Release Date(s)2014 (May 22, 2018)
Studio(s)Le Grisbi/QED/LStar/Crave/Plan B/Columbia Pictures (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
- Film/Program Grade: B+
- Video Grade: A
- Audio Grade: A+
- Extras Grade: B+
David Ayer’s Fury is a somewhat atypical war film. The scope isn’t large, you’re not seeing both sides of the conflict, you’re not getting a complete picture of things. You are almost literally stuck in a can with the crew of an M4 Sherman tank as the Allied forces push into Nazi Germany in the final stages of World War II. You experience what they experience, you see only what they see, as if through their own eyes. It’s an intense point of view, very much a visceral and brutal experience. “Wardaddy” Collier (Brad Pitt) and his men are in the meat grinder, and it’s an ugly place to be. It also makes for a solid and compelling viewing experience. The supporting cast includes Shia LaBeouf (Transformers), Scott Eastwood (Pacific Rim: Uprising), Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead), Michael Peña (The Martian), Brad Henke (Orange Is the New Black), Logan Lerman (The Perks of Being a Wallflower), and Jason Isaacs (The Patriot), all of whom deliver.
Fury was shot photochemically on 35mm film using Panavision Panaflex cameras and anamorphic lenses. It was scanned and finished as a native 4K Digital Intermediate. For this release it’s been given a high dynamic range grade in HDR10 and it’s presented on Ultra HD at the original 2.39:1 theatrical aspect ratio. The resulting presentation offers excellent detail and fine texturing, with a constant moderate wash of grain that gives the image a cinematic and slightly gritty quality. The colors tend to be muted, given the battlefield environment and military equipment and uniforms, though they’re quite nuanced and bold where appropriate. Highlights are very bright, giving overcast skies, flames, and other light sources a strong glow, while the deepest shadows are nicely black. However, the heavy use of practical atmospherics like smoke and fog on set means that the shadows often exhibit varying levels of gray depending on their distance to camera and the lighting. This is, however, a feature of this cinematography and not a bug of the transfer, so a certain perspective needs to be maintained. Overall, the image is notably improved from the previous Blu-ray. It’s not a huge jump, but it is a very pleasing one.
Sony’s 4K disc includes primary audio in a new English Dolby Atmos mix (7.1 TrueHD compatible) that’s absolutely magnificent. This is a wonderfully immersive experience that improves significantly over the already good DTS-HD Blu-ray mix. The soundstage is big, wide, and tall, with muscular low end, excellent clarity and dynamics, and a fulsome tonal quality. Bass is especially impressive, with effortless bombast during battle sequences. The object placement is precise, with smooth movement. Gunshots crack and race by overhead, mortar shells fall from above and land all around with a rich, concussive sound. You can hear the subtle mechanical creaks, rattles, and clatters of the tank coming from every direction. Dialogue is crisp and clean. The Steven Price score has lovely fidelity and is well positioned in the mix. This is a reference quality Atmos presentation in all respects. Additional audio offerings include English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English Descriptive Audio, and 5.1 Dolby Digital in Catalan, French, Quebec French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Castilian Spanish, Latin Spanish, and Ukrainian, with subtitles available in English, English SDH, Arabic, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Brazilian Portuguese, Portuguese, Russian, Castilian Spanish, Latin Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish.
Here’s another rare case where the actual 4K disc includes some special features (all in HD). Among them are:
- Tiger 131 (5:25)
- Heart of Fury (6:36)
- Clash of Armor (6:53)
- No Guys, No Glory: The Horrors of Combat (28:06)
- The Tanks of Fury (46:02)
- Trailers (2 trailers – 4:47 in all)
The Tanks of Fury documentary aired previously on the Smithsonian Channel. All of this material is newly-included here for this 4K release, in addition to what’s on the previous Blu-ray edition. [Editor’s Note: Some of this may be content that was included on an exclusive Best Buy bonus disc.] That previous Blu-ray is also here, with the film in 1080p HD. It adds the following (again, all in HD):
- Deleted & Extended Scenes (16 scenes – 56:13 in all)
- Blood Brothers (11:08)
- Director’s Combat Journal (17:32)
- Armored Warriors: The Real Men Inside the Shermans (12:11)
- Taming the Beasts: How to Drive, Fire & Shoot Inside a 30-Ton Tank (12:48)
- Photo Gallery
All of this material is interesting and quite good. What’s more, the way it’s presented makes these discs two halves of the same unified special edition. Naturally, you also get a Digital Copy code on a paper insert.
Fury is a solid and unique World War II combat film and Sony’s Ultra HD release presents it beautifully. If you love this film, this 4K disc is absolutely must-have. Recommended.
- Bill Hunt