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I thought Cliffhanger was one of the greatest action crime movies of our time. With some of the most sinister bad guys ever to grace the silver screen. I was waiting for a 4K UHD upgrade. And it has finally arrived. With an outstanding Dolby Atmos soundtrack to boot. We have an 11.2 Surround Sound Home Theater in our basement, with 4 above speakers hanging for dedicated Atmos. Using an Epson Projector projected on a 106" screen. For an older film, the Atmos soundtrack is reference material. The choppers were all above and around us. My wife and I watched it tonight. She's never really seen it she said. And she was on the edge of her seat. This film does not look dated. There a few scenes that are soft, with some grain. Yet still, it still looks magnificent. I also believe the ending helicopter scene was way beyond better than Tom Cruise's recent MI:6. I even believe MI:6 took from this movie when it came to that ending. Although Cliffhanger's ending blows it away. If you are a fan, it's a no brainer to get it.
I am SOOO disappointed with this edition. Being this a 20th anniversary edition, claiming to be "UNCUT", I bought this DVD from a seller in Germany and even bought a multi-region blu-ray player to play this, thinking it was worth it because the " uncut " tag had led me to believe this version would have extended scenes such as: 1. The 2nd parachutist who survives and takes off with his parachute gets shot by the crooked agent Travers before landing in a forest area full of wolves. 2. When Stallone is trapped in an icy lake with Travers trying to get at him, Stallone fires with some sort of nail gun AND Michael Rooker follows it up by shooting Travers in the back with a gun he got from the henchman he killed minutes earlier. 3. All gunshot scenes shown in their fully extended and raw versions with a lot of rounds fired and plenty of blood.
This version has NONE of those scenes and I just wasted my time and money in acquiring this from overseas. Please do not get fooled.
Critics of this movie say this movie is just "Die Hard on a snowy mountain". Ok, so what's wrong with that? Cliffhanger is a very well-made movie with awesome old-school special effects made with models and sets, incredible stunts, instead of cheap CGI (computer generated imagery).
The movie has its flaws, no doubt. It is unfortunate that early in the movie there is a very suspenseful scene and one of the characters is reacting with a grin on his face. If I were the director, I would have cut out that scene or re-shoot it. If you pay attention to expression on that character's face, it is incongruous to what's going on in the scene. I think in a previous scene, the character is exerting some effort and that's why he has a grimace in his face but then it appears to turn into a grin.
Other than that, there are some other scenes which are typical to action movies, not entirely logical, but then it is expected of action movies to have certain scenes that defy logic. It really depends on your threshold of tolerance for such scenes. Personally, I think the movie still works in general, interrupted by some irrational scenes here and there. I love John Lithgow as the bad guy. I think he is fantastic. Critics are not happy with his accent but given his acting skills, I think his accent is negligible. Slyvester Stallone also does a great job. If you like action movies, (i.e. Die Hard), I think you will enjoy Cliffhanger.
There are special features (feature commentary by the director and by the technical crew) but they are on the Blu-ray disc and not on the 4K disc. I wish they were on the 4K disc. However, the production companies often do not add the special features onto the 4K disc and rather include a Blu-ray edition disc which contains the special features.
Since this is a relatively old movie, there's going to be a few noise artifacts (my LG OLED's noise reduction setting virtually eliminated this once I turned it on) and the picture may not be quite as perfect as a newer movie filmed in 4k, but the overall look of this film is great. The rich colors and HDR really make it shine and bring new life to a movie I already loved, it looks fantastic on my LG OLED. The Dolby Atmos audio (not on by default - you have to choose it on the menu) sounds great and helps to make the whole experience more immersive. I've watched this movie many times on various types of media, starting way back in the days of LaserDisc (yes, the huge LP vinyl sized discs) and this version is the best so far. Highly recommended!
This film can be summarized as Die Hard on a Mountain. Except it just isn't as good as Die Hard. The story is semi interesting, and John Lithgow is a great villain. Basically Sylvester Stallone plays a mountain ranger who attempts to rescue John Lithgow and his friends after the plane crashes, but it turns out lithgow has just robbed the U.S. Treasury Department, and now Stallone is caught in the middle of it.
Michael Rooker and Janine Turner co-star. Although few people may remember who Turner was, she was actually a highly recognizable face back in 1993 because of her starring role in the CBS show Northern Exposure (An amazing but forgotten classic).
The film is set in the Colorado Rockies, but it was actually filmed in the Italian Alps. The director is Renny Harlin, who also directed Die Hard II, and Cut Throat Island (one of the biggest flops ever filmed). There are some interesting moments in the first half including some of the most creative stunts ever, but the entire second part just consists of Stallone running around the mountains.
Still a great action movie after all these years. I love this movie and the 4K transfer is great. The color is bright the sound is in 7.1 dolby atmos. This is definitely a upgrade from the blu-ray. if you have a 4k tv and a surround sound system that is dolby atmos. capable. you may want to add this movie to your 4k collection.
5.0 out of 5 starsOne Of Stallone's Best Action Films
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 20, 2017
This is one of Stallone's best films, in my opinion. It's a sort of "Die Hard in the mountains", but with a smaller cast. However, it is extremely entertaining and reasonably action-packed, so should hold your attention until the end credits. There are also some great stunts, some of which are very spectacular. I did read something in the press when this film was released that, allegedly, Stallone was wary of making this film, as he was afraid of heights! I get the impression that making this film high up in the mountains may well have cured him of this phobia, though...
You may also be interested to know that this version released by Optimum is the complete, uncut version, for the very first time in the UK. So, we are treated to even more swearing, violence and also a racist comment that was censored previously. The BBFC originally cut this film heavily for its original cinema and video release. It was then released on DVD, in another cut version, which was even more noticeably censored than the versions before. This Optimum release was the first time that UK audiences could see the complete, uncut version of Cliffhanger, even though we had to wait a long time for it. Believe me, though, it was worth waiting for!
I give this excellent film the full five stars. Watch this if you long for the days back when action films didn't ruin their action scenes with CGI and used proper stuntmen. I promise you, you won't regret it! If you haven't already seen it, buy it now! You'll be glad that you did.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 26, 2018
On this U.K. 4K blu-ray disc, just like two other 4K discs (The Fog and The Deer Hunter) also from the U.K., the start-up screen -- a static, pinkish image -- appears as if the discs are damaged. In regards to the Cliffhanger 4K disc, a rectangular icon appeared in the middle of the pinkish and static image, but no indication was given that i had to press ENTER in order to get to the movie's start-up menu. I pressed the ENTER button on the remote by frustration. Now I know!
P.S. I am a U.S.-based customer who uses a first-generation Samsung 4K player, the UBD-K8500. Since all 4K discs are supposed to be region-free, then there shouldn't be any problem. But...firstly, the loading times for these three U.K. 4K discs, Cliffhanger, The Fog, and The Deer Hunter are about as long as I remember the first-generation regular blu-ray discs. Secondly, the static screen on the Cliffhanger 4K disc gave the impression that the disc was damaged. And lastly, The Deer Hunter 4K disc has the same pinkish static screen like the Cliffhanger 4K disc, but The Deer Hunter 4k disc included a customary language option to choose in order to load the movie's start-up menu.
Q: Why the need for two loading options, especially a static screen that makes the disc appears damaged sans any indication that to move on to the movie's start-up menu, ENTER needs to be selected?
5.0 out of 5 starsSehr gute Restauration zum 25. Jubiläum
Reviewed in Germany on December 11, 2018
Cliffhanger Ist ein Film aus den USA, 1993 Regie führte Renny Harlin Hauptrollen: Sylvester Stallone, John Lithgow, Michael Rooker, Janine Turner geschrieben übrigens u.a. von S. Stallone Laufzeit: 113 min AR: 2.35:1 Ton: Deutsch, Englisch (Französisch) DTS-HD MA 5.1
Zum 25. Jährigen Jubiläum wurde der Film von Studiocanal aufwendig restauriert und in 4K neu abgetastet. Bei der vorliegenden VÖ handelt es also um natives 4K (UHD)
Die Amaray Gestaltung ist nichts Besonderes. Es liegt aber ein Wendecover bei (ohne FSK Logo) Die beinhalteten Disks (UHD und BD) zieren das gleiche Artwork.
Sowohl auf der Hülle, als auch auf den Disks, wird mit einem UNCUT Zusatz geworben. Der Film ist frei ab 16 Jahren. Seit der Listenstreichung vom Index und entsprechende FSK Neuprüfung im Jahr 2013 ist die ungekürzte Fassung ab 16 Jahren freigegeben.
Auf der Blu-Ray sind die enthaltenen Extras zu finden. Audiokommentar Renny Harlin und Sylvester Stallone, Audiokommentar der techn. Crew, Einführung von R.Harlin, geschnittene Szenen, Making of, Hinter den Kulissen, Storyboard vs Film
Bildqualität: Die Qualität des restaurierten Bildes der UHD ist recht gut geworden. Weder ist Schmutz zu sehen, noch auffälliges Filmkorn. Die Farben wirken kräftig und natürlich. Das Bild der UHD ist insgesamt ein wenig dunkler, als das der BD. Details sind gut zu erkennen, wobei mich die Schärfe des Bildes insgesamt nicht so sehr beeindruckt hat. Allerdings gefiel mir das UHD Bild insgesamt besser, als das BD Bild. Der Film hat die Jahre und die Restauration gut überstanden. Effekte empfand ich nicht als auffällig, oder deplatziert.
Die BD ist keinesfalls schlecht, bitte nicht falsch verstehen. Das Bild ist heller und die Farben nicht ganz so kräftig. Es ist jedenfalls ein schönes HD Bild, mit dem sich der Film sehr gut genießen lässt, sollte man die UHD nicht zur Verfügung haben. Ich würde hier jedoch die UHD bevorzugen.
Tonqualität: Alle drei Sprachfassungen liegen in DTS-HD MA 5.1 vor. Englisch und Deutsch habe ich mir auf der Soundbar angehört. Sie sind leich unterschiedlich, nehmen sich aber nicht viel. Surround Effekte sind vorhanden und der Bass wird auch angesprochen. Keine der Tonspuren ist so gut wie der Klang des Studiocanal Logos am Anfang.
Fazit: Cliffhanger ist ein Film, den ich seit es ihn gibt gerne schaue. Dass der wirklich schon 25 Jahre alt ist, möchte ich mir gar nicht vorstellen. Jedenfalls bietet die vorliegende VÖ die, z.Zt. bestmögliche Qualität den Film zu schauen und ist empfehlenswert.
3.0 out of 5 starsNot a real 4K, more your upscaled fare
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 1, 2019
4K transfer is poor. Film looks very grainy and smells of upscale, rather than a fullscale back-to-a-cleaned negative source and then transferred. This is more evident on the long shots and cut aways. The helicopter scenes shot far away looking at the mountains look awful; as you’d expect sharp clear precise images, but they look un-focused and grainy. Special effects look poor in 4K and you can tell the superimposed images which is a shame as it makes this great film look very very dated. The sound mix is great however. 7.1 was made for helicopters flying over! There are one or two scene which look awesome but these are few and far between, making the hefty asking price harder to swallow.
Ok - as others have mentioned, actually getting the film to play is a chore.
Once the film started - I was surprised at the lack of improvement of the picture quality. Everything I read said this was remastered for UHTV, and so on, but whilst you can normally spot an Ultra High definition film from a mile away, this I couldn't. I have a 55" UHTV, so not sure if it's just too big, but for me, given the choice, I would have stuck to the DVD version which is considerably cheaper, and has pretty much the same quality picture