Bruce Almighty appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Ouch – what a terrible transfer!
Sharpness became a definite liability, as only close-ups offered acceptable delineation. Anything wider looked soft and mushy, without clarity that rose above DVD levels.
No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects materialized, but edge haloes created a persistent distraction. Though the image lacked print flaws, it came with artifacts that gave it a messy appearance.
Colors appeared flat and faded. Granted, the film’s palette leaned toward a subdued mix of amber and blue, but even within the restrained goals, the hues appeared bland and pale.
Blacks were inky and dense, while shadows felt murky and unappealing. This was a terrible presentation that never lived up to Blu-ray standards.
Though unspectacular, the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack at least managed to become acceptable. Don’t expect a lot from the soundfield, though, as it lacked a lot of ambition.
Every once in a while, a scene used the spectrum in a moderately involving manner, such as one at Niagara Falls or another that involved a car crash. Still, this usually remained a low-key “comedy mix” without a lot of activity or involvement.
Audio quality seemed perfectly decent, with music that appeared full and rich. As noted, effects didn’t have a lot to do, but they remained reasonably accurate and tight.
Dialogue occasionally showed a bit of roughness around the edges, but the lines were always intelligible and they usually came across as fairly natural. In the end, this was an adequate soundtrack for a comedy.
When we shift to extras, we launch with an audio commentary from director Tom Shadyac. He delivers a running, screen-specific look at story/characters and inspirations, cast and performances, various effects, sets and locations, music, editing and related areas.
A veteran of the format, Shadyac seems comfortable as he presents a pretty good look at his film. He offers a fairly nice array of insights that explain his decisions and give us a solid view of the different processes. Shadyac doesn’t provide a truly great commentary, but he makes this one very enjoyable.
15 Deleted Scenes fill a total of 30 minutes, 30 seconds. These tend to mix extra time with supporting characters and alternate/extended takes.
Expect a mixed bag, as the clips show strengths and weaknesses. A few offer moderate amusement but most feel superfluous.
We can watch the scenes with or without commentary from Shadyac. He tells us about the sequences and sometimes lets us know why he cut them. Shadyac’s notes offer a smattering of insights but he often just describes the material.
A reel of Outtakes lasts six minutes, 37 seconds. It provides some of the usual goofs and giggles, but it mainly emphasizes Carrey’s craziness on the set. That makes it more fun than the typical compilation.
Finally, The Process of Jim goes for five minutes, 54 seconds and includes notes from Shadyac. He discusses Carrey’s creative processes and the way his work impacts films. This mostly acts as an excuse to show more Carrey outtakes.
A massive hit in 2003, Bruce Almighty now looks like Jim Carrey’s last gasp. The movie found a huge audience but it doesn’t work, as it seems like a one-note concept film that indulges in far too much mawkish sentiment. The Blu-ray provides pretty decent audio and supplements but visuals look terrible. Even big fans of the film should stay away from this unappealing Blu-ray.