Solo 4K Blu-ray Review
By Chris Heinonen on
Lucasfilm’s “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” directed by Academy Award®–winning filmmaker Ron Howard—the creator of unforgettable films, such as “A Beautiful Mind,” “Apollo 13,” “Parenthood” and “Splash”—took moviegoers on this summer’s wildest ride with the most beloved scoundrel in the galaxy, Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich). The action-packed journey explores Han’s first encounters with future friend and copilot Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and notorious gambler Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover), as well as his adventure-filled past alongside fellow street thief Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) and career criminal Beckett (Woody Harrelson).
Solo Movie Review
With Disney branching out for movies based on the Star Wars universe, there was a bit of worry that they might try to do too much. The first attempt, Rogue One, was a film that I thought was quite good and was happy to see. With Solo, the results are a bit more mixed. Perhaps the biggest issue with Solo is that I didn’t find myself a fan of Alden Ehrenreich playing Han Solo. He just doesn’t have the same easy-going cocky swagger than Harrison Ford brought to the role, though almost no one would.
Instead, the film is stolen by Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, and is the character you want to know more about. The story itself is good, and the introduction of characters from the Star Wars universe doesn’t feel cheap or tacky, as I worried it might. If Han was just a bit more like the Han we knew before, it would be a better movie, but as it is it still is a fine experience and one I’ll watch again.
Solo Technical Review
Solo was shot at 3.4K and 6.5K with Arri Alexa cameras and given a native 4K digital intermediate, though the home release lacks Dolby Vision unfortunately. It looks to have been mastered at 1000 nits, but the maxCLL and maxFALL data is absent on the disc. I have nothing bad to say about the image at all. It looks superb throughout, and on an OLED the vast number of HDR highlights pop off the screen. Even when there is a full field of snow, the brightness isn’t too high (I checked on a Vizio PQ to make sure it wasn’t OLED dimming) so it won’t blind you. As far as the image goes, I’ve got nothing but great things to say about Solo.
With the audio, I’m not as happy with the result. Listening to the film carefully, and watching scenes a few times, it doesn’t feel like the low impact is there. There is good use of the Atmos channels for scenes, action scenes pan around you, and vocals are clear, but the impact is lacking. I turned up the subwoofer channel to see if it was too low, and it still was lacking impact. So I turned it off and threw on Jack Ryan on Amazon quickly, and the low-level impact in my system was instantly back. It’s a shame, as the rest of the disc is so good, but the impact you expect from a film like this just isn’t there, and I probably could listen without a subwoofer and hear exactly what I heard with it.
Solo Special Features
- Solo: The Director & Cast Roundtable
- Sit down with director Ron Howard and the stars for an intimate and entertaining discussion of the film’s making.
- Team Chewie
- See what it takes to bring your favorite Wookiee to life in this lighthearted look behind the scenes.
- Kasdan on Kasdan
- Iconic Star Wars screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan and son Jonathan share what it was like to write the movie’s script together.
- Remaking the Millennium Falcon
- Track the transformation of the most famous ship in the galaxy, from Lando’s swank and impeccable pride and joy to Han’s stripped-down hot-rod freighter with “special modifications.”
- Escape from Corellia
- Get behind the wheel for the making of this high-octane chase through the streets of Corellia.
- The Train Heist
- Explore the challenges and thrills of creating this action-packed sequence, including its remote location and spectacular effects.
- Becoming a Droid: L3-37
- Meet the newest droid—and the talented actor who helps bring her to life.
- Scoundrels, Droids, Creatures and Cards: Welcome to Fort Ypso
- Take an in-depth tour of the rough-and-tumble bar where strangers mix and gamblers risk all in the legendary card game, Sabaac.
- Into the Maelstrom: The Kessel Run
- Join Han and Chewie at the controls of the Millennium Falcon to see how this legendary moment in Star Wars history unfolds.
- Deleted Scenes
- Proxima’s Den
- Corellian Foot Chase
- Han Solo: Imperial Cadet
- The Battle of Mimban: Extended
- Han Versus Chewie: Extended
- Snowball Fight!
- Meet Dryden: Extended
- Coaxium Double-Cross
- The Millenium Falcon: From Page to Park – An exclusive look at the history of the most famous ship in the galaxy, its origin and development, and how it will translate in one of the most anticipated expansions in Disneyland’s history.
Sony A1E OLED, Panasonic UB820 UltraHD Blu-ray Player, KEF Ci5160RL-THX Fronts, Ci3160RL-THX Center, 2x Ci200RR-THX Surrounds, 4x CI200RR-THX Atmos Speakers, Anthem MRX 1120 Receiver, Martin Logan 800X Subwoofer.
Enjoyable film, reference quality image that looks fantastic in HDR.
Soundtrack, once again from Disney, lacks impact.
While no Dolby Vision here is a shame, it's the lack of dynamics in the soundtrack that are a bigger deal. The subwoofer feels like it is barely used and is a let-down from what it could be.
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