Book Club appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a mainly satisfactory presentation.
Overall sharpness seemed good, though one should expect a fair amount of soft focus to “de-age” the actors. This meant some shots looked a bit ill-defined, but most of the flick was accurate and detailed.
No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I noticed no edge haloes. Source flaws were absent, as the movie looked consistently clean.
Like most films of this sort, Club gave us an amber-tinted palette. Some teal appeared as well, but the golden feel dominated. Within those parameters, the hues were positive.
Blacks seemed deep and dark, while shadows showed good smoothness and clarity. Despite the softness that appeared to be inherent to the source, I felt pretty happy with the transfer.
As for the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Club, it lacked a ton of ambition. The soundfield focused on music and ambience, though it opened up on occasion, mainly in terms of airplanes or restaurant atmosphere. Nothing especially memorable occurred, though.
Audio quality was fine. Speech seemed natural and concise, without edginess or other issues.
Music offered good clarity and range, and effects worked well enough. They didn’t have much to do, but they appeared reasonably accurate. All of this ended up as a perfectly satisfactory soundtrack for this sort of movie.
Five featurettes appear here, and these launch with It All Started With a Book. In this 10-minute, 56-second piece, we hear from writer/producer Erin Simms, writer/director Bill Holderman, producer Alex Saks, and actors Diane Keaton, Mary Steenburgen, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Don Johnson and Craig T. Nelson,
“Started” looks at the movie’s roots and development, story/characters, the tale’s path to the screen and Holderman’s work as a first-time director. “Started” provides a surprisingly insightful view of this side of the production.
Next comes Casting Book Club, a 13-minute, 43-second reel with Simms, Holderman, Johnson, Fonda, Bergen, Keaton, Steenburgen, Nelson, casting director Kerry Barden and actors Andy Garcia and Richard Dreyfuss. As expected, this show discusses actors, characters and performances. Inevitably, it trends toward happy talk, but we still get a smattering of good notes.
During the nine-minute, 48-second Location, Location, Location, we hear from Holderman, Simms, Fonda, Steenburgen, Keaton, Bergen, Garcia, on-set dresser Josh Inch, director of photography Andrew Dunn, and property master Sean Mannion.
The program examines shooting in LA along with production design and photography. It becomes another effective piece.
A New Chapter fills nine minutes, three seconds with info from Steenburgen, Keaton, Fonda, Holderman, Bergen, Simms, and Garcia.
“Chapter” views the movie’s themes and concepts. After a good string of featurettes, we get a clunker, as “Chapter” consists of little more than happy fluff.
Lastly, Living in the Moment goes for three minutes, 48 seconds with comments from musician Katharine McPhee and vocal producer David Foster. She chats a little about the song she did for the movie. This feels more like an ad than an informative piece.
13 Deleted Scenes span a total of 11 minutes, 11 seconds. The disc only lists seven of them as truly “deleted”, though. Two more are “alternate” and the other five are “extended”.
Whatever one calls them, they tend to be insubstantial. We get an embarrassing stab at comedy via the TSA and most of the others provide brief tidbits. Nothing here seems particularly interesting.
A second disc offers a DVD copy of Club. It includes none of the Blu-ray’s extras.
Some films treat topics related to aging and sexuality well, but Book Club doesn’t become one of those films. Instead, it offers a superficial, caricature-packed piece of idiotic fluff that totally wastes the ample talent it boasts. The Blu-ray brings generally positive picture and audio along with a decent compendium of supplements. Club ends up as a dud.