Dark Waters appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie came with a good but not great image.
Sharpness looked mostly positive. A little softness cropped up during occasional shots, but the majority of the film was fairly accurate and distinctive.
I witnessed no shimmering or jaggies, and edge haloes remained absent. As expected, the film lacked any print flaws.
In terms of palette, Waters went with heavy teal as well as orange/amber for interiors. While these tones went to nearly absurd extremes, the Blu-ray displayed them as intended.
Blacks were deep and tight, and shadows looked generally positive, though some low-light shots came across as a bit dense. While the image didn’t dazzle, it seemed satisfactory.
The movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack suited the story, and this meant the soundscape accentuated general atmosphere and not much else. A character-based drama, I couldn’t detect much that added particular dimensionality beyond basic environmental material. The elements brought a little breadth but not much.
Audio quality appeared good. Speech seemed distinctive and concise, without roughness or brittleness.
Music was warm and full, and effects came across as accurate, with good low-end when necessary. This ended up as a serviceable mix for a character drama.
Three featurettes appear here, and Uncovering Dark Waters runs five minutes, 38 seconds and brings comments from director Todd Haynes, producers Christine Vachon and Pamela Koffler, movie subjects Rob Bilott and William “Bucky” Bailey, costume designer Christopher Peterson, production designer Hannah Beachler, and actors Mark Ruffalo, Bill Camp, Bill Pullman, Tim Robbins, and Anne Hathaway.
“Uncovering” examines the source material and its adaptation for the screen, Haynes’ approach to the material, costumes, sets and locations. This becomes a fairly superficial overview.
The Cost of Being a Hero fills five minutes, one second with notes from Ruffalo, Camp, Robbins, Haynes, Hathaway, Bilott, and Pullman. “Cost” looks at characters and becomes another fairly fluffy take.
Finally, The Real People goes for two minutes, 28 seconds and features Haynes, Hathaway, Bailey, and movie subjects Sarah Barlage Bilott, and Darlene and Joseph Kiger. We get snapshots of the actual folks behind in the movie via this thin promo piece.
We also find a DVD copy of Waters. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.
Well-intentioned and professional, Dark Waters always provides a quality piece of work. That said, it often feels more like a message than an actual movie. The Blu-ray brings generally positive picture and audio along with minor bonus materials. Waters turns into a good but not great film.