Blue Ruin appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The transfer presented the film in an appealing manner.
Sharpness looked good. A smidgen of softness hit some wider shots, but those instances remained quite 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, Ruin went with subdued tones, as the movie tended toward an amber feel or a blue tint. 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. 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.
As we move to extras, we find an audio commentary with writer/director Jeremy Saulnier and actor Macon Blair. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific discussion of story/character areas, cast and performances, effects, editing, camerawork, sets and locations, and related areas.
Lifelong friends Saulnier and Blair connect well to make this an engaging chat. They cover a good array of topics and provided a solid set of details, so this becomes a useful, informative piece.
A featurette called No Regrets: The Making of Blue Ruin lasts 18 minutes, 56 seconds and offers info from Saulnier, Blair, producer Richard Peete, co-producer Tyler Byrne, editor Julia Bloch, and actors Devin Ratray, Kevin Kolack, Amy Hargreaves, and David W. Thompson. “Regrets” looks at the relationship between Saulnier and Blair and how they got into movies, the film’s development and financing, story/characters, cast and performances, production details and pressures, various effects, and the film’s reception. We find some inevitable repetition from the commentary but “Regrets” acts as a tight recap of movie-related topics.
Two Deleted Scenes
We can view these scenes with or without commentary from Saulnier and Blair. They tell us a bit about the scenes and why the clips got the boot. They deliver some worthwhile notes.
Finally, a Camera Test occupies three minutes, 52 seconds. Discussed in “No Regrets”, this exists as a reel largely intended to act as a pitch for the production. It’s interesting to see for its archival appeal.
The Blu-ray opens with ads for Snowpiercer and 13 Sins. No trailer for Blue Ruin appears here.
One of 2014’s better films, Blue Ruin delivers a decidedly atypical revenge thriller. Well-paced and tense, the movie maintains our focus at all times and provides good emotional punch. The Blu-ray comes with positive picture and audio as well as some informative bonus materials. If you like violent drama in the Straw Dogs vein, Blue Ruin deserves your time.