Collateral 4K review

Dec 01, 2020- Permalink

Michael Mann’s 2004 thriller Collateral stars Jamie Foxx as a Los Angeles cab driver named Max who thinks his next fare, Vincent (Tom Cruise), is an easy way to make five stops followed by a run to the airport. That easy fare soon turns to fear as Max realizes he’s ferrying a deadly hitman to five different assignments and clocking off won’t be that easy. Paramount has just released the movie – which also stars Jada Pinkett Smith, Mark Ruffalo, and Peter Berg – in a new 4K release that I had a chance to look at.

The 2160p HEVC / H.265-encoded upscaled 4K transfer with Dolby Vision and HDR10 is in a 2.40:1 aspect ratio, just a hair off the theatrical release’s 2.39:1 aspect ratio. By choice this is a gritty film, exploring the underbelly of Los Angeles at night. Detail is abundant, from facial textures and clothing to the claustrophobic interior of the taxi and the variety of locations throughout LA. Low light scenes are everywhere and the UHD presentation shows more details and gradients in the shadows. Grain and noise only add to the chaotic visual atmosphere and its muted palette. Black levels are good, though sometimes there is some crushing. No encoding artifacts raise their ugly head. This seedy night has never looked better.

On the audio side, the disc comes with an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track as well as French and German Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks. Subtitles are available for English, English SDH, French, and German. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is the same track as the previous Blu-ray release and it’s a shame the 4K upgrade didn’t come with an Atmos track. Don’t get me wrong it’s a very good track, but the upgrade would have been nice. The surrounds are full of ambient effects that put you in the scene and there’s some low-end oomph when required. Dialogue is clean, centred, and well-priortized.

The 4K comes with a Blu-ray copy of the 2010 home release and a digital code. The supplements are split between the 4K and the Blu-ray. The 4K has an audio commentary by Mann and a 4K theatrical trailer, while the Blu-ray disc contains commentary, a making-of featurette, a look at Cruise’s prep for his first bad guy role, a deleted scene, a look at one of the location shoots, a featurette of Foxx and Cruise rehearsing, a look at the visual effects in one scene, and theatrical and teaser trailers.

Collateral 4K improves upon previous video presentations of Mann’s thriller while still delivering a solid soundtrack and a good selection of extras. Recommended.