Bliss appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Shot on Super 16mm, Bliss suffered from the stock’s limitations.
Many of the concerns stemmed from iffy definition. Close-ups looked good, and most wider exteriors showed decent detail. However, these elements lacked great delineation and could veer toward the mushy side.
I noticed no issues with jagged edges or shimmering, and edge haloes failed to manifest themselves. Small specks popped up at times. These never became heavy, but they persisted through the whole movie.
In terms of colors, Bliss often opted for garish reds, purples, blues and greens. These tended to look heavy and overdone.
Blacks were reasonably deep and dense, while shadows were acceptable; they could be a little murky, but that wasn’t a serious issue. Even given lowered expectations that related to Super16, this seemed like an iffy image.
Better results came from the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, as it used the spectrum in a largely involving manner. A hyperactive film got a hyperactive mix, music blasted from all the speakers in a bold manner, and effects sometimes followed suit.
As expected, the flick’s violent scenes used the soundscape best. These provided good involvement to the various set pieces, all of which bolstered the movie’s impact.
Audio quality worked fine, for the most part, though speech could seem a bit distant. Still, the lines remained intelligible. Music showed nice range and impact, as the various songs and score packed a good sense of dynamics.
Effects followed suit, so those components came across as brash and powerful, with solid low-end as necessary. This turned into a fairly satisfying soundtrack.
As we shift to extras, we find two separate audio commentaries. With the first, we hear from writer/director Joe Begos and actor Dora Madison, as both sit together for a running, screen-specific look at cast and crew, sets and locations, effects, editing, music and connected domains.
Every once in a while, Begos and Madison bring useful remarks. However, they mostly laugh, spout profanity and praise the production. Despite the occasional nugget of information, this mostly becomes an annoying, rambling track.
For the second commentary, we find writer/director Joe Begos, editor/producer/1st AD Josh Ethier, and special makeup effects artists Josh and Sierra Russell. All four sit together for this running, screen-specific discussion of story/characters, sets and locations, cast and performances, various effects, photography and music.
Ethier comes to the fore in this chat, and he feels more effective than Begos – by a little, at least. The track still devolves into general yammering and profanity too much of the time, but Ethier helps give the discussion a little purpose.
But just a little, as the commentary doesn’t do a whole lot to improve on its predecessor. While we get a few decent notes about the film, there’s not enough useful content to make this a worthwhile chat.
One Deleted Scene fills a total of one minute, 49 seconds. A secondary character deals with mayhem.
The scene feels superfluous and also an odd perspective, as virtually the entire film comes from Dezzy’s POV. The choice to focus elsewhere doesn’t work, so this beomes a good omission.
The disc opens with ads for Darlin’, White Chamber, Level 16 and Girl On the Third Floor. We also find the teaser and trailer for Bliss.
As far as horror films go, I’ve seen worse than Bliss, but that stands as a poor recommendation. The movie offers little to make it engaging and mostly just induces headaches via its aggressive stylistic choices. The Blu-ray comes with spotty visuals, generally good audio and supplements saddled with not very good commentaries. Bliss fails as a movie.