Adam Resurrected appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became an erratic and mostly lackluster presentation.
Sharpness turned into one of these inconsistent elements. At times, the movie provided positive delineation, but more than a few shots came across as surprisingly soft and flat.
I saw no issues with jagged edges or moiré effects, and the movie lacked edge haloes. Print flaws also remained absent, but the image showed some minor artifacts.
Colors depended on the setting, and large sections of the film went black and white. The 1961 scenes opted for a pervasive teal and amber, whereas the early 1950s shots favored a heavy tan impression.
During the 1961 sequences, the tones tended to feel somewhat dull and bland. Since these dominated, the colors often lacked much oomph.
Blacks varied and looked best in the B&W segments, where they showed fairly positive depth. These tended to seem somewhat inky during other shots, though, and shadows could appear on the muddy side. This became a surprisingly iffy image for a movie from 2008.
Don’t expect much from the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack either, though mainly due to its lack of ambition. Though it occasionally showed some signs of life, the soundscape usually seemed restricted.
This meant light ambience and not much more, especially because the film came surprisingly light on score. Music showed positive stereo presence, though, and a few war-related seqiences managed a bit of activity. Nonetheless, this remained a subdued track most of the time.
Audio quality worked fine, as dialogue seemed natural and concise. Music appeared reasonably lush and full, though again, it didn’t manifest often.
Also as mentioned, effects lacked a lot of prominence, but when necessary, they showed acceptable kick, and they always came across with adequate accuracy. Though never special, this felt like an adequate soundtrack for this film.
Note that I did find one brief but notable flaw with the mix: at the 1:38:07 mark, the front left speaker emitted about one second of loud distortion. No other issues of this sort occurred, but this turned into a pretty prominent concern – and it startled the heck out of my dog!
A few extras fill out the disc, and we open with an audio commentary from director Paul Schrader. He provides a running, screen-specific look at the source novel's adaptation and path to the screen, story and characters, cast and performances, photography and editing, sets and locations, music, and related elements.
Schrader makes this a simply terrific commentary. He touches on a wide variety of informative topics and gives us a blunt, insightful appraisal of these domains. I may not much like Schrader's movie, but I like his commentary a lot.
A Behind the Scenes featurette spans 24 minutes, one second and brings notes from Schrader, screenwriter Noah Stollman, producer Ehud Bleiberg, writer Yoram Kaniuk, costume designer Inbal Shuki, and actors Jeff Goldblum, Willem Dafoe, Hana Laszlo, and Derek Jacobi.
“Scenes” covers story/characters, cast and performances, photography, sets and costumes, and Schrader’s impact on the production.
Given how much Schrader tells us in his commentary, he leaves few stones unturned, so “Scenes” fails to find a lot of fresh material. Throw in a lot of praise for the production and this becomes a mediocre featurette.
Next comes a Q&A from the Haifa International Film Festival. It runs one hour, 11 minutes, 58 seconds and features a panel that includes Schrader, Bleiberg and Kaniuk.
The Q&A looks at the novel and its adaptation, the project’s path to the screen and Schrader’s involvement, sets and locations, and connected subjects.
Once again, the scope of Schrader’s commentary means that the Q&A often treads territory we already know. Still, the inclusion of Kaniuk allows for more discussion of the novel and its move to the cinematic realm, so it becomes fairly informative.
Four Deleted Scenes fill a total of nine minutes, 32 seconds. Of most interest, the first shows what happened to Commandant Klein after the war. It probably should’ve made the final film.
As for the other three, they provide additional views of Adam in the asylum. Given how much time the movie already spends in that setting, they feel redundant – and Scenes Two and Three essentially offer the same sequence anyway.
In addition to the trailer for Resurrected, we get previews for Camino and Feed the Gods.
If nothing else, Adam Resurrected provides an unusual twist on a Holocaust drama. Unfortunately, the film fails to find anything impactful to do with the material, so it becomes an oddly uncompelling character piece. The Blu-ray brings mediocre picture and audio along with a nice selection of bonus materials. I respect the filmmakers’ attempts to do something different, but the end result doesn’t connect.