At the Drive-In appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. This felt like an acceptable SD-DVD presentation.
Sharpness usually seemed fine. The film could occasionally look a little soft, but it generally appeared reasonably accurate and concise for SD-DVD.
Mild issues connected to jagged edges and shimmering occurred, but no signs of edge enhancement occurred. Source flaws werenít an issue.
Colors were satisfactory. With a mild teal impression, these tones looked decent, though they lacked much pep.
Blacks were fairly dark and tight, and low-light shots seemed acceptably distinctive. While this was never a dynamic image, it remained perfectly watchable.
I thought the Dolby 2.0 soundtrack of Drive-In was also acceptable, though the soundfield had little going for it. Music showed decent stereo imaging, and a few effects spread out across the front.
These were minor, though, and didnít add much to the experience. That said, a documentary like this didnít need a dynamic soundscape, so I didnít mind the bland presentation.
Audio quality was fine. Speech sounded natural and concise, without edginess or other problems.
Music seemed full and rich, and effects were decent. They didnít demand much of the mix, but they appeared accurate enough. This was a perfectly serviceable soundtrack for a documentary.
Three audio commentaries appear here, and the first comes from director Alexander Monelli and castmember/critic Robert Humanick. Both sit together for a running, screen-specific look at the shoot.
Kind of. While we get some notes about the experience of making the film, this first commentary mostly acts as a chance for Monelli and Humanick to talk about movies or whatever else comes to mind.
I figured this track would act as a fairly standard directorís commentary and deal with issues related to the movieís creation, but that rarely happens. Instead, it tends to become awfully general and random, without much to make it interesting.
For the second commentary, we hear from Monelli and castmembers Jeff Mattox, Matt McClanahan, Virgil Cardamone, Corey Pace, Jessica Pell and Andrew Rotherforth. This whole group sits together for a running, screen-specific look at the project and various relationships and background.
While superior to the Monelli/Humanick commentary, this one never becomes especially insightful. The participants tend to talk too much about how much everyone likes each other and what a wonderful setting the Mahoning is.
Those thoughts could be accurate, but they donít lead to a satisfying commentary. The track does bring some good anecdotes, and Monelli actually tells us a bit more about the production than he does in the first track, but this still feels like an inconsistent discussion.
The final commentary brings us Monelli, Mattox and castmembers Mark Nelson, James T. Mills, Patrick Chordas and Ashley Healy. Again, the participants sit together for a running, screen-specific chat that covers the same topics as the last track.
And that sometimes becomes literal, as more than a few notes repeat from the second Ė and even first Ė commentaries. In particular, Monelli gives us many of the same thoughts, so expect to hear some material over and over.
The third commentary strongly resembles the second in other ways, as it leans heavily toward a mutual lovefest among the Mahoning regulars. Like the second track, we get a few interesting stories about the folks and their experiences, but the end result feels less than informative.
A Q&A runs 32 minutes, 10 seconds and includes Monelli, Mattox, Nelson and Mills. They discuss aspects of the documentary and their thoughts about movies. Much of this feels like ďfilm puristĒ self-congratulation, so donít expect a lot of substance.
In addition to the movieís trailer, we get 19 Deleted Scenes. These fill 17 minutes, 34 seconds and give us added info about the participants.
Most of these seem pretty brief and forgettable. The only notable addition comes from comments from a psychologist who researches nostalgia. She brings some insights but doesnít get enough screen time to tell us much.
With its focus on a long-gone movie-going culture, At the Drive-In comes with the potential to offer an intriguing viewpoint. The end result seems less engaging than hoped, though, as it lacks coherence and feels more like a love letter to movie nerds than anything else. The DVD brings decent picture and audio along with occasionally informative supplements. Drive-In becomes an erratic disappointment.