Flight appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. I felt pleased with this solid transfer.
At all times, sharpness looked strong. The slightest amount of softness appeared during interiors, but those instances remained minor. Overall delineation was positive. Jagged edges and shimmering failed to appear, and edge haloes remained absent. Source flaws also caused no distractions.
For the most part, the film went with a subdued palette that favored a mild amber tint or a blue overlay, depending on setting and tone. The hues looked appropriate within those parameters and seemed solid. Blacks were dark and tight, while shadows demonstrated good clarity. I thought the image looked very good.
The DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack wasn’t quite as strong, but it seemed pretty good. As expected, the mix came to life best during the big plane crash sequence; that one used all five channels to involve us in the situation, so it provided a terrific segment.
That was about it in terms of impressive auditory elements, though – which made sense, as the rest of the movie concentrated on character moments. The track fleshed out the spectrum with a nice sense of atmosphere that worked for the story.
Audio quality was always strong. Music sounded full and dynamic, while speech was concise and natural. Effects displayed positive accuracy and range, with solid clarity and power. Though not a sizzling track, the audio suited the film.
A few extras fill out the set. Origins of Flight runs 10 minutes, 29 seconds and features notes from writer John Gatins, director Robert Zemeckis, producer Steve Starkey, and actors Bruce Greenwood and Denzel Washington. We learn about the script’s roots as well as the project’s development, characters and story, casting, and a few connected issues. At no point does “Origins” provide a meaty program, but it gives us enough interesting notes to be worth a look.
During the 11-minute, 31-second The Making of Flight, we hear from Zemeckis, Washington, Gatins, Starkey, Greenwood, flight trainer Larry Goodrich, production designer Nelson Coates, aircraft mock-up provider Dave Scroggins, and actors Don Cheadle, Kelly Reilly, and Brian Geraghty. We go over cast, characters and performances, sets and locations, research, Zemeckis’s work on the shoot, production design, and other notes. Like “Origins”, “Making” gives us a perfunctory but reasonably informative program.
Anatomy of a Plane Crash occupies seven minutes, 46 seconds with info from Gatins, Zemeckis, Starkey, Coates, Washington, Goodrich, Cheadle, visual effects supervisor Kevin Baillie, stunt coordinator Charles Croughwell, and special effects supervisor Michael Lantieri. This one looks at research and realism as well as all the effects and other elements required to create the movie’s big crash sequence. Perhaps because it covers the movie’s most exciting section, this ends up as the strongest of the various featurettes.
Finally, we find Q&A Highlights. This 14-minute, 18-second piece offers panel statements from Zemeckis, Geraghty, Gatins, Cheadle, Greenwood, and actors Tamara Tunie, Melissa Leo, James Badge Dale and John Goodwin. The session examines the movie’s influences and development, its path to the screen, story/character topics, training and thoughts about the air travel industry, cast and performances, thoughts on particular scenes and a few other areas. A get a decent collection of comments here, but the format becomes a distraction; this would’ve been more enjoyable if we’d gotten a more complete Q&A without so many edits.
A second disc provides a DVD copy of Flight. This includes some previews but throws in no other extras.
After a 12-year absence from live action films, I hoped Robert Zemeckis would return with a bang. However, outside of a few good sequences, Flight lacks much merit, as it rarely turns into anything more than trite melodrama. The Blu-ray delivers excellent visuals and positive audio but lacks substantial supplements. Maybe Zemeckis’s next flick will be more satisfying.