The Climb appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.00:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Even by the standards of SD-DVD, this became a spotty presentation.
These concerns largely impacted definition, as the film tended to seem somewhat soft. Close-ups worked pretty well, but anything wider than that ended up on the fuzzy side of the street.
Jagged edges and moiré effects remained modest, and I saw no edge haloes. Source flaws also failed to materialize beyond some minor and inevitable digital artifacts.
Like many modern efforts, the film opted for a fairly subdued feel, with an amber or teal sense much of the time. Within those choices, the hues looked acceptably well-developed, if not impressive.
Blacks came across as mostly dense and tight, and low-light shots demonstrated acceptable clarity. Given the capabilities of SD-DVD, the movie remained watchable but not especially accurate.
Expect fairly positive audio from the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Climb. The forward realm dominated, as the film featured solid stereo music and a good sense of environment. Elements meshed smoothly and moved across the spectrum well.
In addition, the surrounds added some engagement. The back speakers used music well, and effects also created a fine sense of place.
The surrounds didn’t have a ton to do throughout the movie, but the mix used them in a satisfying manner. Some directional dialogue materialized and this became an acceptable soundscape for a character movie.
As for the quality of the audio, it seemed good. Speech always came across as natural and concise, with no edginess or other issues.
Music was bright and clean, while effects showed nice reproduction. Those elements came across as lively and dynamic, and low-end response appeared deep and firm. The film consistently boasted pleasing audio within the parameters of this character-focused film.
A smattering of extras appear here, and we open with an audio commentary from writer/director/actor Michael Angelo Covino and writer/actor Kyle Marvin. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story and characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, music, editing and connected domains.
With a clear connection built on their long friendship, Marvin and Covino show an easy-going charm, and that helps carry their chat. They never make this a terrifically insightful discussion, but they cover the production reasonably well and their interpersonal interaction ensures this turns into a likable piece.
A Premiere Intro and Q&A At Sundance runs 19 minutes, 51 seconds and provides a panel that involves Covino, Marvin, and actors Gayle Rankin and Judith Godrèche.
They cover a mix of movie-related topics, some useful, some trivial. We get a decent array of thoughts, though I could live without the comedy routine Covino and Marvin attempt at the start.
The Original Short Film version of The Climb goes for seven minutes, 31 seconds. Like the feature, it shows the bike ride in which Mike makes a confession to Kyle. It differs some from the version in the full-length movie and offers a cool addition.
Four Deleted Scenes occupy a total of seven minutes, 16 seconds. We get an “Alternate Opening” as well as three extended segments.
The “Opening” just gives us a dreamy sequence with Kyle’s family, so it doesn’t add story information. As for the extended sequences, one elongates Kyle’s striptease – no thanks!
The most substantial shows what happened after Kyle asked Ava if she still wanted to marry. It seems interesting but the film works better without this addition.
Finally, we also see more of the final Kyle/Mike reunion from late in the movie. Like the Ava scene, it’s entertaining but unnecessary.
On Set brings four clips that span a total of six minutes, 34 seconds. These essentially revolve around various outtakes. They’re mainly forgettable.
The disc opens with ads for Nine Days, I Carry You With Me, Yellow Rose and The Last Shift. We also get a trailer for The Climb.
As a story that traces a flawed friendship over a number of years, The Climb boasts the potential to connect to our own lives. Occasionally it achieves these goals, but its tendency toward theatrical absurdity means it never becomes more than a watchable diversion. The DVD offers fairly good audio and some useful bonus materials, but picture quality seems iffy even by SD-DVD standards. This adds up to a movie that keeps us with it but doesn’t really prosper.