Bridge of Spies appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie came with a very good transfer.
Sharpness was solid. Only the slightest sliver of softness ever appeared, as the vast majority of the film seemed accurate and concise. I noticed no issues related to jagged edges, shimmering or edge haloes. No source defects marred the presentation, either.
One wouldn’t anticipate bold colors from a period film like this, and Bridge went with a stylized palette that meant a mix of blues and tans. Within those parameters, the colors appeared strong. Blacks were dark and dense, while shadows looked clear and distinctive. I felt impressed with this fine presentation.
Though not quite as memorable, the movie’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack suited the material. Given the film’s emphasis on character and court drama, it didn’t come with tons of room for involving material.
That said, Bridge delivered a few dynamic scenes – like those with jets – and gave us a good feel for the different settings. For instance, shots in a subway station moved the trains in a highly satisfying way. The soundscape didn’t often dazzle, but it always created a nice sense of place.
Audio quality seemed pleasing. Music was lively and full, while speech seemed concise and natural; no issues with edginess appeared. Effects displayed good accuracy and clarity; they lacked distortion and showed strong range. Overall, I thought this was a “B+” presentation.
A few featurettes flesh out the set. A Case of the Cold War runs 17 minutes, 45 seconds and offers comments from director Steven Spielberg, screenwriter Matt Charman, producers Kristie Macosko Krieger and Marc Platt, Cold War Museum founder Francis Gary Powers Jr., movie subject Frederic Pryor, editor Michael Kahn, and actors Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Billy Magnussen, Scott Shepherd, Alan Alda, Amy Ryan and Austin Stowell. The show looks at story/history and the adaptation to the screen, cast and performances, and editing. “Case” doesn’t tell us a lot about the film, but it offers a decent overview of historical elements.
Next comes Berlin 1961: Re-creating the Divide. It lasts 11 minutes, 35 seconds and features Hanks, Spielberg, Charman, Pryor, Krieger, Platt, director of photography Janusz Kaminski, technical consultant Jane R. Helmchen, costume desinger Kasia Walicka Maimone, and production designer Adam Stockhausen. We learn about the Berlin Wall and the movie’s version of it. Like “Case”, this one offers a satisfactory combination of history and filmmaking material.
U-2 Spy Plane goes for eight minutes, 45 seconds and delivers details from Powers, Krieger, Stowell, and Air Force Entertainment Liaison Develyn J. Watson. Like “Divide”, this one combines historical elements with some filmmaking components. It becomes another pretty interesting piece.
Finally, Spy Swap: Looking Back on the Final Act fills five minutes, 42 seconds with info from Powers, Stowell, Pryor, Kaminski, Krieger, Hanks, Charman and sound designer Gary Rydstrom. Once again, we get a mix of history and movie-making. The show works well despite its brevity.
A second disc offers a DVD copy of Bridge. It includes “A Case of the Cold War” but lacks the other extras.
Professional and dignified, Bridge of Spies offers a solid period drama. While I can’t claim the movie dazzles me, it gives me a fully engaging slice of history. The Blu-ray boasts very good picture and audio as well as a modest selection of supplements. Bridge becomes a strong effort.