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Hackers

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    82
    from 2 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Hackers dazzles with stellar visuals, soundtrack, and engaging performances; a cult classic.

    Hackers 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
    87
  • Shout Factory's 2023 4K restoration of Hackers, from the original negatives, delivers stunning clarity, natural colors, and refined details, authentically enhancing this visually vibrant film.

  • Audio
    84
  • The Hackers UHD release upgrades to a 5.1 DTS-HD MA mix, enhancing audio fidelity with clearer dialogue, immersive soundscapes, and a vibrant techno soundtrack, despite minor distortion and occasional dialogue overshadowing.

  • Extra
    72
  • The making-of Hackers explores its creation, casting, and technical aspects with a focus on the hacker culture, visual effects, and soundtrack, featuring key interviews and insights into its cult appeal and memorable elements.

  • Movie
    84
  • Hackers captivates with its blend of 90's tech novelty and adolescent adventure, delivering a visually vibrant, cyberpunk escapade that radiates teen spirit and comic book flair, despite its cheesy charm.

    Video: 87

    Shout Factory revisits "Hackers" with a 2023 release of the film on 4K UHD Blu-ray, vastly improving upon its 2015 Blu-ray with a dazzling 4K presentation sourced from a restoration of the original camera negative. This upgrade enhances the movie's unique cinematography, rendered on special film stock and under distinctive lighting conditions to produce a low-grain image. The clarity achieved in this version is admirable, allowing for a detailed exploration of textures - from the skin surfaces in close-ups to the fibrous details of the costumes. The vivid, colorful world of "Hackers" is brought to life with even greater depth, showcasing the dynamic urban landscape of New York City alongside the glowing computer screens and eclectic party settings inherent to the film. Skin tones appear natural, while blacks are deep, maintaining the integrity of shadow details and nighttime scenes.

    The transition to a native 4K HEVC H.265 encode presents a substantial improvement, revealing an astonishing level of detail throughout the environment of "Hackers," from architectural nuances to intimate room interiors. The upgrade resolves fine elements like billboard lettering, computer displays, and costume textures with remarkable clarity. Furthermore, the Dolby Vision HDR enhancement enriches the color palette, achieving more accurate and saturated hues that breathe life into both the animated on-screen visuals and the real-world vibrancy of the film's settings. Facial complexions are healthier, devoid of the previous release's color inaccuracies, and overall contrast and brightness adjustments provide a cleaner visual experience with sharp highlights.

    Correcting past oversights, this edition also amends the aspect ratio to its original cinematic scope of 2.35:1, rectifying the slightly cropped 2.39:1 frame seen previously. Accompanied by excellent shadow delineation and deep, rich blacks, this 4K HDR rendition not only corrects technical flaws but elevates "Hackers" to its most filmic and immersive visual presentation to date. Enhanced detail, improved color fidelity, and corrected framing collectively ensure that this version stands as the definitive viewing experience for fans and newcomers alike.

    Audio: 84

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Hackers" marks a significant audio upgrade over its previous iterations, most notably replacing the 2.0 DTS-HD MA track with a more immersive 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix. This new audio presentation delivers a dynamic and fuller experience, particularly benefiting from the enhanced clarity and depth in the movie's iconic techno soundtrack. The 5.1 mix not only offers sharper instrumentation and a robust low-end that adds substantial thump to the musical backdrop but also improves the overall engagement by extending the sound across the surrounds. The dialogue is crisp and manages to capture the nuanced performances of the cast, complemented by well-defined sound effects and an attentive use of atmospherics that contribute to a more enveloping soundstage.

    However, while this upgrade generally improves the auditory experience, it introduces minor challenges. Some mild distortion is occasionally noticeable in the mix, though it scarcely detracts from the viewing experience. A slight imbalance where dialogue can become overshadowed by the pulsating soundtrack during key conversations is present, yet it does not significantly impact the narrative's comprehensibility. Despite these small inconsistencies, the remastered soundtrack succeeds in delivering a spacious soundscape filled with background activities and off-screen effects that gracefully pan across the scene, adding a lively and engaging dimension to the movie.

    Notably, the low-end response, though improved and more palpable, leaves room for a bit more punch to truly complement the film's music-centric sound design. Regardless, the upgrade to a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack for "Hackers" on 4K UHD Blu-ray is a welcome enhancement, offering fans and new viewers alike a superior and more immersive audio experience. The blend of a vigorous techno beat with clearer dialogue and well-placed sound effects ensures that the auditory presentation of "Hackers" matches its visual vibrancy, making this version a definitive one for audiophiles and film enthusiasts.

    Extra: 72

    This 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Hackers" dazzles with its supplemental material, offering a remarkable dive into the film's creation and enduring legacy. "The Keyboard Cowboys" is a comprehensive making-of featurette, compiling insights from director Iain Softley, key hacking consultants, visual effects artists, and the vibrant cast, including Matthew Lillard and Fisher Stevens. It explores the intricate casting process, character development, and the actors' deep dive into the hacker culture. "The Beauty of the Baud" shifts focus towards the technical and visual aesthetic of the film, examining its unique lighting, distinctive costuming, and groundbreaking visual effects, alongside discussions on its acclaimed soundtrack. "You Can't Stop Us All" reflects on the film's prophetic vision and cult phenomenon through engaging interviews. The inclusion of a theatrical trailer rounds off the extras. This collection captures the essence and impact of "Hackers", providing fans with an exhaustive look at its making.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • The Keyboard Cowboys: A deep delve into the making of Hackers with insights from the director, hacking consultants, and the cast.
    • The Beauty of the Baud: Focused on the technical and visual aspects of the film, including lighting, costuming, and visual effects.
    • You Can't Stop Us All: An examination of the film's foresight and cult status.
    • Theatrical Trailer: The original trailer for the movie.

    Movie: 84

    Hackers," the 1995 cult classic, is an intriguing blend of adolescent adventure and a nascent internet age vision, set against the backdrop of New York City's vibrant chaos. Director Iain Softley and his commendable collaboration with cinematographer Andrzej Sekula have crafted a visually stimulating portrayal of cyberspace, which, though far from the reality of computer operations, mesmerizes with its cyberpunk flair and neon-lit aesthetics. The movie thrives on its exaggeration, offering a cinematic universe that's both flamboyant and fantastical, where hackers embody the digital age's explorers. Through creative cinematography and imaginative graphics, "Hackers" transforms the incomprehensible world of computer systems into a captivating visual spectacle, effortlessly blending comic book sensibility with the emergent internet culture.

    At its core, "Hackers" is a narrative woven around Dade Murphy (Jonny Lee Miller), a young prodigy navigating the complexities of a new city and the intricacies of teenage life, entangled with his passion for hacking. The screenplay by Rafael Moreu intelligently juxtaposes the teenage longing for identity and belonging against the broader theme of cyber warfare, encapsulated in the battle against corporate villain Eugene (Fisher Stevens). Despite its sometimes comically dated techno-jargon, the movie manages to resonate with both audiences of its time and contemporary viewers through its engaging story, vibrant visuals, and a delightful mix of action and comedy. The dynamics between characters, especially between Dade and Kate (Angelina Jolie), enrich the narrative with a blend of rivalry, romance, and mutual respect, reflective of the collaborative spirit that underpins hacker culture.

    "Hackers" transcends its era-specific portrayal of technology to deliver a story that's about more than just computers—it's about the restless energy of youth, the clash against institutional power, and the boundless frontier of the digital world. Softley, leveraging a limited budget, achieves a richly styled film filled with visually engaging sequences that accentuate its cyberpunk atmosphere while celebrating the hacker as a modern-day digital outlaw. The movie's enduring appeal lies in its combination of stylized fantasy with a sincere homage to hacker culture, making it an entertaining watch that charms with its audacity and imaginative depiction of cyber adventures.

    Total: 82

    In revisiting the 1995 cult classic "Hackers," this 4K UHD Blu-ray release not only rejuvenates the film's visual and auditory presentation but also underscores its enduring appeal. The cinematography by Andrzej Sekula shines brilliantly in this format, with lighting and color that profoundly enhance the already vibrant direction. Complementing this is the film's soundtrack, which is now delivered with greater clarity and punch thanks to a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix, enlivening the techno beats that underscore the cyber adventure. While the essence of "Hackers" inevitably feels tethered to its era, given the seismic shifts in technology and cyberculture since its debut, the performances from Johnny Lee Miller, Angelina Jolie, and Fisher Stevens still pulse with youthful zeal and a palpable affinity for the subculture they navigate.

    This release comes as a significant upgrade over previous iterations, particularly due to the inclusion of Dolby Vision HDR, which amplifies the movie’s visual dynamism. Despite its age and the tongue-in-cheek treatment of technology, "Hackers" is celebrated here in a manner that highlights its role as a precursor to discussions around digital identity and cybersecurity. Moreover, this UHD package maintains the array of bonus features from previous editions, ensuring that enthusiasts and newcomers alike have ample material to explore beyond the film's runtime.

    In conclusion, the 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Hackers" offers an essential reevaluation of a film that has both entertained and informed audiences for decades. Its upgraded audiovisual elements ensure that it can be appreciated anew, capturing the kinetic energy and subversive spirit that have helped it to secure a deserved cult status. Whether you're revisiting or discovering "Hackers," this package is a compelling addition to any collection, recommended for those who appreciate the intersection of technology, culture, and cinema.