Get Low appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. This was a consistently strong presentation.
Almost all of the film demonstrated solid sharpness. A few interiors looked a little soft and smeared, but those were rare and minor. The majority of the flick appeared concise and distinctive. No issues with jaggies or shimmering materialized, and I didn’t see any edge enhancement. Print flaws also failed to appear.
Period pieces usually opt for subdued palettes, and that held true for Low. This was a fairly sepia presentation that threw out an occasional mildly bright hue, but we didn’t get many of these. The desaturated image favored browns, and these were fine for what they were. Blacks appeared dark and dense, while low-light shots showed nice delineation. Overall, I felt quite pleased with this transfer.
Though not dazzling, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Get Low offered a more involving piece than I expected. For the most part, the soundscape stayed pretty low-key, but it opened up well when necessary. Some storms broadened the mix in a strong manner, and a few other louder moments used the spectrum to positive effect. Music fleshed out the sides and the rears added a good enough sense of place.
Audio quality was always pleasing. Speech seemed concise and distinctive, with no roughness or distractions. Music was full and dynamic, and effects followed suit. Though those elements didn’t often have much to do, they showed strong clarity and impact when necessary. Nothing here turned into demo material, but the track was a fine complement to the film.
When we check out the set’s extras, the prime attraction comes from an audio commentary with director Aaron Schneider, producer Dean Zanuck and actors Robert Duvall and Sissy Spacek. All four sit together for this running, screen-specific look at the film's development, cast and performances, story and character notes, sets and locations, thoughts about the movie's real-life inspirations, editing and changes from the script, and music.
Don’t expect much from Spacek, as she rarely speaks during the commentary. However, despite some reticence at the start – he threatens to jump out a window! – Duvall adds a lot to the piece. He offers many nice insights into his work and proves to be charming and enjoyable. Schneider and Zanuck throw in plenty of good behind the scenes facts as well, so this turns into a satisfying discussion.
Five featurettes follow. The Deep South: Buried Secrets runs seven minutes, 40 seconds and offers notes from Zanuck, Schneider and screenwriter G. Gaby Mitchell. “Secrets” discusses the story and its origins, development and financing, and locations. A few decent notes emerge, but much of the content repeats material from the commentary, and much of the remaining space just tells us how it was a miracle the movie got made. It’s a pretty lackluster piece.
During the nine-minute, 29-second Get Low: Getting Into Character, we hear from Zanuck, Schneider, Duvall, Spacek, and actors Bill Murray, Lucas Black, and Gerald McRaney.
As expected, this one gets into cast, characters and performances. Murray throws out a few funny remarks, but mostly we get a slow chat without much strong information.
Next we get A Screenwriter’s Point of View. This goes for five minutes, seven seconds and provides remarks from Mitchell as he talks about the story and characters and his experiences. Mitchell delivers a few insights about the writing process, but unfortunately, this show maintains the semi-fluffy feel of its predecessors.
Cast and Crew Q&A fills nine minutes, 25 seconds with statements from Spacek, Duvall, Murray, Schneider, Zanuck, and writers Bill Seeke and Chris Provenzano. It tells us more about origins and development, characters and performances, and a few other aspects of the film. Once again, we hear some enjoyable remarks – mostly from Murray – but not a ton of substance.
Finally, we find the four-minute, 23-second On the Red Carpet. It shows a variety of folks at the premiere: we see Schneider, Duvall, Spacek, Seeke, Provenzano, Black, McRaney, Zanuck, filmmaker Ivan Reitman, and actors Bill Cobbs, Jon Lovitz, Lynn Bryant, Mira Sorvino, Delta Burke and James Caan. They reflect on the movie and tell us what they’d like their funerals to be like. It’s quick-paced fluff.
In addition to the film’s trailer, we find a collection of Previews. These include ads for Another Year, Inside Job, The Illusionist, Barney’s Version and Made in Dagenham.
Get Low avoids some potential whimsical pitfalls and delivers a strong character piece. It boasts excellent performances and deep personalities to turn into an involving drama. The Blu-ray provides very good picture along with reasonably positive audio and supplements. Give this introspective flick a look.