Sunday, March 5, 2023

TRAINING DAY (2001) (WBHE 4K UHD Review)


Label: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment 
Region Code: Region-Free (UHD), A (BD) 
Rating: R
Audio: English Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1  with Optional English Subtitles 
Video: HDR10 2160p Ultra HD Widescreen (2.35:1) 
Director: Antoine Fuqua 
Cast: Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawkes, Scott Glenn, Cliff Curtis, Dr.  Dre, Snoop Dog, Eva Mendes

Synopsis: Denzel Washington delivers an Academy Award-winning performance opposite Ethan Hawke in this gritty drama set in the morally ambiguous world of undercover police work. Every day a war rages between drug dealers and cops on the streets of America's inner cities. With every war come casualties, none greater than 13-year veteran Los Angeles narcotics officer Alonzo Harris (Washington), whose questionable methods blur the line between legal and corrupt. Today Alonzo gets a new partner, idealistic rookie Jake Hoyt (Hawke), and Jake has one day--and one day only--to prove his mettle to his fiercely charismatic superior. Over 24 hours, Jake will be dragged into the ethical mire of Alonzo's logic as both men risk their careers and their lives to serve conflicting notions of justice.

Audio/Video: Training Day (2001) gets the 4K Ultra HD upgrade from Warner Bros. and it's quite a revelation. The original 2006 Blu-ray was an early HD format entry and was pretty flat and lifeless. This new 4K presentation blows it away with deep, rich textures and well-saturated colors throughout. The close-ups offers copious amounts of pleasing fine detail, and depth and clarity are premium quality. The HDR10 color-grading here showcases much deeper and nuanced black levels, and the warm golden hue and colors just pop better. There is a bit of a teal push, but this us such an upgrade over what we had before that it does not bother me even a little, not having seen this at the cinema I don't really have a reference for how it looked theatrically and I am blown away by the new UHD presentation. 

The previous Blu-ray only offered lossy Dolby Digital so this is a pretty massive upgrade with both Dolby Atmos and TrueHD 7.1 with optional English subtitles. The score from Mark Mancina (The Haunted Mansion) is full-blooded and the bumpin' tracks from Nelly, Cypress Hill, Xzibit, Gang Starr, Pharoahe Monch offers a pleasing low-end throb. While I'm not personally a huge fan of the soundtrack outside of Cypress Hill it absolutely suits the film and sets a tone that I dig while I am watching it. Additionally dialogue sounds great and when the gunshots start ringing out they are truly piercing.

While we get a terrific A/V upgrade for Training Day we do not get any new extras, but we do get the original archival extras upscaled to HD, this includes an Audio Commentary by director Antoine Fuqua, a pair of Music Videos by Pharoahe Monch and Nelly, 13-min of Deleted Scenes, the 15-min Training Day: Crossing The Line Featurette, 5-min Alternative Ending, a 2-min Theatrical Trailer, plus a digital copy of the film. Notably, the accompanying Blu-ray is not a recycle of the inferior 2006 Blu-ray, this is a new remastered HD version that looks terrific even without the HDR10, plus it has Dolby Atmos upgrade, which I appreciated and is worth the upgrade on it own.  

Strangely, the 2-disc release arrives in a blue Blu-ray keepcase, not sure what that's all about, it seems pretty careless on the part of WB, but if your OCD about your collection you might want to change it out for a black keepcase. This release also includes a glossy slipcover with the same artwork as the single-sided wrap, but it's branded with the WB 100th Anniversary logo in the top right hand corner. 

Special Features:
4K UHD Disc
- Audio Commentary by director Antoine Fuqua
Blu-ray Disc
- Audio Commentary by director Antoine Fuqua
- Pharoahe Monch’s “Got You” Music Video (4 min) 
- Nelly’s “#1” Music Video (4 min) 
-  Deleted Scenes (13 min) 
- Training Day: Crossing The Line Featurette (15 min) 
- Alternative Ending (5 min) 
- Theatrical Trailer (2 min) 
- Digital Copy