Passengers appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. The film offered an appealing image.
Sharpness seemed very good, with no obvious lapses on display. This meant the flick came across as accurate and well-defined.
I saw no jaggies or moiré effects, and the image lacked edge haloes. Print flaws also failed to materialize.
To the surprise of no one, the movie opted for a teal and orange palette. Predictable though those choices may be, they came across with positive clarity and dimensionality, and HDR added range and impact to the tones.
Blacks seemed dark and tight, while shadows appeared smooth and well-rendered. HDR brought oomph to whites and contrast. Ultimately, this turned into a highly satisfying visual presentation.
Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, I also felt pleased with the movie’s Dolby Atmos soundtrack, as it added involvement to the proceedings. Much of the movie stayed with general environmental information that brought out a good sense of the starship setting.
When necessary, the soundfield broadened to give the story a nice action orientation. These moments increased as the film progressed and brought out solid movement and punch when appropriate.
Audio quality always satisfied, with music that appeared full and dynamic. Speech came across as natural and concise, without edginess or other concerns.
Effects fared well, too, as those elements boasted positive accuracy and heft, with deep, tight low-end along for the ride. Though not a rock-em, sock-em affair, the soundtrack kicked into higher gear as necessary.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray version? The Atmos mix expanded the DTS-HD MA 5.1 to a moderate degree.
Visuals demonstrated improvements, as the 4K seemed better defined and more vivid. This turned into an appealing upgrade.
This package also includes a 3D version Blu-ray of Passengers. In terms of quality, the 3D offered visuals that seemed very similar to the 2D Blu-ray. The 3D may have looked a smidgen darker and softer, but not to a degree that made it inferior.
As for the stereo imagery, much of the film’s first half remained subtle. Some holographic elements offered nice visual punch, and space-related moments also showed a good sense of depth, but a lot of the film felt low-key and without great dimensionality.
Happily, the film’s second half fared better in the 3D realm, as the action beats added superior involvement. For instance, one in which the gravity system malfunctioned managed to pop out of the screen in a compelling way. This still never became a great 3D presentation, but the material in the movie’s second half gave it good life.
For those folks who enjoy displays with both 4K and 3D capabilities, the question becomes which to choose, and I would say: either? Both work fine but neither one seems like an obvious step up over the other.
On one hand, the 4K provides superior visual capabilities – and it comes with Atmos vs. the 3D’s 5.1. On the other hand, the 3D does add a nice punch to the proceedings. Either one will satisfy.
When we head to extras, we find a mix of featurettes, and these start with Casting the Passengers. It runs 10 minutes, 39 seconds and includes comments from writer/producer Jon Spaihts, producers Michael Maher, Stephen Hamel and Neal H. Moritz, director Morten Tyldum, and actors Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Michael Sheen, and Laurence Fishburne.
As expected, this show looks at cast, characters and performances. It comes with a handful of decent thoughts but it mostly praises the actors.
Next comes Space on Screen, a seven-minute, 26-second piece with Pratt, Moritz, Lawrence, visual effects supervisor Erik Nordby, interactive LED lighting consultant Fred Waldman, stunt coordinator Garrett Warren, and co-producer Greg Baxter.
It looks at various effects used in the film and becomes a decent exploration of those areas. It gives us a pretty good collection of notes.
With the four-minute, 19-second Chris Pratt on Set, we hear from Pratt, Lawrence, Baxter, Sheen, and Maher. We learn how awesome and fun Pratt is – don’t expect more than that.
Creating the Avalon takes up nine minutes, 35 seconds and features Lawrence, Pratt, Tyldum, Spaihts, Fishburne, Sheen, and production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas.
This piece discusses the design and execution of the movie’s starship. It turns into a fairly efficient overview.
Eight Deleted Scenes go for a total of nine minutes, 49 seconds. Most of these tend to be short tidbits, but we do find some decent exposition for the characters.
These tend to be interesting and a couple might’ve worked in the final cut, though I’m glad the one where Aurora taunts Jim got the boot, as it makes her too unsympathetic.
A collection of Outtakes fills four minutes, 23 seconds. It offers a standard array of goofs and silliness.
Under Book Passage, we get four “advertisements”. These occupy a total of four minutes, 40 seconds and try to sell customers on the Homestead voyages. They become a fun addition.
The disc opens with ads for Inferno, The Magnificent Seven (2016), Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, Resident Evil: Vendetta and the Passengers “VR experience”.
A commercial disappointment, Passengers lacks much to make a strong impression. It never turns into a bad movie but it doesn’t come together in a positive manner. The 4K UHD provides very good picture and audio along with a decent complement of supplements, and we get a fun 3D version as well. We find a pedestrian film here.
To rate this film visit the prior review of PASSENGERS