Got Sky Q but no 4K telly to plug your box into? Have you any idea how many pixels you’re missing out on?
Ultra HD comes as standard with your Sky Q subscription and while it doesn’t extend to everything available, the catalogue is steadily growing all the time. Here’s Stuff’s pick of Sky’s 4K menu...
Edgar Wright’s most recent films tend to be fairly Marmite but Baby Driver’s pedal-to-the-metal capers make for one of the most purely entertaining blockbusters in years.
Starting with a car chase that’s propelled by The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion’s Bellbottoms, all of the film’s main set pieces are thrillingly choreographed to the music that soundtracks them. It sounds gimmicky but with some smart writing, bags of style and larger-than-life performances from Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx, Baby Driver is ridiculously watchable. Its story might be straight off the pages of a comic book but there’s not a cape or superpower in sight. Phew.
No, obviously not the 2014 remake, Paul Verhoeven's scarily prescient original.
On the surface RoboCop is a fairly straightforward action movie, but, like the man himself, there’s something more complex going on under the surface. Long before Facebook, Google et al were founded, RoboCop was playing with ideas of corporate responsibility and the role of the media, and it did it with the help of a massive autonomous robot that malfunctions and goes on the rampage. Something for everyone, then.
Only the third season of this gritty Italian mafia drama is available in Ultra HD on Sky Q, so as long as you’ve watched the first two, treat yourself to some extra pixels for the most recent one.
If you’re unfamiliar with Gomorrah, it follows the lives of various faces in Naples’ organised crime scene, but pretty much everything can be traced back to either Ciro or Gennaro, the two friendly looking chaps picture above. The allegiance between the pair is as on-off as Ross and Rachel in Friends (although with slightly more firearms) but the addition of young upstart Enzo proves that three really is a crowd.
Blade Runner 2049
Forget whether it even needed to be made in the first place, this sequel to Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic is pretty much what 4K was invented for.
But that’s not a nice way of saying there’s nothing going on upstairs. It picks up Deckard’s story neatly while adding a new narrative of its own, and while there are certainly some aspects of it that don’t quite hit home, you can always use those moments to admire the scenery. Just make sure you’ve stocked up on snacks before it starts - this is one seriously long film
Here’s an offer you can’t refuse: the greatest film of all time in 4K. Only the first part of Francis Ford Coppola’s mafia trilogy is available on Sky Q, but don’t listen to the people who say Part II is better: they’re wrong.
Despite being the best part of 50 years old, the Ultra HD version of The Godfather practically looks like it was shot yesterday, with post-war New York and Sicily really brought to life. Life, of course, is not something that every character in The Godfather gets to enjoy, but you can make the most of this bona fide classic from the safety of your sofa.
Patrick Melrose sounds like the name of the guy who’s in charge of accounts at your office but even Benedict Cumberbatch would probably struggle to make his life interesting.
Each of the five episodes is based on a different book from Edward St Aubyn’s series of semi-autobiographical novels, in which the titular character battles grief, abuse and various addictions across cities and eras. It’s superbly written, masterfully acted and brilliantly directed, with the various settings making it an excellent work out for your telly.
If you’ve seen any of Chris Nolan’s last few films you’ll probably settle in to watch Dunkirk prepared for the long haul, but it’s refreshingly lean, partly due to the fact that there’s very little dialogue.
But then there’s not a lot to talk about when you’re busy either trying to escape or rescue others from the beaches of Dunkirk during World War 2. Nolan’s film portrays the evacuation from land, sea and the air, but there’s one thing that’ll stick with you after the credits have rolled: the clinging sense of dread that’s created by the music and sound design. Got a surround sound system? This is a film to plug it in for.
Lawrence of Arabia
At 7GB and three-and-a-half hours long, give your Wi-Fi a workout by downloading Lawrence of Arabia to your Sky Q box.
David Lean’s biopic, which tells the story of T.E. Lawrence’s role in the Arab Revolt during World War I, is a genuine epic. With a truly iconic soundtrack and some excellent supporting roles from the camels, its shimmering desert scenes look so good in 4K you’ll be worried about scorching the sofa.
Now into its third series (with all three available in Ultra HD), Billions is about a grumpy US Attorney (Paul Giamatti’s Chuck) and his nemesis: a charitable-but-devious hedge fund manager called Axe, played by Homeland’s Damian Lewis.
But wait! Come back! It’s not all spreadsheets and interest rates. Yes, there’s a fair amount of baffling finance talk but it’s much funnier than you’d imagine, with the drama coming from the power struggle between these two big-bucks heavyweights. It’s classic cat ‘n’ mouse stuff, but on this occasion both animals are so rich they’re almost untouchable. Almost…
War for the Planet of the Apes
With each new Planet of the Apes film it feels like there are fewer and fewer human characters involved, so before Andy Serkis mo-caps his way through every single character in the next one, enjoy the most OTT film in the series so far.
Quick recap: the apes are divided, with Caesar's tribe camped out in the woods, and Koba’s crew teaming up with a Colonel Kurtz-esque warlord played by Woody Harrelson. Two hours of ape-on-ape-on-human action follows as Caesar and his band of monkey brothers fight for their right to find a new home. We’re still not sure how we feel about apes riding horses though. Do hedgehogs ride badgers?
Last time we saw Ewan McGregor’s Renton he was running away from his friends with a sports bag stuffed full of their stolen cash. He was also 20 years younger and had his whole, heroin-free life ahead of him. What happened next?
T2 sees a 46-year-old Renton returning to Edinburgh to face up to what he did. But does it make for compelling viewing? Or just remind everyone how old they are? A bit of both to be honest, but no legacys are spoiled here, and it’s worth watching for the scam he and Sickboy pull on the Protestant club alone.