Don Jon appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This was a nice visual presentation.
From start to finish, sharpness looked strong. Only the slightest hint of softness affected wide shots, and those examples occurred too infrequently to cause obvious distractions. No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects occurred, and edge enhancement was absent. I also failed to detect any source flaws.
In terms of colors, the movie featured a fairly natural palette, and across the board, the hues looked positive. They showed nice clarity and breadth and came out well. Blacks were dark and deep, while shadows appeared clear and smooth. I thought the movie consistently looked fine.
I felt that the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Don Jon was good but it didn’t excel because of a lack of ambition. Like most character pieces, the movie featured a limited soundfield that favored the forward channels. It showed nice stereo spread to the music as well as some general ambience from the sides.
Panning was decent, and the surrounds usually kicked in basic reinforcement. A few scenes opened up better, though, like at clubs or on streets. However, most of the movie stayed with limited imaging.
Audio quality appeared good. Speech was natural and distinct, with no issues related to edginess or intelligibility. Effects sounded clean and accurate, with good fidelity and no signs of distortion. Music was perfectly fine, as the score and songs showed positive dimensionality. This track was good enough for a “B-“ but didn’t particularly impress.
A few minor extras fill out the disc. Making of Don Jon runs six minutes, 45 seconds and includes notes from writer/director/actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, production designer Meghan C. Rogers, cinematographer Thomas Kloss, and costume designer Leah Katznelson. “Making” looks at production design, cinematography, and costumes. The show doesn’t last long, but it comes with a good collection of notes, so it’s better than expected.
During the seven-minute, 20-second Don Jon’s Origin, we hear from Gordon-Levitt, as he talks about inspirations for the film, what led him to make it, and other elements of its path to the screen. I like that he seems self-aware in terms of the potential vanity side of things, and he gives us a nice overview on how he got the flick into production.
Next comes the Joe’s Hats! featurette. It occupies four minutes, 50 seconds with info from Gordon-Levitt, as he discusses juggling the different jobs he carried on the production. He also gets into a few other areas like rehearsals and stylistic choices. Once again, Gordon-Levitt proves to be informative and likable.
Objectified takes up five minutes, seven seconds with comments from Gordon-Levitt and actors Julianne Moore, Scarlett Johansson, and Tony Danza. The piece looks at the portrayal of sexuality in media and how it affects our relationships/lives. That topic fits the movie’s themes and brings us a decent package of opinions.
Under Themes and Variations, we get a five-minute, 39-second piece with Gordon-Levitt and composer Nathan Johnson. They talk about the songs and score found in the film. We receive a nice take on the appropriate topics.
Finally, HitRECord Shorts offers give brief pieces. A series of webisodes, these fill a total of 13 minutes, nine seconds and provide comments from Gordon-Levitt. Rather than promote the film directly, these address people’s attachment to their “favorite things”. A few mildly interesting thoughts emerge, but this collection usually doesn’t go much of anywhere.
The disc opens with ads for Out of the Furnace, The Family and Paranoia. We also get Sneak Peeks at Robocop, Runner Runner and The Americans Season One as well as the trailer for Don Jon.
A second disc provides a DVD copy of Don Jon. It includes some previews but lacks any other extras.
While I can’t say Joseph Gordon Levitt’s directorial debut hits the ball out of the park, Don Jon provides a more than satisfactory film. It occasionally bogs down in its themes but it usually delivers a realistic and satisfying character piece. The Blu-ray offers good picture and audio along with a mix of useful featurettes. Color me impressed, and I look forward to further work from Gordon-Levitt.