The Art of Racing in the Rain appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This delivered a positive presentation.
For the most part, sharpness seemed solid. Occasional instances of slight softness materialized, but these remained fairly modest.
I saw no issues with jagged edges or moiré effects. Both edge haloes and print flaws remained absent.
To the surprise of no one, Rain opted for a light sense of the usual orange and teal palette. The hues worked fine within those constraints and created no concerns.
Blacks appeared pretty deep and dense, while shadows seemed clear and concise. I thought the image worked fine and reproduced the source well.
As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack, it used the spectrum in the occasionally active manner I expected. The movie’s sporadic driving-oriented sequences fared the best, as they allowed the vehicles to zoom and zip around the room in a convincing manner.
General atmosphere also worked well, and the mix used all the speakers to bolster the score. This became a reasonably involving soundscape.
Audio quality seemed good, as music was bold and full. Effects appeared accurate and well-defined, with deep low-end as well.
Speech seemed natural and concise, without edginess. The soundtrack added pizzazz to the proceedings.
We get a mix of extras here, and we launch with an audio commentary from director Simon Curtis. He presents a running, screen-specific look at the source novel and its adaptation, story and characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, music, and related topics.
Overall, Curtis provides a good chat, as he covers the various production topics in a satisfying manner. In particular, I like the remarks related to the challenges connected to the canine performers. All this adds up to an enjoyable discussion.
A few featurettes follow, and A Journey to Screen fills five minutes, 48 seconds and offers notes from Curtis, author Garth Stein, driving instructor Don Kitch Jr., producers Tania Landau and Patrick Dempsey, screenwriter Mark Bomback, and actor Milo Ventimiglia.
We learn about the novel and its adaptation for the screen. We get a few decent details but nothing revelatory appears.
Via Directing the Art, we find a five-minute, nine-second reel with Curtis, Landau, Bomback, Ventimiglia, animal coordinator Teresa Ann Miller and actors Amanda Seyfried, Kathy Baker, Martin Donovan and Ryan Kiera Armstrong.
“Art” discusses how Curtis came to the project and his approach to the material as well as cast and performances, and story/characters. This becomes another fairly superficial program.
Enzo Cam goes for four minutes, 39 seconds and features Stein, Bomback, Curtis, and director of photography Ross Emery.
Here we get notes about photography and attempts to show the doggie POV. Though somewhat fluffy, it comes with a few useful insights.
Next comes Behind the Wheel, a six-minute, 12-second show with Curtis, Dempsey, Ventimiglia, production designer Brent Thomas and 2nd unit director Jeff Zwart.
“Wheel” goes into aspects of the driving scenes and Ventimiglia’s performance. Like its predecessors, it comes with some worthwhile moments but lacks great substance.
With The Dog Stays In the Picture, we locate a six-minute, 19-second program with Curtis, Ventimiglia, Stein, Armstrong, Miller, Landau and VFX supervisor Neil Eskuri. “Picture” views canine performances, and it offers some decent tidbits.
Enzo’s First Ride runs five minutes, 24 seconds and brings comments from Kitch, Ventimiglia, Zwart and Curtis. Like the title implies, “First” discusses Enzo’s big treat at the end of the movie. It seems serviceable.
The disc opens with ads for Where’d You Go, Bernadette and Breakthrough. Sneak Peek adds a promo for This Is Us, and we also find the trailer for Rain.
Even for someone who adores dogs, The Art of Racing in the Rain fails to connect. The movie fixates on melodrama and can’t find any real heart or spirit. The Blu-ray brings very good picture and audio along with a decent array of supplements. Rain turns into a sluggish dud.