray release. It offers a very clean transfer, with tons of detail present on screen. There is a slight film grain to the image, but it is never distracting just the natural look of film. What is impressive is how easily you can tell if the camera was in focus. During the main scene with Jack Nicholson on the stand, as he moves forward and back in his chair he moves slightly in and out of focus. Tom Cruise is similarly slightly out of focus on his close-ups during this scene as well. The transfer is perfect, but the source material just has those slight imperfections. HDR is used moderately, with some headlights on cars at night and other effects, but never over-done. The one thing that sometimes distracts is that eyes can have a bit too much of a sparkle to them, but it’s a very minor drawback. Overall it is a fantastic image.
The soundtrack has been upgraded to Dolby Atmos, and the extra channels are used on occasion to good effect. When there is a rainstorm or other atmospheric effect it places you right there, but most of the time the sound is restricted to the front three channels. The center handles most of the vocals and does it quite well. It is easy to understand the dialogue-driven film though it isn’t fancy, but still quite good.
Sony A1E OLED, Sony UBP-X800 UltraHD Blu-ray Player, Oppo UDP-203 UltraHD Blu-ray Player, KEF Ci5160RL-THX Fronts, Ci3160RL-THX Center, 2x Ci200RR-THX Surrounds, 4x CI200RR-THX Atmos Speakers, Anthem MRX 1120 Receiver, Power Sound Audio XS30se Subwoofer.
A wonderful film with a script by Aaron Sorkin, a video transfer from 35mm that is almost perfect, and an improved soundtrack.
Not available anywhere but Best Buy at release, not many extras.
A Few Good Men holds up well 25 years later, and the 4K UHD disc looks as good as I can ever imagine this looking at home