Bounce appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This wasn’t a poor presentation, but it had some problems.
Probably the main issue stemmed from edge haloes. While these weren’t heavy, they showed up on more than a few occasions and contributed a looseness to the image at times. Overall sharpness was fairly good, though; some softness crept into wider shots, but most of the movie looked reasonably accurate and concise. No issues with jaggies or shimmering occurred, and only light print flaws appeared; I noticed a smatteing of small specks but that was it.
Colors looked generally natural. The tones could seem a bit heavy at times, but they were usually pretty peppy and full. Black levels also seemed deep and dense, while shadow detail mostly looked clear and appropriately opaque. A few interiors appeared slightly thick, but I didn’t mind for the most part. All in all, the image had good elements but the problems made it a “C+”.
While the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Bounce showed the lack of sonic ambition typical of romantic dramas, it still worked well for the material. The soundfield featured a definite emphasis on the forward channels. Music displayed good stereo imaging, while effects showed positive movement and integration. Mostly those elements stuck with general ambience, though airline and ballpark scenes broadened things a bit and the general impression offered a realistic affair.
Audio quality seemed fine. Dialogue was distinct and natural, with no edginess or problems related to intelligibility. Effects remained a minor element of the mix, but they always came across as clean and accurate, without distortion or other concerns. Those elements sounded crisp and clear. Music presented reasonably peppy and vivid material. Nothing here excelled, so this ended up as a “B-“ mix.
The Blu-ray provides a pretty broad complement of extras. These open with an audio commentary from writer/director Don Roos and co-producer Bobby Cohen. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at the project’s roots and development, story/character subjects, cast and performances, sets and locations, editing, music and some other topics.
Roos and Cohen offer a nice mix of information and humor with this likable chat. They interact well and don’t take themselves too seriously, which allows them to offer many funny remarks. They also ensure that we learn a fair amount about the movie, so this turns into a good track.
We also get a Selected-Scene Commentary with Don Roos and actors Ben Affleck and Gwyneth Paltrow. This spans eight scenes with a total running time of 44 minutes, 19 seconds. In this commentary, we hear about some of the same subjects as the Roos/Cohen track, though we get a logical emphasis on cast and performances.
We also find some duplicated remarks, as Roos occasionally repeats himself. When that doesn’t happen, this becomes a decent but unexceptional piece. The best moments come from the Affleck/Paltrow interaction, as they crack on each other in an amusing manner. We don’t learn a lot, however, and that makes this a less useful track.
14 Deleted Scenes fill a whopping 47 minutes, 13 seconds. That’s a lot of extra footage, but I can’t say that any of it would add to the experience. I thought Bounce was too slow at 106 minutes, so a much longer version of the film wouldn’t enhance it.
For the most part, the deleted scenes enhance supporting characters, as we see more of Donna and Seth. We also a fair amount of additional moping, as the leads pout about their circumstances and situations. A few of the clips do help flesh out themes a little better, and we find an alternate ending – with two different takes to boot - but I can’t say that anything here delivers interesting material.
We can view these with or without optional commentary from Roos and Cohen. While they gave us a good discussion of the movie itself, their deleted scenes commentary doesn’t go much of anywhere. We get a few basics but not a ton of insight, as the statements tend to be hit or miss – and they miss too much of the time.
Two featurettes follow. All About Bounce lasts 22 minutes, 55 seconds and provides info from Paltrow, Affleck, Roos, producer Michael Besman, co-producer Alan Blomquist, Sliding Doors producer Sydney Pollack, Emma director Doug McGrath, Sliding Doors director Peter Howitt, Shakespeare in Love director John Madden, Good Will Hunting director Gus Van Sant, Good Will Hunting co-writer Matt Damon, composer Diane Warren, Miramax Music president Randy Spendlove, singer Leigh Nash, and music producer Matt Serletic. We hear about cast and performances, characters and story, and music.
With nearly 23 minutes at its disposal, I hoped “All About” would deliver a pretty nice take on the production. Alas, it proves to be fluffy to the core. It devotes much of its time to praise for its lead actors and others, and we also get a lot of movie clips and the like. It’s not a total loss as an informative piece, but it’s close.
Ben and Gwyneth Go Behind the Scenes runs 22 minutes, six seconds and provides notes from Affleck, Roos, Cohen, boom operator Marvin Lewis, production sound mixer Willie Burton, best boy electric Eric Wycoff, gaffer James Plannette, Roos’ assistant and sister Amy, unit photographer Eric Lee, makeup artist Ed Henriques, production assistant Mark Fattenberg, director of photography Robert Elswit, and hairstylist Barbara Lorenz. As implied by the title, Affleck and Paltrow wander the set and chat with various crewmembers about their jobs.
This ends up being mostly Paltrow, as she does most of the interviews. This never becomes the world’s most informative piece, but it’s a fun look behind the scenes. The last few chats are probably the best, as Paltrow’s interaction with Elswit and Lorenz seems warm and charming.
Next we get a Gag Reel. It fills five minutes, 40 seconds with the usual goofs/giggles as well as improv lines, mostly from Affleck. Those add fun to the reel and make it more entertaining than most blooper collections.
The set wraps up with a Music Video for “Need to Be Next to You”. Performed by Leigh Nash, the song provides a forgettable pop confection circa the early 21st century; it’s not an awful tune, but it’s ordinary at best. As for the video, it’s mostly a standard mix of lip synch recording studio footage and movie clips, though we see Nash leave the studio at the end to briefly hang out with her boyfriend and some hipsters. It’s a bland video.
The disc opens with ads for Serendipity, Shakespeare In Love, Good Will Hunting and The Switch.
Though not without occasional charms – mostly via a good lead performance from Gwyneth Paltrow - Bounce ends up as a mediocre film. It’s just too slow and plodding to ever really go much of anywhere. The Blu-ray delivers decent but unexceptional picture and audio along with a pretty nice set of supplements. We get an average Blu-ray for an average movie.