Solo appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Finished in 4K, the film looked great.
When I saw Solo theatrically, I worried that something went wrong with the projection, as the movie seemed dark - really dark. I literally found it difficult to discern the on-screen action, as the murkiness of the image made it tough to see much.
Seen on 4K UHD, Solo remained dark, but not woefully dark ala the screening in took in last May. Shadow detail looked really good, as the many, many low-light shots demonstrated excellent clarity and smoothness.
Sharpness came across well, too. Definition always appeared tight and precise, with no signs of softness at any point.
I saw no signs of jagged edges or moiré effects. Neither edge haloes nor source flaws marred the presentation.
Given the dark orientation of the photography, one should expect a subdued palette, and the colors of Solo largely followed suit. We got a mix of golds and oranges and blues, mostly, and these seemed well-rendered. The 4K UHD’s HDR capabilities gave the hues nice boost and impact.
Blacks stayed deep and rich, factors that seemed unusually important given the nature of the cinematography. A challenging image to reproduce, the 4K UHD handled it well.
Downcoverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the film’s Dolby Atmos mix made vivid use of all available speakers to create an involving, immersive experience. With lots of battles and space components, the information popped up in logical places, meshed together smoothly and created a wonderful sense of the situations. The soundscape was consistently an active presence that really brought us into the story.
In addition, audio quality excelled. Speech was natural and distinctive, while music sounded robust and full.
Effects did the heavy lifting and added real punch to the package; with clean highs and deep lows, those elements sounded great. I couldn’t have asked much more from this impressive soundtrack.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray version? The Atmos audio demonstrated a bit more kick and verve, whereas visuals boasted clear improvements.
The 4K UHD’s sharpness felt more precise, and blacks/shadows were richer and more engaging. Colors also boasted extra punch and range. While the BD looked good, the 4K UHD handled the challenging visuals in a more satisfying manner.
No extras appear on the 4K UHD itself, but a Blu-ray copy adds materials, and these launch with a Director and Cast Roundtable. It fills 21 minutes, 44 seconds with a panel that features director Ron Howard and actors Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, Woody Harrelson, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Paul Bettany, Joonas Suotamo and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
The actors discuss getting cast in the film, fan experiences, perspectives on their characters, and various anecdotes. We hear allusions to the massive production issues but nothing concrete, and “Roundtable” tends to emphasize happy talk. We get some fun stories but the whole thing feels superficial.
With Kasdan on Kasdan, we get a seven-minute, 50-second reel with Howard, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, and screenwriters Lawrence and Jonathan Kasdan. The featurette discusses the working relationship among father Lawrence and son Jonathan as well as their impressions of various things Star Wars. It becomes a fairly good piece.
The iconic ship comes to the fore with Remaking the Millennium Falcon, a five-minute, 36-second show with Glover, Lawrence Kasdan, Howard, Suotamo, Ehrenreich, set decorator Lee Sandales, design supervisor James Clyne, co-producer Jon Swartz, production designer Neil Lamont, supervising art director Alastair Bullock, and assistant art director Liam Georgensen.
They discuss revamping the Falcon to suit the days Lando owned it. We find some useful facts, and a Glover-led tour offers value as well.
During the Escape from Corellia, we hear from Lawrence and Jonathan Kasdan, Lamont, Clyne, Howard, Sandales, Ehrenreich, producer Simon Emanuel, visual effects supervisor Rob Bredow, senior art director Gary Tomkins, special effects supervisor Dominic Tuohy, stunt performer Ben Collins, animation supervisor Matthew Shumway, and supervising sound editors Matthew Wood and Tim Nielsen.
In this show, we learn about a mix of choices made for the Corellia set, with a strong emphasis on aspects of the chase sequence. It becomes a strong take on the topic.
Another action scene comes to the fore via The Train Heist, a 14-minute, 30-second piece with Lawrence and Jonathan Kasdan, Emanuel, Howard, Swartz, Clyne, Bredow, Ehrenreich, Newton, Wood, Nielsen, Shumway, Tomkins, senior model maker Paul Marsh, production manager Nick Fulton, director of photography Bradford Young, visual effects producer TJ Falls, and action vehicles chargehand Charles Jellis.
We learn a slew of elements connected to the scene in question, and find a broader focus than the fairly effects-specific “Corellia”. “Heist” delivers another engaging and informative piece.
Our favorite Wookiee comes to the fore in the six-minute, 41-second Team Chewie. It delivers notes from Howard, Lawrence and Jonathan Kasdan, Suotamo, Aldenreich, Nielsen, Scanlan, supervising animatronic designer Maria Cork and fight coordinator Guillermo Grispo.
As expected, we learn aspects of the ways the cast and crew brought Chewie to life. It seems a bit brief – I’d like to hear more from Suotamo about acting in the suit – but it provides a sufficient overview.
Becoming a Droid: L3-37 fills five minutes, six seconds with comments from Howard, Emanuel, Clyne, Waller-Bridge, Glover, Falls, Bredow, Wood, visual effects supervisor Patrick Tubach, digital artist supervisor Karin Cooper, and costume designers David Crossman and Glyn Dillon.
The movie’s new droid gets the spotlight and the show discusses different elements of L3-37’s design and execution. This turns into another fairly satisfying program.
Scoundrels, Droids, Creatures and Cards: Welcome to Fort Ypso lasts eight minutes, two seconds and includes Ehrenreich, Lamont, Lawrence Kasdan, Harrelson, Young, Glover, Sandales, Scanlan, Swartz, Waller-Bridge and Sabaac trainer Steven Bridges.
Fort Ypso offers the Mos Eisley-esque part of the film, and “Scoundrels” digs into its various choices. It follows the other clips well.
Finally, Into the Maelstrom: The Kessel Run spans eight minutes, 28 seconds and involves Jonathan Kasdan, Bredow, Waller-Bridge, Howard, Swartz, Wood, Nielsen, Shumway, and Clyne.
If you expect an overview of the Kessel Run sequence, you’ll find what you anticipate. The show follows the subject matter nicely, just like its siblings.
Eight Deleted Scenes take up a total of 15 minutes, 13 seconds. Through these, we see a little more of Han and Qi’ra on Corellia, and we get additional footage of Han’s stint with the Empire. Our intro to Chewie runs longer, and a few other minor tidbits appear.
Of the bunch, the view of Han as an Imperial pilot becomes the most fun. That’s really the only scene I could argue should’ve made the final cut, as the rest remain interesting but inconsequential.
The second franchise spinoff, Solo: A Star Wars Story seems destined to be viewed as a bomb, but the movie actually works pretty well. Director Ron Howard imbues the film with enough adventure and charm to make it an engaging, lively experience. The 4K UHD offered excellent picture and audio along with a generally positive package of supplements. Solo works as an adventure, and the 4K UHD brings it home in top-notch fashion.
To rate this film, visit the prior review of SOLO