The Gift appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie came with a positive presentation.
Sharpness was solid. Only a smidgen of softness ever occurred, so the majority of the flick offered strong delineation. No issues with jaggies or shimmering occurred, and the presentation lacked edge haloes. In terms of source defects, I witnessed no specks, marks or other issues; the Blu-ray gave us a clean transfer.
In terms of palette, Gift went with Hollywood Standard teal and orange, with an emphasis on the blue/green. That seemed like a lackluster choice, but I couldn’t complain about the execution of the tones, as they seemed fine. Blacks appeared dark and dense, while shadows showed decent clarity. No notable issues occurred here.
As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it remained pretty low-key. General ambience ruled the day, as little more exciting than that appeared. Street shots offered decent breadth, and music spread well to the side speakers. Nonetheless, the track usually stayed restrained.
Audio quality seemed acceptable. Speech appeared natural and concise, as the lines always remained intelligible. Music seemed full and rich, while effects showed good accuracy. Nothing here stood out as particularly memorable, but the track was fine for a film of this sort.
Despite the film’s fairly low profile, the Blu-ray comes with a good array of extras, and we open with an audio commentary from writer/director/actor Joel Edgerton and editor Luke Doolan. Both sit together for a running, screen-specific look at story/characters, themes and influences, cast and performances, sets and locations, music and camerawork, editing, and related areas.
Though Doolan tosses in occasional notes, Edgerton dominates. That’s fine with me, as he helps make this a pretty engaging chat. We learn a reasonable amount about the movie, and I especially like it when Edgerton discusses the challenges that he encountered as a neophyte director. I can’t call this a tremendously fascinating commentary, but it covers the film well.
Cut footage appears via an Alternate Ending (4:38) and four Deleted Scenes (7:55). In the latter vein, we find “Simon Beats Gordo In the Garage” (1:12), “Ron and Lucy” (1:16), “First Cop Scene” (2:55) and “Second Cop Scene” (2:32). The “Ending” changes nothing about what happens to the characters; instead, it simply explains how they got there. It’s interesting but too concrete, as it spells out details better left to the imagination.
As for the deleted scenes, they seem fairly mundane. We get some extended sequences and a little more fleshed-out material for supporting roles. Nothing especially memorable arises.
We can view the “Ending” and the “Scenes” with or without introductions from Edgerton. He gives us notes about the scenes and why they got cut. Edgerton offers nice insights.
Karma for Bullies runs one minute, 54 seconds and gives us remarks from Edgerton and actor Jason Bateman. We get a little character story info here, but the emphasis remains heavily promotional.
We finish with The Darker Side of Jason Bateman. It goes for one minute, five seconds and features Edgerton. Like “Bullies”, this is another advertisement without informational value.
The disc opens with ads for Unfriended, Secret In Their Eyes, Self/Less, Trainwreck and The Loft. We also find two trailers for The Gift.
A second disc provides a DVD copy of The Gift. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.
A promising directorial debut from Joel Edgerton, The Gift takes the thriller genre and develops it in creative ways. With good pacing and nice performances, it emerges as an engaging drama. The Blu-ray offers solid visuals as well as low-key but satisfying audio and a few good bonus materials. The Gift turns into a winner