Dragnet appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Expect a watchable but unspectacular image.
Sharpness managed to largely seem fine. While the movie never seemed especially precise, it also avoided softness most of the time, as the only notable lack of definition tended to pop up during low-light interiors.
The movie lacked moiré effects or jaggies, and edge haloes remained absent. No digital noise reduction appeared, but occasional print flaws like specks and streaks interfered.
Colors tended to look decent. At times they boasted nice vivacity, but other scenes came across as less dynamic. Overall, they remained fine, if inconsistent.
Blacks looked a little dense, while shadows felt fairly well-developed. Given the traits of late 80s film stocks, this one worked reasonably well despite erratic elements.
Don’t expect much from the film’s DTS-HD MA 2.0 soundtrack, as it remained lackluster. The soundscape offered good stereo delineation of music, and effects spread to the side in a moderately active way, but this never turned into a soundfield with a lot to impress.
Audio quality tended to disappoint. Speech was a little brittle but intelligible, and it became the most consistent aspect of the mix.
Even given the lowered expectations that came with 80s soundtracks, the reproduction of music and effects disappointed. Both lacked range and seemed flat and wan much of the time. All of this left us with a wholly mediocre mix.
A few extras round out the set, and these start with an audio commentary from pop historian Russell Dyball. He offers a running, screen-specific look at the source series and its adaptation, story/characters, cast and performances, editing and deleted/altered scenes, music, sets and locations, costumes, and the movie’s reception/legacy.
Dyball offers a brisk, informative chat. He maintains a rapid-fire pace that allows him to pack a ton of information into the movie’s running time. Expect a top-notch commentary.
A new Interview with Actor Alexandra Paul fills 25 minutes, two seconds with her thoughts on her casting, working with cast and crew, and aspects of the production. Paul brings a nice array of insights about life on the film’s set.
From 1987, Just the Facts lasts 45 minutes, 59 seconds and comes hosted by Tom Hanks and Dan Aykroyd. It also includes notes from Paul, producer Robert K. Weiss, actors Christopher Plummer and Harry Morgan, editor William Stark, technical advisor Lt. Daniel N. Cooke, and writer Steve Downing, writer/director Tom Mankiewicz.
The show looks at the original series and aspects of the cinematic version. Going into “Facts”, I expected 45 minutes of frothy promotional fluff, and we do get some of that.
However, most of “Facts” gives us info about the original series, and those moments play well. They more than compensate for the promo moments and turn this into a surprisingly effective show.
Some ads complete the package. We get one trailer and five TV spots.
A moderate hit in 1987, Dragnet shows nothing that makes me feel it deserved a better financial fate. While watchable and occasionally amusing, the film lacks consistency and drags as it goes. The Blu-ray brings generally good picture along with mediocre audio and a small but high quality roster of bonus materials. Dragnet becomes a passable diversion and that’s about it.