Equals appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. This was a largely appealing presentation.
Though not razor-sharp, the image reflected positive delineation. In truth, the cinematography often opted for an intentionally hazy look, so I couldn’t fault the movie’s mild softness.
Much of the material demonstrated good clarity anyway, and I saw no jaggies or shimmering. Edge haloes remained absent, and I saw no print flaws.
The movie’s palette opted for a heavy blue orientation much of the time, though it added some orange as well. These stylistic choices limited the film's range but the hues seemed well-reproduced. Blacks were fairly dark, and shadows showed reasonable range, though some low-light shots could be a bit murky. Given the movie’s visual preferences, the Blu-ray replicated it pretty well.
As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1, it tended to be low-key. The soundscape concentrated mainly on music, which spread across the channels well. Effects tended toward general ambience, as the movie lacked showy sequences. The various elements added a little involvement to matters but left things fairly subdued.
Audio quality worked fine. Music was full and clear, while the effects showed good accuracy and clarity. Speech also seemed natural and concise. Nothing here impressed, but the mix fit the material.
As we shift to extras, we start with an audio commentary from director Drake Doremus, cinematographer John Guleserian and editor Jonathan Alberts. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/character areas, cast and performances, sets and locations, visual design and cinematography, effects, editing, music, and connected topics.
Though we do learn a fair amount about the movie, the commentary suffers from excessive praise. In particular, Doremus seems to constantly tell us what he loves about the film. Some of this is okay, but the frequent outbursts of praise make the track less effective than it should be.
Three featurettes follow. Switched On runs eight minutes, 15 seconds and involves Doremus, producers Jay Stern, Chip Diggins and Michael Pruss, screenwriter Nathan Parker and actors Nicholas Hoult and Kristen Stewart. The show looks at themes/story, the movie’s origins and development, and performance/character areas. Some of this repeats info from the commentary, but “Switched” adds some useful new notes.
The Collective goes for 13 minutes, 35 seconds and features Stewart, Hoult, Doremus, Parker, and actor Jacki Weaver. The piece examines rehearsals, cast, characters and performances. “Collective” delivers a fairly introspective look at its subjects.
Finally, Utopia lasts 30 minutes, 11 seconds and provides notes from Doremus, Parker, Hoult, Stewart, Pruss, producers Georgina Pope and Ann Ruark, production designers Katie Byron and Tino Schaedler, art director Kikuo Ota, supervising art director Jason Hougaard, and food stylist Yuri Nomura. We get info about production design, sets and locations, and other visual elements. Like its predecessors, “Utopia” becomes an involving examination of the film.
The disc opens with ads for Into the Forest, Swiss Army Man, The Lobster, Green Room and The Adderall Diaries. No trailer for Equals appears here.
As much as I appreciate its attempt to offer an introspective examination of emotions, Equals remains a little too chilly for its own good. The movie keeps the viewer too detached to coalesce into an involving tale. The Blu-ray offers generally positive picture and audio with informative bonus materials. Parts of Equals work but the whole seems like less than the sum of its parts.