The Call appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. As expected, the Blu-ray provided an appealing presentation.
Sharpness always looked solid. The movie came with a slightly gauzy feel, but that didn’t impact definition, which remained tight and concise. At no point did moiré effects or jaggies mar the transfer, and it lacked edge haloes and print defects as well.
Did Call avoid the standard “orange and teal” look of modern thrillers? Sort of – it went with a fair amount of teal but opted for a more amber sense along with it. This restricted the overall palette but left the hues well-rendered within the visual decisions. I felt blacks seemed deep and rich, while low-light shots offered nice delineation. The Blu-ray aptly captured the original film.
In addition, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of The Call suited the material. The soundscape used the various driving/action sequences to fill out the five channels, and it featured music in a prominent fashion; the score and songs occupied the various speakers in an involving way. The soundfield combined the components in an immersive, logical manner.
Audio quality succeeded. Speech sounded distinctive and concise, with no edginess or other issues. Music was dynamic and full, and effects appeared detailed and dynamic. Across the board, the movie offered a satisfying soundtrack.
We get a decent mix of extras here, and these start with an audio commentary from director Brad Anderson, producer Michael Helfant, Bradley Gallo and Robert Stein, writer Rich D’Ovidio and actors Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin. Via conference call, all sit together for a running, screen-specific look at story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, stunts and action, visual design, music, editing,and some other areas.
Even with a large number of participants, the track doesn’t become cluttered, and it mostly avoids the happy talk that mars many commentaries. Instead, it moves at a nice pace and gives us a good overview of the various subjects. The chat turns into a positive discussion of the film.
A featurette called
Emergency Procedure: Making the Film runs 14 minutes, 53 seconds and provides notes from Anderson, D’Ovidio, Berry, Helfant, Breslin, Stein, prosthetic makeup designer Thom Floutz, producer Jeff Graup and actors Michael Eklund, Michael Imperioli, and David Otunga. The show looks at the film’s story/characters and its origins, cast and performances, camerawork, sets and visual design, makeup, and issues with the ending. This is a decent but fairly insubstantial show; it gives us a few useful bits but lacks much depth.
We get two separate Set Tours. These show us the “Call Center” (4:51) and “The Lair” (3:27). In these, we hear from Anderson, Breslin, Berry, and production designer Franco G.Carbone. They give us some notes about the production design as we see the various elements in these informative little clips.
Next we find a piece called
Inside the Stunts. This lasts six minutes, 56 seconds and features Berry, Gallo, Eklund, Imperioli, stunt coordinator Kanin Howell, props assistant Neil Mather, and stunt coordinator Mark Chadwick. As expected, we learn a bit about the movie’s stunts and action. Like “Procedure”, this one doesn’t deliver a lot of meat, but it contributes some interesting details.
Under Audition Tape, we see Michael Eklund’s try-out. The reel occupies seven minutes, 48 seconds and shows different elements. The first two minutes act as a sort of warped music video with Eklund in character, while the rest of the piece delivers more traditional audition material. It’s all fun to see.
In addition to an Alternate Ending (0:52), we find four Deleted and Extended Scenes (4:22). These include “Call Center Class” (0:54), “Jordan and Officer Phillips Talk on Rooftop” (1:34), “Michael Moves Casey to Another Car” (0:47) and “Last Warning” (1:06). The “Ending” softens the finale somewhat but doesn’t offer a radical alteration.
As for the others, “Class” expands/slightly alters the content of the final scene, but not the message; it’s a marginal change. In “Talk”, Jordan muses a little more on her future, and in “Moves”, we watch what the title describes. Finally, “Warning” shows a threat from Michael. Other than “Talk”, none of these do much to expand/alter the story or characters; they’re small tidbits without much real purpose. “Talk” does show the opening call’s impact on Jordan a little better, but it’s not necessary, as we already get how much it disturbed her.
The disc opens with ads for Evil Dead, Dead Man Down, House of Cards and The Last Exorcism Part II. These pop up under Previews along with a clip for Magic Magic. No trailer for Call appears here.
A second disc delivers a DVD copy of Call. It includes the commentary and the “Emergency Procedure” featurette.
On its own, The Call provides a decent thriller, though it’ll be less satisfying for anyone who saw previews. If you ignored those, it’s still only okay; it comes with potential it only occasionally reaches. The Blu-ray delivers very good picture and audio as well as a generally positive array of supplements. I feel pleased with the Blu-ray but the movie itself seems average.