Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a largely satisfying image.
Overall sharpness worked well, with only a smattering of slightly soft dimly-lit shots on display. Most of the movie boasted positive accuracy and delineation.
The image lacked jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge haloes remained absent. Print flaws also remained absent.
Unsurprisingly, the film’s palette favored a notable orange and teal hint, though a mix of purples and reds and other tones emerged as well. The disc replicated the colors as intended.
Blacks seemed dark and dense, but shadows could seem a little murky, as low-light shots weren’t quite as smooth as I’d like. Still, I felt happy with the transfer in general and thought it offered a good representation of the film.
Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the movie’s Dolby Atmos audio added great dimensionality to the effort. With many action scenes, the mix used the various channels to create a lively, vivid soundscape.
This meant various vehicles zipped around the room in a smooth, convincing manner, while other aspects of fights and mayhem brought out well-placed material that blended together in a nicely integrated way. The soundfield meshed together to deliver a well-rounded impression.
Audio quality also impressed, with speech that seemed natural and concise. Music appeared vivid and full, with dynamic tones.
Effects fared best of all, as those elements seemed accurate and tight, with crisp highs and deep lows. As I expect from a movie of this sort, the soundtrack excelled.
An interactive feature, Bird’s Eye Mode offers a few components. In addition to a text trivia track, it brings behind the scenes footage, links to comics, and comments from director Cathy Yan, screenwriter Christina Hodson, stunt coordinator Jonathan Eusebio, costume designer Erin Benach, key grip Tana Dubbe, production designer KK Barrett, visual effects producer Annemarie Griggs, stunt double Renae Moneymaker, costume/wardrobe assistant Shaylyn O’Grady, visual effects supervisor Greg Steele, and actors Margot Robbie, Ewan McGregor, Rosie Perez, Chris Messina, David Bernhardt, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, and Ella Jay Basco.
“Eye” looks at story/characters, camerawork, cast and performances, stunts and action, costumes, production design and various effects. Aspects of “Eye” work fine, but as often occurs with interactive programs like this, it lacks consistency.
In particular, we get too much dead space, as “Eye” can go MIA for slightly extended periods. Since the format makes it difficult to enjoy the film with “Eye” activated, this can make it mildly frustrating. “Eye” gives us a reasonable array of insights, but it doesn’t excel.
A few featurettes follow, and Birds of a Feather runs eight minutes, 26 seconds and includes notes from Yan, Robbie, Hodson, Smolett-Bell, Winstead, Eusebio, Perez, and producers Sue Kroll and Bryan Unkeless.
“Feather” looks at the film’s development, Yan’s impact, stunts and action. It offers a few good notes but tends toward fluff.
Romaneqsue goes for four minutes, 57 seconds and brings notes from McGregor, Hodson, Kroll, Robbie, Yan and Winstead.
Here we get thoughts about the Roman character as well as McGregor’s performance. This becomes a mix of facts and praise.
Next comes A Love, Skate Relationship, a four-minute, 29-second reel with Robbie, Moneymaker, skating technical advisor Rachel Rotten, and skating stunt double Michelle Steilen. We learn about the movie’s roller derby scenes in this moderately useful piece.
Grime and Crime lasts 10 minutes, 38 seconds and features Robbie, Kroll, Yan, Unkeless, Barrett, Smollett-Bell, Perez, Winstead, Hodson, supervising art director Kasra Farahani and set designer Luis Hoyos.
“Grime” covers the movie’s depiction of Gotham, with an emphasis on production design. It turns into a fairly informative program, one with a higher than average level of insight.
With Sanity Is Sooo Last Season, we find a seven-minute, 39-second reel with material from Benach, Yan, Robbie, Winstead, Smolett-Bell, Perez, Basco, and McGregor.
This turns into a look at costumes. It covers the material in an effective manner.
Finally, Wild Nerds spans six minutes, three seconds and offers info from Griggs, Steele, Robbie, and Smollett-Bell. We find a quick and useful exploration of some visual effects.
A Gag Reel takes up two minutes, two seconds. It offers the usual silliness.
The disc opens with ads for Tenet, Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge. No trailer for Birds appears here.
A second disc presents a DVD copy of Prey. It includes the “Birds of a Feather” featurette but lacks all the other extras.
A disappointment at the box office, Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn deserved a sunnier fate. Aided by another good performance from Margot Robbie and oodles of brutal action, this becomes a vivid, fun action flick. The Blu-ray comes with appealing picture and audio as well as a reasonable roster of supplements. Prey deserved a bigger audience than it received.