Cosmopolis appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This was a very good image.
Sharpness was fine. A few shots could be a little soft, but the majority of the flick came across as accurate and concise. I noticed no issues with jagged edges or shimmering, and edge haloes were absent. No source flaws materialized either.
Colors were positive. The movie opted for a chilly blue palette much of the time; a few shots went with warmer hues – especially as the tale progressed - but this was the dominant impression. Within those stylistic choices, the tones appeared good. Blacks were dark and deep, and low-light shots exhibited nice clarity. Across the board, this became a positive transfer.
I thought the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack was fine for the material. Most of the story stayed inside Packer’s limo, and this became an isolated setting; the sound designers chose to eliminate road noise, so much of the film concentrated solely on dialogue.
Actually, even scenes outside the vehicle tended to offer extremely subdued environmental material, so the track lacked a lot of breadth. Light ambience used the sides and surrounds at times, and snatches of score delivered positive stereo spread. Nonetheless, this was a dialogue-heavy track that didn’t do much with its other elements. (The movie explains the limo’s silence but given the general absence of effects in other sequences, the explication doesn’t make much sense.)
Audio quality pleased. Music was full and rich, while effects showed strong accuracy and range. Speech was distinctive, without edginess or other concerns, though the lines could seem more “looped” than normal. Overall, this soundtrack suited the film’s unusual nature; its lack of environmental material seemed unnatural, but since it was clearly a cinematic choice, I couldn’t fault it too much.
When we shift to extras, we launch with an audio commentary from director David Cronenberg. He provides a running, screen-specific look at story areas and the adaptation of the original novel, cast/characters/performances, music and production design, sets and locations, effects, themes, cinematography, and some other domains.
Cronenberg delivers a solid chat here. He gives us nice insights into the film and how he brought it to the screen. The director keeps us involved as he creates a lively, thoughtful examination of the film.
Though described as a “featurette”, Citizens of Cosmopolis runs a whopping one hour, 50 minutes, and 21 seconds. In it, we hear from Cronenberg, producers Martin Katz and Paulo Branco, production designer Arv Grewal, 1st AD Water Gasparovic, animal wrangler Jim Lovisec, lead VFX compositor James Cooper, key scenic artist Matthew Lammerich, 2nd AD Jack Boem, composer Howard Shore, costume designer Denise Cronenberg, unit stills photographer Caitlin Cronenberg, editor Ronald Sanders, key hairstylist Paul Elliott, and actors Kevin Durand, Robert Pattinson, Sarah Gadon, Jay Baruchel, Ryan Kelly, Juliette Binoche, Emily Hampshire, Samantha Morton, K’Naan, Gouchy Boy, Mathieu Amalric, and Paul Giamatti.
We learn about the film’s origins, development and adaptation, story/script/character areas, cast and performances, sets and locations, Cronenberg’s work on the set, camerawork and visual design, various effects, music and wardrobe, editing and some other topics. At times, “Citizens” feels more like a “video journal” than anything else, which is fine, as it gives us a lot of good footage from the set. Throw in useful comments as well and this becomes an engaging and satisfying look behind the scenes.
Within the 27-minute, six-second collection of Interviews with Cast and Crew, we hear from Cronenberg, Branco, Katz, Pattinson, Gadon, Durand, Baruchel, Binoche, Hampshire, Morton, K’Naan, Amalric, and Giamatti. The interviews cover the story and adaptation, cast and performances, story and characters, sets and locations, and Cronenberg’s work with the actors.
If some of this footage looks familiar, that’s because a fair amount of it also appears in “Citizens”. That makes the interview compilation flawed. While we locate some new information, so much of it becomes redundant that the collection becomes a bad use of time. If you choose to skip the interviews, I can’t fault you; there’s just not enough fresh material here.
The disc opens with ads for Starbuck and Special Forces. We also find the trailer for Cosmopolis.
Despite – or perhaps because of – its “stagey”/artificial feel, Cosmpolis provides an intriguing experience. One needs to get accustomed to its unusual style but the movie eventually manages to come together and create an impression. The Blu-ray delivers very good visuals, quirky audio and an informative package of bonus materials. Cosmopolis lacks general appeal but will work for those patient enough to work through it.