The Battery appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The transfer presented the film in a fairly appealing manner.
Sharpness looked good. Some softness hit wider shots, but those instances remained mostly insubstantial, so the majority of the flick showed fine clarity and accuracy. Jaggies and shimmering failed to distract, and edge haloes remained absent. The movie also lacked any source flaws and was consistently clean.
In terms of colors, Battery went with subdued tones, as the movie tended toward an amber feel or a green impression. The hues never stood out as memorable, but they weren’t supposed to be impressive, so they were fine for this story’s stripped palette. Blacks were pretty deep, and shadows were well-depicted, though some low-light shots could be a little murky. The image offered a solid “B” presentation.
As for the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it lacked a ton of ambition, though I didn’t view that as a flaw. A story like this came heavy on ambience and light on opportunities for fireworks, so the absence of showy sequences failed to become a problem. Music filled the various channels in a satisfying manner, and low-key effects fleshed out the spectrum in a logical way. Nothing dazzled but the mix seemed workable for the material.
Audio quality pleased. Speech was concise and natural, while effects – as subdued as they tended to be – remained accurate and full-bodied. Music was vibrant and dynamic. While this was never a memorable track, it suited the story.
When we head to extras, we launch with an audio commentary from writer/director/actor Jeremy Gardner, producer/actor Adam Cronheim and director of photography Christian Stella. All three sit together for a running, screen-specific look at story/character areas, sets and locations, cinematography and visual design, editing and deleted scenes, cast and performances, music and audio, and other domains.
Though the track can be a little too jokey at times, it usually delivers a good level of information. At least the tone remains peppy as the participants go through various aspects of the production. While it may become too informal on occasion, the commentary still covers appropriate bases in a positive manner.
Called Tools of Ignorance, a documentary lasts one hour, 29 minutes and 20 seconds. It offers notes from Gardner, Cronheim, Stella, makeup effects/set designer Kelly McQuade, production manager/actor Elise Stella, executive producer/actor Matt Bacco, editors/foley designers Alicia Stella and Michael Katzman, musician Chris Eaton and composer Ryan Winford. The piece looks at the filmmakers’ start in movies and the development/financing of Battery, equipment and technical considerations, casting and bringing others onto the project, sets and locations, cast and performances, audio and music, makeup effects, editing and deleted scenes, and general thoughts about the end result.
Just because a documentary uses a long running time doesn’t ensure quality, as I’ve found extended “making of” shows that lacked much substance. “Tools” doesn’t fall into that category.
Instead, it gives us a simply terrific look at the production. Inevitably, it repeats some info from the commentary, but it comes with plenty of new details, and the video footage helps – as does a frank, honest tone with room for discussion of fights/problems during the production. Heck, we even get glimpses of Gardner’s earlier video films. “Tools” provides an entertaining and educational show that’s more enjoyable than Battery itself.
A collection of Outtakes goes for 11 minutes, 37 seconds. The compilation shows a mix of bloopers, behind the scenes shots and deleted/alternate takes. It’s not exciting but it comes with some interesting moments.
Rock Plaza Central at the Parlor fills 10 minutes, 48 seconds. It lets us watch rehearsals by Rock Plaza Central, the band who created some of the songs found in the movie. If you like the music, this segment may boast some value, but it seems like a snoozer to me.
In addition to the film’s trailer, we find ads under More from Scream Factory. This domain includes promos for Beneath, Dead Shadows and 5 Senses of Fear.
Though it comes with some worthwhile moments, The Battery lacks the momentum to make it enjoyable on a consistent basis. I like some aspects but think it sputters more than I’d prefer. The Blu-ray gives us pretty good picture and audio as well as some informative bonus materials. Battery gets points for effort but doesn’t turn into a satisfying final product.