City of Lies appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. For the most part, the transferred looked good.
Sharpness was generally fine. A little softness occurred at times, mainly in flashbacks, which could lean gauzy, but those didn’t become a concern. Overall definition seemed solid.
I noticed no jagged edges or moiré effects, and the presentation lacked apparent edge haloes or other artifacts. I also saw no print flaws, as the movie always seemed clean.
In terms of colors, Lies went with a dingy blue-green much of the time, apparently to reflect the flashbacks and the smoggy LA setting. The colors looked fine within the design parameters.
In addition, blacks were dark and tight, while low-light shots were decent; some could be a bit dense, but they weren’t bad. This was a generally positive presentation.
As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it added breadth to the experience. The movie didn’t deliver a rock-em-sock-em soundscape, but it managed to open up well enough, especially during the occasional violent sequences.
The emphasis on general environment remained, and that was fine. I felt the soundfield fit the material.
Audio quality always pleased. Speech remained natural and concise, with no edginess or other flaws.
Music sounded full and dynamic, while effects came across as accurate and clear. All of this suited the film and earned a solid “B”.
A few extras appear, and we get an audio commentary from director Brad Furman and author Randall Sullivan. Both sit together for a running, screen-specific chat – mostly, as occasional notes get dropped in from separate interviews.
Furman and Sullivan cover the source book and its adaptation, facts and liberties, story/characters, cast and performances, photography, music, sets and locations, editing, and connected domains.
Expect a fairly good but not great commentary. On the positive side, we learn a reasonable amount about the production.
On the negative side, I hoped for more about the actual case involved, especially since Sullivan comes along for the ride. Unfortunately, we only find sporadic nuggets that dig into the investigation. This still becomes a fairly useful piece, but it doesn’t work as well as anticipated.
Crafting the Characters runs 12 minutes, 14 seconds and offers notes from Furman and actor Johnny Depp. They tell us about story/characters and cast/performances in this reasonably informative chat.
Seven Deleted Scenes fill a total of nine minutes, 50 seconds. These mix exposition as well as some character notes related to Jack. None of them feel especially substantial.
Based on one of the most famous murders of the last 30 years, City of Lies comes with a potentially compelling story. Unfortunately, the film lacks the depth and impact it needs to flesh out the subject matter in an appropriate manner. The Blu-ray offers good picture and audio along with a decent set of supplements. Lies fails to live up to its potential.