The Choice appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Overall, this was a positive image.
On a smidgen of softness ever cropped up here, mainly in some low-light shots. Otherwise, the movie showed nice clarity and delineation. 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, Choice went with Hollywood Standard orange and teal. Overall, the hues were fine for their visual choices. Blacks showed good depth, while low-light shots boasted nice clarity. This was a solid “B+“ presentation.
As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it gave us competent sonics most of the time as well as a little pep on occasion. A romance like this didn’t need to boast a rock-em, sock-em mix, so the audio seemed acceptable. Usually, the soundfield didn’t have a lot to do; it concentrated on good stereo music and general ambience.
Every once in a while, though, the mix came to life – in a moderate manner, at least. This was especially true during waterfront scenes as well as those during storms. These didn’t dazzle, but they gave the mix reasonable breadth.
Audio quality was fine. Speech seemed natural and concise, without edginess or other concerns. Music appeared fairly full; the score could’ve been a bit more vibrant, but it came across with reasonable definition. Effects remained clear and accurate, with some pretty solid low-end response during louder moments. This became a satisfying track.
The disc delivers a moderate collection of extras, and we open with an audio commentary from director Ross Katz and actor Benjamin Walker. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/characters, sets and locations, cast and performances, editing and deleted scenes, music, production design, effects and similar subjects.
At no point does this threaten to become a great commentary, but it maintains our interest. Sure, Katz and Walker focus a little too much on happy talk, but this doesn’t turn into a dominant trait. Instead, they mix playfulness with facts to create a fairly informative chat.
Two Deleted Scenes run a total of two minutes, 47 seconds. Both of these reflect the tragedy in the film’s third act. They add little.
A few featurettes follow. Cinematic Choices: Making The Choice goes for 19 minutes, 20 seconds and offers info from Katz, Walker, author Nicholas Sparks, producers Peter Safran and Theresa Park, screenwriter Bryan Sipe, and actors Teresa Palmer, Maggie Grace, Tom Wilkinson, Alexandra Daddario and Tom Welling. “Choices” covers the source and its adaptation, story and characters, cast and performances, and Katz’s impact on the production.
“Choices” starts pretty well, as the parts that look at story/adaptation work nicely. However, once it gets into cast and director, it becomes much fluffier. That leaves it as a mixed bag.
Next comes Choosing Home: Nicholas Sparks and North Carolina. It lasts eight minutes, 53 seconds and features Sparks, Katz, Palmer, Grace, Walker, and production designer Mark Garner. “Home” examines sets and locations. Some of this comes across as an ad for North Carolina, but enough useful info emerges to turn it into an interesting piece.
Under Nicholas Sparks with…, we find we separate clips. These feature the author in conversation with Katz (14:01), Palmer (10:33) and Walker (8:03). During these snippets, we hear about story/characters, cast and performances, adaptation and editing, Katz’s approach to the material, and related issues. Sparks manages to ask some good questions, so while we get plenty of the expected happy talk, more than a few useful notes emerge.
Molly and Moby: Choice Dogs takes up five minutes, 47 seconds with comments from Grace, Palmer, Katz, Sparks, Walker, and animal trainers Gary Mui and Tammy Blackburn. As expected, we learn a little about the movie’s canine performers. A few nuggets pop up but not much of interest.
Finally, we get a music video for Natalia Safran’s “Daylight”. It mixes movie clips with shots of the singer as she lip-synchs on the beach. Neither the song nor the video entertain.
The disc starts with ads for The Age of Adaline, The Von Trapp Family: A Life of Music, Love the Coopers and Warm Bodies. No trailer for Choice shows up here.
A second disc offers a DVD copy of Choice. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.
As far as Nicholas Sparks movies go, The Choice seems a little less maudlin than most – for a while, at least. Eventually the film succumbs to Sparks’ natural tendencies, and that means an absurd third act. The Blu-ray presents solid picture as well as acceptable audio and a generally informative set of bonus materials. I suspect Sparks fans will enjoy Choice well enough, but it doesn’t do enough to expand the author’s cinematic horizons.