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Monday, June 24, 2024

Narc (Limited Edition) (4K UHD Review)


The Film
The Video (Overall)
HDR Effect
The Audio
The Supplements


In order to help solve the death of a police officer, a suspended undercover narcotics officer is lured back to work and partnered with a possibly corrupt detective.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Narc is a gritty crime noir from 2002 written and directed by Joe Carnahan (The Grey). Set in Detroit, which was already in the throes of urban blight, the film follows Detroit undercover narcotics officer Nick Tellis (Jason Patric).

Suspended from the police force after a drug bust went terribly wrong and there were several deaths, Tellis is called back in and enticed to accept a reinstatement to help solve the murder of a slain officer. Tellis is paired with the officer’s violent ex-partner Henry Oak (Ray Liotta). Meanwhile, Tellis is having his own domestic issues; he has a wife and a new baby at home, and his wife does not want him back on the streets. His recent issues with drug addiction give her good cause for concern.

As the investigation into the murder plays out, Tellis begins to worry that Oak may be corrupt and what is more, that he may know more about the crime than he is letting on.

Carnahan drapes Narc in atmosphere and style. From the opening foot chase sequence shot on a disorienting handheld camera to the lighting and color grading. Pair these things with the powerful, take-it-to-the-edge performance by Liotta who revels in the volatile nature of a violent and corrupt cop as much as he did in his role as the hitman from Goodfellas, and we have a cinematic feast.

Purchase Narc (Limited Edition) 4K Ultra HD on Amazon.com

The Video

Narc is served up on 4K Ultra HD from Arrow Video from a brand new 4K remaster from the original negative by Arrow Films in a 1.85:1 HEVC 2160p (4K UHD) Dolby Vision encodement. There is densely packed, highly organic looking grain that resolves well and looks very satisfyingly crisp. It is a gritty film in both content and appearance, with an often desaturated palette and a cooler, bluish/grayish tone. Some scenes have a warmer look that present a more natural, rich tone. The Dolby Vision grading presents the colors with good vibrancy and gives pop to the highlights. Everything from neon signage in a bar to the flicker of the flame of a lighter looks dazzling without looking gimmicky. The image also yields solid shadow details and an abundance of detail overall.

  • Ray Liotta in Narc (2002)
  • Jason Patric and Ray Liotta in Narc (2002)
  • Narc (Limited Edition) (Arrow Video -- AV578)
  • Narc (Limited Edition) (Arrow Video -- AV578)
  • Narc (Limited Edition) (Arrow Video -- AV578)

The Audio

We get a balanced and atmospheric Dolby Atmos remix that that has good dynamic range, but there is some audible clipping on louder dialogue, such as in the opening scene when Jason Patric stars to scream in anguish after the violent altercation. The overheads take a bit of the sounds from the score panned medium-high in the mix and some atmospheric sound effects. There are also moments when gunshots ring out through the channels and into the overhead speakers, for a really full, impactful sound bolstered by strong low end. Low range is beefy for the percussive, ambient score and action. The surrounds carry a good number of atmospheric effects like rainfall, reverberation, or a door squeaking.

The Supplements

This 2-disc set of Narc from Arrow Video is loaded with bonus features — two new — and some high quality collectibles.

Limited Edition Contents:

  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Nathanael Marsh
  • Double-sided poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Nathanael Marsh
  • Illustrated collectors’ booklet featuring new writing by Michelle Kisner, a new interview with producer Diane Nabatoff and archival interviews and articles
    • Archival feature commentary with director Joe Carnahan and editor John Gilroy
    • Introduction from director Joe Carnahan (1080p; 00:00:12) (NEW)
  • Shattering the Blue Line, a newly filmed interview with director Joe Carnahan
  • Shooting Narc, a newly filmed interview with director of photography Alex Nepomniaschy
  • If You Live Another Day, a newly filmed interview with actor Krista Bridges
  • The Journey of the Costume, a newly filmed interview with costume designer Gersha Phillips (NEW)
  • Making the Deal, a vintage promotional featurette looking at the making of the film
  • The Visual Trip, a vintage promotional featurette looking at the look of the film
  • The Friedkin Connection, a vintage promotional featurette interviewing William Friedkin and discussing the connections between his body of work and Narc
  • Shooting Up, a vintage promotional featurette looking at the making of the film
  • Vintage EPK interviews with Joe Carnahan, Ray Liotta, Jason Patric, Diane Nabatoff, Alex Nepomniaschy and William Friedkin
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Image gallery

The Final Assessment

Arrow have delivered a reference quality restoration of this gritty crime thriller with this new 4K release of Narc. Packed to the brim with extras and gorgeously packaged, this is one not to be missed.

Narc (Limited Edition) 4K Ultra HD is out May 21, 2024 from Arrow Video.

Purchase Narc (Limited Edition) 4K Ultra HD on Amazon.com

  • Rating Certificate: R (for strong brutal violence, drug content and pervasive language)
  • Studios & Distributors: Paramount Pictures | Lions Gate Films | Cruise/Wagner Productions | Splendid Film | Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films (EFO Films) | Tiara Blu Films | Applecreek Productions | Cutting Edge Entertainment | Echelon Productions, Inc. | JR Media Services | N.A.R.C. | Narc LLC | Arrow Video
  • Director: Joe Carnahan
  • Written By: Joe Carnahan
  • Run Time: 105 Mins.
  • Street Date: 21 May 2024
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Format: HEVC 2160p (4K UHD)
  • Primary Audio: English Dolby Atmos
  • Secondary Audio: English LPCM 2.0 Stereo
  • Subtitles: English SDH

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In order to help solve the death of a police officer, a suspended undercover narcotics officer is lured back to work and partnered with a possibly corrupt detective. Narc (Limited Edition) (4K UHD Review)