Get Smart appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though mostly good, the image fell short of greatness.
Sharpness usually satisfied. Though I noticed a smidgen of softness in a few wider shots, the majority of the flick came across as concise and accurate.
No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, but light edge haloes cropped up at times. Print flaws remained absent.
Colors looked fine. For the most part, the film mixed blue and amber, tones that worked well enough, so the hues appeared solid through the film.
Blacks were dark and dense, but shadows seemed more erratic. While some shots gave us good delineation, others could be a bit too thick. All of this led to a “B” image.
Since Get Smart featured a lot of action, it managed to provide more ambitious audio than the standard comedy. However, don’t expect a terrifically active affair from the movie’s Dolby Digital 5.1 track.
The front spectrum became the main focus of the mix, as the forward channels provided a nice sense of place. Music gave us good stereo presence, and the various effects moved well.
As for the surrounds, they added life at times, though not with the frequency found in a typical action movie. Again, the front channels maintained the main focus, though the back speakers brought out some useful material. The film’s larger explosive set pieces worked the best, and a few other fight scenes also gave us good information.
Audio quality was quite good. Speech came across as natural and crisp, with no issues connected to edginess or intelligibility. Effects were accurate, and they showed good range and clarity as well.
Music worked very nicely, as the score presented strong definition and liveliness. The whole package showed tight, rich bass. There wasn’t anything remarkable about the soundtrack, but it seemed more than acceptable.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the DVD version? Audio remained identical, as both sported the same Dolby 5.1 mix. A Blu-ray from 2008 should’ve included a lossless option, so I docked the disc some points for this.
As for the visuals, the Blu-ray boasted improved delineation, blacks and colors. It’s too bad the audio didn’t get the upgrade, but the image fared better.
The Blu-ray comes with the same extras as the DVD plus some exclusives, and the main attraction comes from Smart Takes, a collection of alternate scenes. “Smart Takes” starts with a 40-second introduction from Steve Carell, as he tells us about the interface.
The disc provides no simple way to watch them other than during the feature presentation. You can access them through the “Title” menu on your player; it’s awkward, but it’s the only way to see them other than during the movie.
That’s somewhat annoying, as I’d prefer to be able to watch the movie without interruption. This is especially true due to the extremely poor implementation of the feature. Most discs that use this method just slap a subtle icon in a corner of the screen, so you can choose the alternate scene or just ignore it.
No such luck during Smart, as the “Smart Takes” abruptly interrupt the movie. They take you to a totally different screen and make it impossible to enjoy the film. It’s a really annoying presentation.
Is the material worth the effort? Occasionally, though the quality of the clips varies quite a bit. We find 41 of them, and the vast majority are very short. Of those 41 snippets, 34 of them last no more than 58 seconds.
Just seven run longer than a minute, and only one goes past the one-minute, 44-second mark. A certain major star’s cameo occupies three minutes, which makes it by far the longest segment.
All together, the 41 clips fill a total of 25 minutes, 18 seconds of footage. Quite a few of these are funny, and the appearance by that aforementioned Major Star is very good, so it’s great to see more of him.
Actually, parts of that sequence and a few others qualify more as “deleted scenes” than “alternate takes”, so expect some truly new stuff here. I wish the interface was more accessible, but I still like the “Smart Takes”.
The Right Agent For the Right Job runs 10 minutes, 30 seconds and features producers Alex Gartner, Charles Roven and Michael Ewing, director/executive producer Peter Segal, and actors Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, and Dwayne Johnson. “Agent” looks at cast and performances, the film’s tone, and some scene specifics.
Expect a lot of joking in the various remarks, but we still learn a few decent tidbits. I also like the test footage of Carell and Hathaway. This is a fluffy little piece, but it’s worth a look.
Max in Moscow! goes for six minutes, 20 seconds. It presents notes from Segal, Carell, Hathaway, Roven, Gartner, Ewing, and producer Andrew Lazar.
We follow the crew to Russia and observe parts of the shoot there. As with “Agent”, not a lot of substance materializes, but the show includes enough interesting tidbits to make it useful.
Next comes the three-minute, 30-second Language Lessons. This is essentially a comedic ad, as Carell touts the flick in a variety of languages. It’s cute and moderately amusing.
After this we get Spy Confidential: Gag Reel. It goes for five minutes, 39 seconds and presents the standard mix of goofs and giggles.
While “Confidential” doesn’t do a lot to exceed expectations, the presence of Carell means more amusing improv bits than usual. That makes this a better than average blooper reel.
Two Blu-ray exclusives appear, and The Old “I Hid It In the Movie” Trick runs nine minutes, four seconds. Here actors Masi Oka and Nate Torrence point out the movie’s connections to the original series. They give us a decent tour of the links.
With The Vomit Reel, we see a five-minute, 19-second clip that focuses on the scene in which Smart pukes. It’s disgusting but surprisingly interesting.
Finally, we get a Sneak Peek for Get Smart’s Bruce and Lloud: Out of Control. This three-minute, 12-second clip throws out a few remarks from Gartner, Oka, Torrence, director Gil Junger, writers/executive producers Matt Ember and Tom J. Astle, and actor Jayma Mays.
They do nothing more than tell us a little about the movie’s story and try to sell the spinoff to us. It’s there if you want to see it.
While the big-screen version of Get Smart seems unlikely to disappoint you, it also probably won’t thrill you either. The movie offers decent entertainment but has too many ups and downs to genuinely satisfy. The Blu-ray provides pretty good picture and audio along with supplements highlighted by a slew of cut footage. Smart offers a likable but forgettable tale.
To rate this film, visit the DVD review of GET SMART