Chisum appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. Across the board, the transfer looked good.
No substantial issues with sharpness emerged. A few wider elements showed some minor softness, but those instances stayed minor. No signs of jagged edges or shimmering materialized, and no edge enhancement was apparent. Source flaws remained absent, as I noticed no specks, marks or debris.
As befit the western setting, colors looked low-key. They were always as full as the cinematography demanded, though, and they appeared solid. The occasional brighter hues seemed vivid and rich within the normally arid confines.
Blacks were dark and full, while shadows usually came across well. Some “day for night” shots were a little murky, but they didn’t cause substantial problems. This was a consistently strong image.
Though adequate, the movie’s DTS-HD MA monaural soundtrack aged less well, largely because it tended to seem a bit harsh. This particularly impacted effects, as they could be a little rough and brittle. I don’t think those elements fared poorly, but I felt they could’ve been smoother.
The same went for music, which showed reasonable reproduction but that could seem too bright. Speech seemed fairly concise and natural, at least, and the track lacked background noise or flaws. The audio seemed average for its age/era.
The Blu-ray includes an audio commentary from director Andrew V. McLaglen. In this running, screen-specific chat, he discusses the film’s origins and pre-production, story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, and music.
McLaglen delivers a consistently mediocre discussion. While he goes over a decent array of basics, he fails to bring much depth or substance much of the time. This means he often seems to do little more than recite the names of the actors, and this leads to a passable track at best.
In addition to the film’s trailer, we get a vintage featurette called John Wayne and Chisum. It lasts eight minutes, 55 seconds and mixes narration with shots from the set. We get some background about historical events as well as notes about the production. This tends to be promotional and without much substance.
In one of his final films, John Wayne shows good heart and spirit. Unfortunately, the rest of Chisum lets him down, as it delivers a forgettable Western. The Blu-ray boasts very good visuals as well as mediocre audio and a few supplements. Outside of an engaging performance from its lead actor, Chisum flops