Dirty Rotten Scoundrels appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The image held up well over the last 31 years.
Sharpness appeared solid. Some minor soft shots materialized, but these remained rare, so the majority of the flick offered concise, accurate visuals.
Jagged edges and moirť effects caused no concerns, and edge haloes stayed away from the picture. With a nice sense of grain structure, I didnít suspect issues with digital noise reduction, and print flaws failed to mar the presentation.
Colors looked pretty rich and vibrant, as the French seaside setting offered many opportunities for vivid hues. These came across in a satisfying manner.
Blacks looked dark and dense, while shadows seemed smooth and well-defined. Many 1980s movies seem mushy and problematic, but this one came across with appealing visuals.
Not surprisingly, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix remained mainly oriented toward the forward channels. In the front, I heard nice spread to both music and effects. The former showed good stereo separation and delineation, while the latter provided solid localization and panning.
The elements blended together well to create a reasonably vivid and lively setting. For example, the atmosphere came to life neatly during the train and casino sequences.
Surround usage seemed limited, as the rears offered little more than general reinforcement of the effects and music. However, this wasnít a complaint, as the surrounds appeared to work appropriately for this kind of flick, especially given its age.
Audio quality was good as well. Speech came across as acceptably natural and distinct, and I detected not problems related to intelligibility or edginess.
Effects were a fairly minor aspect of the mix, but they consistently appeared clear and accurate, and I heard no significant signs of distortion. Music showed reasonable clarity and brightness as well. I found Dirty Rotten Scoundrels to provide a perfectly fine soundtrack for a film of this vintage and genre.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the original DVD? The lossless audio boasted superior range, and visuals seemed tighter, cleaner and more vivid. The Blu-ray became an obvious upgrade over the old DVD.
The DVDís extras repeat here, and we open with an audio commentary from director Frank Oz. He offers a running, screen-specific affair that looks at story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, editing, production design, and general filmmaking thoughts.
Some of Ozís commentaries have been lackluster, but he delivers a strong chat here. Oz seems invested and excited to discuss the movie, so he brings us a likable, informative view of the film.
From 1988, a six-minute, 47-second Vintage Featurette offers info from Oz, writer/executive producer Dale Launer, director of photography Michael Bollhaus, producer Bernard Williams, costume designer Marit Allen and actors Glenne Headly, Michael Caine and Steve Martin.
Due to its length, the featurette canít provide great depth, but it becomes a decent little overview of the production. At least we hear from a number of different sides of the film and not just the usual mix of director and actor statements.
Actually, the programís best parts come from the some of the interchange between Martin and Caine, as they offer a few funny moments. Ultimately, this isnít a great piece, but it seems above average for its genre.
New to the CE Blu-ray, an Interview with Writer Dale Launer lasts 23 minutes, 25 seconds. In this chat, he discusses the projectís genesis and development, casting, rewrites and the movieís reception. Launer contributes a slew of good details and makes this an informative chat.
In addition, we find both the filmís theatrical trailer and its teaser trailer. The latter provides material shot specifically for the promo, so it doesnít use movie clips.
Oz provides a commentary for the teaser. He tells us a little about it and gives us a bit of useful information.
A gently wicked but thoroughly engaging comedy about some unscrupulous people, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels provides a very fun experience. Mainly due to some wonderful performances, the film seems consistently delightful and smart, as it casts a clever and often hilarious web. The Blu-ray offers very good picture and audio along with a smattering of engaging supplements. After more than 30 years, Scoundrels remains a winning comedy.