Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows 4K review

Sep 12, 2020- Permalink

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, sees Guy Ritchie once again directing Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law as the legendary detective and his put-upon friend. This time around, Holmes and Watson must stop the evil Dr. Moriarty (Jared Harris). Moriarty plans to profit off Europe’s geopolitical and social unrest by attempting to start a war. Noomi Rapace and Stephen Fry also join the cast as a fortune-teller and Sherlock’s old brother respectively. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has now released a 4K combo pack of the movie, and while WBHE sent us a review copy to check out, the views below are my own.

The 2160p HEVC / H.265-encoded 4K HDR10 transfer is in a 2.39:1 aspect ratio. This is an upscaled 4K presentation as post-production was with a 2K digital intermediate. The look of the video presentation is a result of the stylistic choices of Ritchie and cinematographer Philippe Rousselot. The colour palette once again leans heavily on grey and sepia tones with the occasional pop of rich primaries, while the HDR10 adds extra highlights to explosions and the odd amount of sun. Skin textures and environmental elements are sharp and detailed, but due to the upscaled nature of the transfer aren’t as vast an improvement over the Blu-ray as if this was a native 4K shoot. Black levels are deep and not much detail is lost in the darkest scenes. There isn’t any noticeable amount of digital noise or compression artifacts, though as some elements were shot on 35mm, there is some fine grain.

On the audio side, we are getting the same English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack that was on the Blu-ray release and once again it would have been nice if the 4K had a Dolby Atmos or DTS-X track. Additional tracks are available in French, German, Spanish, Czech, Hungarian, Polish and Thai: Dolby Digital 5.1, while subtitles are available in English SDH, French, German, Spanish, Arabic, Cantonese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Hungarian, Korean, Mandarin (Simplified and Traditional), Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Swedish, and finally, Thai. The surround speakers are used to provide ambient sounds but this is a front-heavy mix that doesn’t pan the action through the surrounds that much. The low frequency add the necessary oomph when called upon and the Hans Zimmer score is clear and dynamic. Dialogue is clear, centred and well-prioritized.

On the extra side, we get a Blu-ray disc and a digital code. The supplemental features are the same as the 2012 Blu-ray as, the same with the first film, the Blu-ray is the 2012 release. There’s Maximum Movie Mode, which provides a picture-in-picture commentary from Robert Downey Jr., and Focus Points, which is essentially the highlights from the commentary. There’s also a 2012 era app, which I didn’t have a chance to see if it still worked.

The Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows 4K look great and the desire for an Atmos track is more a wish than a quibble. If you’re a fan of the series, of Ritchie, or just like a good adventure, you’ll want to add this to your collection.