American Gods (S1-2)
Based on the celebrated Neil Gaiman novel, this big budget series from Bryan Fuller (previously producer of Hannibal) weaves together cords of ancient mythology, modern mythology, Americana and pop culture to create a modern fantasy fable – a magical realist tale about immigration, above other things. The cast includes the classy likes of Ian McShane, Peter Stormare and Gillian Anderson, but British viewers might be tickled to see former Hollyoaks hunk Ricky Whittle in the leading role – and doing a very decent job along with it.
American Gods has a distinctive, stylish look that benefits from its Ultra HD rendering - but given the series' clever use of colour and contrast, we're a tad disappointed that HDR isn't on the menu.
If you need to name a tank you can’t ask the internet to do it or you’ll end up with something infantile like Tanky McTankface – it needs a fearsome moniker to strike fear into the enemy’s hearts, something like Gun Bastard or The Archbishop of Pain. In World War 2 Brad Pitt didn’t have the internet so the best he could come up with was Fury, which isn’t bad, if a little obvious.
As war films go Fury is no Platoon or Apocalypse Now but its frantic firefights, moodily lit battlefields and gloomy onboard shots are ripe for the 4K treatment.
Violent yet beautiful, menacing and stunning in equal measure. No, not Titus Welliver’s moody homicide detective - the city of Los Angeles. LA is as big a part of Amazon's gritty crime drama as Bosch himself, and it looks flippin’ gorgeous in 4K with HDR.
Tune in for the beautiful rolling shots of LA, sprawling out from the Hollywood hills in UHD resolution, and you’ll soon be hooked by the clever murder mystery plot.
At the time of writing, a fourth season has just dropped onto Amazon Prime – which means binge-watchers have a whole heap of murder, conspiracy and assorted shadiness to dive into.
Planet Earth II
There’s no better way to experience 4K than a nature documentary. Trust us. From the bright pink flamingo bathing in a shimmering blue pool to a yellow jaguar lurking within the dense green jungle, there’s an abundance of colour within the animal kingdom. And it’s not just stunning visuals that are on offer here – David Attenborough’s narration will stir your emotions while also leaving you with more knowledge about the world we inhabit.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
The latest Star Wars movie might have divided the critics somewhat, with some feeling that its tone wasn’t sufficiently “Star Wars-y” and others enjoying director Rian Johnson’s fresh take on the universe, but nobody could deny that it’s a visual spectacle and then some. Sadly it’s not yet available to stream in 4K, but owners of UHD Blu-ray players are in luck.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
It’s Potter, but not as you know it in this tangential adventure set in 1920s New York. Yes, there’s still magic and dragons aplenty, but this time Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) takes up the mantle of bumbling hero. While Fantastic Beasts spends a lot of time teeing up plot strands for its four planned sequels, there’s more than enough spectacle to entertain you.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
James Cameron’s SFX showcase sequel is bigger, brasher and arguably better than the dark sci-fi thriller the preceded it, and it makes an ideal “older” movie to enjoy in beautiful 4K.
When a teenage John Conner is again threatened by a time-travelling robot, the resistance again sends back an agent to protect him. The twist? This time it’s another robot, in the familiar shape of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Cue some of the finest action set pieces in 1990s cinema.
La La Land
Got turned off by all the La La Land love when it first hit cinemas? Don’t be such a doltz this time around. This is one of the best musicals in absolute yonks, and essential viewing even if the mere mention of ‘jazz hands’ is usually enough to make you retch. Why? Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone carry off what could have been a generic, schmaltzy romance with wit and subtlety to play your heartstrings like a fiddle.
The Crown (S1-2)
The Crown ranks as one of Netflix’s best original series to date. That’s partly down to the phenomenal production values that have been instilled in this retelling of Queen Lizzie II’s early years. Over £100 million was invested in this extravaganza, starring Claire Foy and Matt Smith, and that all adds up to a swanky amount of period detail as well as several weighty performances.
Over the 145-minute running time of Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas, a word that sounds a bit like ‘4K’ is uttered 300 times. Casino (422) and The Wolf of Wall Street (569), two of the director’s later films, both bettered it – but this is the only one that’s available in Ultra HD. Much more than just a cinematic swear jar, Goodfellas is the storyof real-life gangster Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) and his rise from teenage hanger-on to full-time mobster.