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Tropic Thunder

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 4 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Tropic Thunder's satire & humor divide opinions but its critique & star-studded performance shine.

    Tropic Thunder 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

    2K Upscale
    Dolby Vision
  • Video
  • This 4K Blu-ray, despite some downscaled screencaptures and minor banding, showcases authentic detail with remarkable clarity in both close-ups and wide jungle shots, offering a definitive viewing experience.

  • Audio
  • The film's action-packed, intensely dynamic scenes, enhanced by a muscular DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, bass-rich music, and robust sound effects, create an immersive audio experience that tests audio systems.

  • Extra
  • Tropic Thunder DVD extras include deleted/extended scenes, a mockumentary, Downey's in-character commentary, featurettes on pyro, script, sets, the opening scene, cast interviews, and Tom Cruise's make-up test.

  • Movie
  • Ben Stiller's 'Tropic Thunder' humorously critiques Hollywood through a disastrous film production based on vet Four Leaf Tayback's grim memoirs, blending satire with the dark reality of war.

    Video: 92

    The video presentation of "Tropic Thunder" on 4K UHD Blu-ray offers a significant upgrade over previous releases, showcasing a level of detail that brings viewers closer to the cinematic experience as intended. Paramount's release strikes a commendable balance between maintaining the film's original grain and ensuring a pristine image quality. While some studios have been criticized for over-processing their 4K transfers, leading to an unnatural appearance, "Tropic Thunder" seems to benefit from a more measured approach. This approach might suggest that any grain present is authentic rather than artificially added in post-production—a decision that aficionados of film will appreciate for its authenticity.

    Close-up shots reveal an exceptional level of facial texture, allowing viewers to fully appreciate the actors' performances and makeup artistry. The expansive jungle landscapes, a critical element of the film's setting, are rendered with spectacular definition, showcasing the vibrant ecosystem with a clarity that is simply breathtaking. This transfer makes excellent use of the 4K format's capabilities, bringing out details that were previously lost or muted in standard and high-definition versions.

    However, the transfer is not without its flaws. There are instances of slight banding observed in a few scenes, a common challenge in many 4K transfers, but these moments are few and far between. Overall, these minor issues do not detract significantly from what is otherwise a stellar visual experience. "Tropic Thunder" in 4K UHD Blu-ray emerges as the definitive way to watch this film, offering a visually stunning presentation that elevates the material and provides an immersive viewing experience that both complements and enhances the original cinematic vision.

    Audio: 92

    The audio presentation of "Tropic Thunder" on its 4K UHD Blu Ray edition is a showcase of auditory prowess, with the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track playing a pivotal role in bringing the film's dynamic and action-packed sequences to life. The track flexes its muscles with an array of sound effects that are both robust and loud, contributing to a fully immersive listening experience. This is especially evident in the jungle scenes, where the sound design places viewers squarely in the midst of the chaotic action, enhancing the overall viewing experience by a significant margin.

    Furthermore, the depth and quality of bass are particularly noteworthy, not just in the explosive action sequences but also within the film's musical score and the eclectic mix of songs featured throughout. Composed by Theodore Shapiro, the score, alongside various well-chosen tracks, benefits from the audio track’s ability to extend bass frequencies, compelling viewers to turn up the volume—most notably during Tom Cruise's memorable dance scene. This rich bass performance supports both the intensity of the film’s action and its comedic beats with equal finesse.

    Lastly, the spatial arrangement and clarity of dialogue via the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 setup deserve commendation. Dialogue remains clear and intelligible no matter how frantic the on-screen action becomes, even stretching wide to match camera moves, ensuring that every witty quip and tense exchange is delivered with precision. The audio design excels at maintaining high activity levels across sequences, crafting an auditory landscape that is as meticulously detailed as it is vigorously entertaining, making "Tropic Thunder's" 4K UHD release an exemplar of superior audio engineering.

    Extra: 91

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray extras for "Tropic Thunder" offer a comprehensive package that enriches the viewing experience with a behind-the-scenes look into the movie's creation, enhanced by the authenticity of the actors staying in character for commentary. Included are deleted, extended scenes, and an alternate ending showcasing additional content that didn't make it to the final cut. "Rain of Madness," a mockumentary on the making of "Tropic Thunder," adds a layer of meta-commentary, blending humor with insight into the filmmaking process. Four focused featurettes dive into the technical aspects, including pyrotechnics, the meticulously crafted opening action scene, script development, and set design, providing fans a detailed look at the movie's production. A special feature on the cast offers interviews with the main actors, while a make-up test with Tom Cruise, accompanied by an introduction, highlights the transformative work behind his role. This collection emphasizes the dedication to craftsmanship and creativity behind the scenes.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Deleted Scenes, Extended Scenes, and Alternate Ending: Provides viewers with unseen content.
    • Rain of Madness: A mockumentary exploring the making of "Tropic Thunder."
    • Featurette on Pyrotechnics: Delve into the explosive effects behind the movie.
    • Opening Action Scene Featurette: A breakdown of the film's intensive first sequence.
    • Script Featurette: Insights into the script's development.
    • Set Design Featurette: A look at the intricate sets of "Tropic Thunder."
    • THE CAST OF TROPIC THUNDER: Interviews exploring the experiences and insights of Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr., and others.
    • Make-Up Test with Tom Cruise with Intro: Showcases Tom Cruise's extensive makeup transformation.

    Movie: 79

    Tropic Thunder," presented in 4K UHD Blu-Ray, delivers an exceptional cinematic experience that dives headfirst into the satirical trenches of war movies and Hollywood's gargantuan ego. Directed by Ben Stiller, who also stars alongside a stellar ensemble cast, the movie embarks on a riotous journey following the calamitous production of a film based on the memoirs of Vietnam veteran Four Leaf Tayback (portrayed by Nick Nolte). The screenplay, penned by Justin Theroux, Stiller, and Etan Cohen, is a clever concoction that mocks the absurdities of movie-making, backed by a narrative that humorously critiques the industry's often superficial engagement with serious themes.

    The film hilariously lampoons everything from method acting madness to the political myopia of Hollywood's elite, encapsulated within the production of a supposedly high-brow war movie gone awry. The chemistry among the cast, combined with sharp writing, upends typical war film tropes while offering a scathing commentary on the entertainment industry's narcissistic tendencies. The portrayal of Tayback serves as a poignant anchor amidst the chaos, reminding viewers of the tangible human experiences often glossed over in cinematic portrayals of warfare.

    Visually, the 4K UHD presentation enriches the film's vibrant jungle settings and explosive action sequences, offering an immersive viewing experience that enhances its satirical edge. The higher resolution brings out fine details and textures that are pivotal in appreciating the film’s intricate production design and cinematography. In sum, "Tropic Thunder" in 4K UHD is not just a film but a cinematic event that offers both a critique and celebration of moviemaking, delivered with an unmatched clarity that only heightens its audacious spirit.

    Total: 87

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray presentation of "Tropic Thunder" delivers a mixed bag of fortunes. The film itself, a merciless takedown of Hollywood norms, remains a pillar of satirical genius, hilariously shattering the wall between the cinematic universe and real-world sensibilities. Its wit, although elusive to some, is undeniably clever, leveraging an A-list cast to bring over-the-top and nuanced performances that have secured its position as one of the better comedies of its time. However, the Blu-ray’s extras, particularly the BD-Live features, fall short of expectations. The potential for interactive engagement was there, but given BD-Live's general failure across the board, it's doubtful that many viewers have been able to fully explore these features.

    From a technical standpoint, the transition to 4K UHD brings out the vibrancy and detail of "Tropic Thunder's" dynamic visual palette, enhancing the viewing experience significantly. Yet, despite these visual improvements, there’s an element of missed opportunity in fully utilizing the format's capabilities to reimagine the film’s extras and interactive components. This shortfall underscores a persistent challenge in the home entertainment industry—balancing the allure of high-definition spectacle with the depth and accessibility of additional content.

    In conclusion, "Tropic Thunder's" 4K UHD Blu-ray release serves as a testament to the film's enduring appeal, boasting superior picture quality that elevates its audacious humor and stellar performances. However, the lackluster enhancement and access to supplementary features leave something to be desired. For fans and newcomers alike, this release is a compelling yet somewhat incomplete invitation to re-experience the genius of "Tropic Thunder," highlighting both the potential and limitations of current home media formats in preserving and enhancing the cinematic experience.