4K Ultra + Blu-ray + Digital |  Paramount  | 2005 |  116 min |  Rated PG |  May 19, 2020

Director:  Steven Spielberg

Starring:  Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Justin Chatwin, Tim Robbins

Video:

Codec: HEVC / H.265
Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Audio

English: Dolby Atmos
English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
German: Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1

| Film Synopsis |

The extraordinary battle for the future of humankind through the eyes of one American family. Fleeing from an extraterrestrial army of killer Tripods that annihilate everything in their path, Ray Ferrier races to keep his family safe.

| Video |

WAR OF THE WORLDS hits the 4K format in a brand new 1.85:1 HEVC 4K image. Colors are very strong and well saturated. Skin tones are slightly washed out, as per the films overall look (which I liked). Black levels are perfect. Looking back at the original DVD, there’s a major leap in quality here.

| Audio |

As outstanding as the video is, the Atmos track on WAR OF THE WORLDS is just as impressive. Surround Sound Presentation: Truly amazing. The opening act when the aliens come out of the ground and start destruction makes for some great surround sound.  Vocals are clear and crisp. 

| Special Features |
  • Revisiting the Invasion – Spielberg regales us with his obsession with alien films. We also get some interviews with selected members of the cast and crew.

  • The H.G. Wells Legacy – H.G. Wells, who penned the original story, has long since passed. But we get an interview with his grandson, Martin and his great-grandson Simon as well as Spielberg on his legacy.

  • Steven Spielberg and the Original War of the Worlds – Essentially this is Spielberg’s view of his film compared with the 1953 version.

  • Characters: The Family Unit – The theme of family is explored in the film and how it applies to the overall theme of the movie.

  • Previsualization – When this film came out in 2005, this was a relatively new technique. Now it’s very commonplace, but still interesting nonetheless.

  • Production Diaries – A four-part series that features some clips from the film.“East Coast – Beginning”, “East Coast – Exile”, “West Coast – Destruction” and “West Coast – War” are the four parts if you’re curious.

  • Designing the Enemy: Tripods and Aliens – Thinking about it, the aliens to look like giant tripods. Still, this is a good, in-depth look at what it took to bring these to the screen.

  • Scoring War of the Worlds – Spielberg along with longtime collaborator John Williams dissect how the score was influenced for the film.

  • We Are Not Alone – Once again, Spielberg gives us some of his influences and what inspired him to make War of the Worlds.

  • Galleries – Four total: Sketches by Costume Designer Joanna Johnston, Production Stills, Behind the Scenes and Production Sketches.

  • Theatrical Teaser Trailer

| Overall Reaction |

WAR OF THE WORLDS still holds up today. It looks and sounds like a Summer Blockbuster motion picture event.  Paramount’s 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray upgrade is a doozy. Its  delivers a striking 2160p resolution and an immersive Dolby Atmos soundtrack.   It's easily an all time favorite disc of mine that you should add to your collection. Very highly recommended. 

Summary (out of 5)

Film:  4.0   Video:  5.0    Audio:  4.5    Extras:  3.6    Overall:  4.5