The Best of Me appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Overall, this was a positive image.
Virtually no softness marred the presentation. At all times, it showed nice clarity and definition; even wide shots remained distinctive. Jagged edges and moiré effects failed to appear, and edge haloes remained absent. Print flaws also stayed away from this clean image.
In terms of palette, Best went with a golden tint typical of this sort of romantic drama, though it threw in a fair amount of teal as well. Overall, the hues were fine for their visual choices. Blacks showed good depth, while low-light shots boasted nice clarity. This was a solid “A-“ presentation.
As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it gave us competent sonics most of the time as well as a little pep on occasion. A quiet drama like this didn’t need to boast a rock-em, sock-em mix, so the audio seemed acceptable. Usually, the soundfield didn’t have a lot to do; it concentrated on good stereo music and general ambience.
Every once in a while, though, the mix came to life. The most impressive moments occurred early during a disaster on an oilrig. While that was the sonic standout, a few additional segments such as rainstorms and gunfire broadened the piece. These didn’t dazzle, but they gave the mix more breadth than I anticipated.
Audio quality was fine. Speech seemed natural and concise, without edginess or other concerns. Music appeared fairly full; the score could’ve been a bit more vibrant, but it came across with reasonable definition. Effects remained clear and accurate, with some pretty solid low-end response during louder moments. This became a satisfying track with a bit more kick than I expected.
We find two versions of Best on the Blu-ray. In addition to the theatrical cut (1:57:48), we locate a ”Tears of Joy” Edition (1:55:55).
The two movies remain the same until around the 1:39:45 mark. At that point, a major plot element gets a shift; in the theatrical cut, an accident causes a character to need a heart transplant, whereas in “Tears of Joy”, that character sustains swelling in the brain.
This alteration causes massive ripples in the rest of the movie. I’ll not get into specifics to avoid any further potential spoilers, but the changes result in a radical difference in the film’s tone and ending, as the “Tears of Joy” version goes with the “safer” finish.
Normally I’d prefer the “edgier” plot, but in this case, “Tears” works way better than the theatrical cut’s ending – unless you really dig the movie’s camp value, that is. The theatrical version comes with a substantially more insane – and hilarious – conclusion, while “Tears” is happier and more believable.
Alongside the theatrical cut, we get an audio commentary from director Michael Hoffman. He delivers a running, screen-specific look at the source novel and its adaptation, story/character areas, sets and locations, cast and performances, music, sound/visual design, editing and connected topics.
Hoffman makes this a pretty good commentary. He covers an appropriate array of subjects and does so with charm and warmth. A little of the usual happy talk pops up along the way, but Hoffman mainly stays on target and delivers a fine level of information.
Five Deleted Scenes fill a total of nine minutes, 46 seconds. In these, we largely get more moments with supporting roles, as we see a fair amount of different family members. Some extra melodrama results but not anything that fleshes out the parts or the story.
Next comes a featurette called Along for the Ride. It runs a mere one minute, 53 seconds and provides an ad for The Longest Ride, the next Nicholas Sparks movie. Spoiler alert: it boasts star-crossed lovers from different worlds! And it contrasts an old couple with a young one! In other words, it’s the same old, same old from Sparks.
Two similar pieces appear next. We get Nicholas Sparks Interviews Michelle and James (2:47) and Nicholas Sparks Interviews Liana and Luke (2:18). These cover characters, actors and performances. A couple of minor details emerge, but these are mainly promotional pieces.
We also find a Music Video for Lady Antebellum’s “I Did”. This mixes lip-synch shots with a story of young love. It’s nothing great, but at least it’s more ambitious than the usual videos found with movies.
The disc opens with ads for The Wild, The Longest Week and Hector and the Search for Happiness. Sneak Peeks adds promos for The Fault In Our Stars, And So It Goes, If I Stay and Beyond the Lights. We also find the theatrical trailer for Best of Me.
Overwrought and absurd to a crazy degree, The Best of Me will entertain those who enjoy movies for their camp value. If you want to take it seriously, however, you’ll be left with a genuinely terrible film. The Blu-ray presents terrific picture as well as good audio and supplements highlighted by an informative commentary. An unintentional howler, Best of Me only works for fans of bad cinema.