Death Race 2050 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. No real problems emerged in this appealing presentation.
Overall sharpness worked well. Some interiors showed a smidgen of softness, but the movie usually came across as accurate and well-defined. No signs of shimmering or jaggies emerged, and I saw no edge haloes or print flaws either.
Colors went down a stylized path but showed more breadth than usual. This meant some of the usual orange/teal along with other tones, all of which came across appropriately. Blacks looked dark and deep, while shadows seemed smooth and clear. This ended up as a pleasing image.
I also thought the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack satisfied, though I admit it fell a little short of expectations. With so much vehicular mayhem involved, I thought the mix would deliver constant action and excitement, but the end result didn’t quite reach the anticipated heights.
Still, the audio used the various speakers well. Driving scenes allowed the cars to zoom around the room, and other action/violent elements broadened around the spectrum. Music boasted good spread as well and allowed this to turn into a lively track.
Sound quality seemed positive as well. Music appeared warm and full, while speech came across as natural and distinctive. Effects brought up lively, dynamic elements with deep low-end. Though not quite “A”-level, the track did what it needed to do.
The disc includes some featurettes. The Making of 2050 runs 10 minutes, 16 seconds and offers info from producer Roger Corman, co-writer/co-editor/director GJ Echternkamp and actors Manu Bennett, Anessa Ramsey, Marci Miller, Malcolm McDowell, Burt Grinstead, and Folake Olowofoyeku.
The show looks at the adaptation of the original film and story/characters, stunts and effects, cast and performances, and the director’s impact on the shoot. A few minor insights emerge but this show usually sticks with basic promotion.
Cars! Cars! Cars! gives us a four-minute, 33-second reel with Echternkamp, Grinstead, Olowofoyeku, Bennett, Ramsey, Miller, Corman, and FX director Fernando Vasquez. As expected, this piece examines the design and execution of the movie’s vehicles. Though it gives us a few useful notes, the piece seems too short to tell us much.
Next comes the six-minute, 29-second Look of 2050. It features Corman, Bennett, Grinstead, Ramsey, Ecternkamp, Olowofoyeku, McDowell, Miller, costume designer Emilio Alberto Montero Schwarz, and actor Shanna Olson. “Look” discusses costumes, locations and visual design. It’s another decent but lackluster piece.
With Cast Car Tours, we locate an eight-minute, 34-second reel that features Bennett, Grinstead, Ramsey, and Olowofoyeku. As implied by the title, the actors show us details of their characters’ vehicles. We get a smattering of interesting facts.
10 Deleted Scenes take up a total of five minutes, 39 seconds. With so little time per clip, we don’t get much from these sequences. They accentuate supporting characters – with an emphasis on Minerva and Tammy - and don’t add a lot.
The disc opens with ads for Hard Target 2, Desierto, In A Valley of Violence, Mr. Robot and The Take. No trailer for 2050 appears here.
A second disc provides a DVD copy of 2050. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.
Maybe someday the series will provide a good movie, but Death Race 2050 fails. Packed with lousy effects, poor performances, witless social commentary and no excitement at all, the film turns into a chore to watch. The Blu-ray brings us very good picture and audio but lacks substantial supplements. This is a thoroughly terrible flick with no redeeming qualities.