Chasing Mavericks appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The film provides an attractive visual experience.
Sharpness proved excellent. At all times, the film displayed solid clarity and accuracy. I noticed no issues with jagged edges or shimmering, and edge enhancement seemed to be absent. Source flaws also failed to be a concern.
Like most modern films of this sort, the movie went with a subdued, stylistic palette. A teal tint appeared at times, and other sequences went with a golden tone. The hues reflected the nature of the material and looked fine. Blacks were dark and dense, while shadows seemed decent; some low-light shots could be a bit thick, but those instances weren’t a notable problem. Across the board, this was a nice transfer.
I also felt pleased with the DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack of Mavericks. The film’s surfing pieces offered the most dynamic elements, as sequences at the ocean opened up the soundfield well and gave us a nice sense of involvement. Music showed good stereo imaging, and the flick used the surrounds well. The back speakers worked as active participants when appropriate and placed us in the action.
Audio quality proved pleasing. Speech was natural and distinctive, without edginess or other concerns. Music appeared lively and dynamic, and effects fared well. Those elements sounded full and rich at all times. Low-end response was quite good and brought out a good sense of depth. This turned into a positive package.
When we move to extras, we launch with an audio commentary from co-director Michael Apted and producers Brandon Hooper and Jim Meenaghan. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/character areas, sets and locations, shooting the surfing scenes, visual effects, cast and performances, how Apted came onto the project, editing and cinematography, music, and connections to the real-life situations dramatized in the film.
Normally I’d expect the director to dominate a commentary, but Apted’s role in Mavericks gives him a different perspective; he came on during production when original director Curtis Hanson became too ill to continue. This means Apted wasn’t involved with pre-production, so he acts more as a questioner here while the producers offer the majority of the info.
That scenario works out well, as it creates a strong commentary. Apted throws out plenty of his own info, but he also does nicely as the one to help draw out notes from the producers. The track provides a ton of good info and becomes enjoyable and engaging.
Five Deleted Scenes occupy a total of five minutes, 45 seconds. We find “Frosty and Jay Paddle” (1:18), “Jay Pays the Bills” (0:37), “Power of Observation” (2:11), “Where’s the Money” (0:52) and “Jay Laments” (0:47). In a movie already packed with too many needless character moments, these five sequences would’ve added more. Nothing memorable appears here.
Four featurettes follow. Surf City runs 10 minutes, 30 seconds and includes notes from Hooper, producer Mark Gordon, advisors Kim Moriarty and Frosty Hesson, photographer Bob Barbour, technical advisor Bob Pearson, pro surfers Peter Mel and Zach Wormhoudt, surf consultant/stunt player Grant Washburn, pro surfer/stunt player Dan Malloy, and actors Gerard Butler and Jonny Weston. We get notes about the Santa Cruz locations and its surfing culture. At times, this feels like an ad for Santa Cruz, but it still gives us some decent insights.
With the 10-minute, 38-second Shooting Waves, we hear from Hooper, Washburn, visual effects supervisor Scott E. Anderson, and 2nd unit director Phil Boston. As implied by the title, this one tells us how the film brought the surfing scenes to life. We already know some of this from the commentary, but the visuals and the additional perspectives/details make it worthwhile.
Live Like Jay lasts 10 minutes, 50 seconds and provides info from Pearson, Butler, Hooper, Hesson, Washburn, Moriarty, Wormhoudt, Meenaghan, Weston, Mel, Barbour, and actor Leven Rambin. The featurette gives us some thoughts about the real Jay Moriarty and his life. It’s not exactly an in-depth piece, but it’s nice to learn a little more about the person behind the movie’s story.
Finally, we find Surfer Zen. In this 10-minute, nine-second piece, we locate comments from Mel, Wormhoudt, Weston, Rambin, Boston, Washburn, Hesson, Moriarty, Butler, and pro surfer Greg Long. “Zen” discusses the spiritual aspects of surfing as well as more about shooting those scenes for the movie. This is probably the least interesting of the featurettes, but it still has some moments.
The disc opens with ads for Won’t Back Down and Crooked Arrows. These also show up under Sneak Peek, and the disc also provides the trailer for Mavericks.
With some exciting surf shots, Chasing Mavericks occasionally entertains. Unfortunately, it sags when it shifts to character pieces, and since those dominate the film, it rarely becomes particularly involving. The Blu-ray offers very good picture and audio along with a solid set of supplements. This isn’t a bad movie, but it’s not especially memorable, either.