Celeste and Jesse Forever appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. This was a consistently positive presentation.
Sharpness looked solid. Virtually no softness materialized here, as the iimage remained tight and well-defined. Jagged edges and moiré effects failed to appear, and edge haloes remained absent. Print flaws also stayed away from this clean image.
In terms of palette, Forever went with a mildly stylized palette. Some shots opted for a light amber tone, while others had more of a teal impression. None of the tints seemed dominant, though, so they didn’t stand out in a negative way, and the colors were well-rendered. Blacks showed good depth, but shadows were a bit too dense; those shots tended to come across as a little thick. That was my only minor complaint, though, as this was usually a strong presentation.
As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it worked pretty well. The audio tended to be somewhat restrained most of the time, but some sequences – such as those at clubs or on the street – opened up the spectrum in a satisfying manner. Cars and other elements moved around the room, while other effects added a good sense of ambience.
Audio quality was perfectly acceptable. Speech showed nice clarity and naturalism, and music was reasonably distinctive and dynamic. Effects lacked much to stand out, but they appeared accurate, and they showed mild punch when necessary. All of this seemed good enough for a “B-“.
When we shift to the set’s extras, we start with two separate audio commentaries. The first comes from writer/actor Rashida Jones and actor Andy Samberg, both of whom sit together for this running, screen-specific look at… not much. They occasionally discuss some aspects of their performances and the shoot, but mostly they joke around with each other.
In theory, that could’ve been fun, but in reality, it’s a fatuous bore. For the most part, it feels like a collection of inside jokes and smirky remarks without much to amuse anyone not named “Jones” or “Samberg”. I think both actors are talented, but they don’t give us an entertaining chat here.
For the second commentary, we hear from Jones, director Lee Toland Krieger and writer Will McCormack. They sit together for their running, screen-specific discussion of story/character areas and influences, sets and locations, cast and performances, music, photography and editing, budgetary restrictions, and a few other topics.
With this chat, we find a breezy, occasionally informative affair. Actually, “occasionally” underestimates the amount of information we find, as we learn a reasonable amount along the way. A lot of happy talk weighs down the discussion to a degree, though, and makes it feel less substantial. Still, it’s useful enough to merit a listen.
Next comes a featurette called The Making of Celeste and Jesse Forever. It goes for 13 minutes, 51 seconds and offers notes from Jones, Krieger, producers Jennifer Todd and Lee Nelson, and actors Andy Samberg, Elijah Wood, and Emma Roberts. The show looks at story/character areas, cast and performances, and influences. A few minor insights appear, but this is a fairly generic discussion.
On the Red Carpet: Premiere and Q&A goes for 14 minutes, eight seconds and shows Jones, McCormack, Samberg, Krieger, and actors Ari Graynor and Chris Messina. They give us a mix of notes about the production’s evolution, casting and shoot. Much of this info shows up in the commentaries, but the Q&A still provides a likable little piece.
With Chris Pine Outtakes, we get a short collection. This reel goes for one minute, 13 seconds and displays unused shots of the Star Trek actor. Pine shows up for a brief, easy-to-miss cameo, so this becomes a fun compilation.
Three Deleted Scenes occupy a total of two minutes, 57 seconds. We find “I Guess I’m Getting It” (0:49), “Can I Show You Something?” (1:28) and “Do Any of You Have Jobs?” (0:40). The first two offer little comedy bits between Celeste and her friend Beth, while the third lets us see Celeste’s criticisms of the diners at a vegan restaurant. All are funny; I’m not sure they would’ve fit the final cut, but at least they amuse.
The disc opens with ads for Searching for Sugar Man, Rust and Bone, Smashed, Seven Psychopaths and Chicken with Plums. These also show up under Previews and we get the trailer for Forever as well.
Low-budget character flicks can tend to get Quirkier Than Thou, and I feared Celeste and Jesse Forever would suffer that fate. However, it manages to keep itself restrained and benefits from a nice lead performance by Rashida Jones. She takes a thin narrative and helps make this an involving comedy/drama. The Blu-ray provides very good picture along with perfectly acceptable audio and a generally good set of bonus materials. This becomes a solid release for an enjoyable film.