Hail, Caesar! appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The film came with a great transfer.
Sharpness looked terrific. At all times, the movie seemed accurate and concise, with no softness on display. I saw no jagged edges or moiré effects, and the presentation lacked edge haloes or source defects.
In terms of palette, Caesar tended to mix teal and amber. Exceptions occurred, but this never became a dynamic set of hues. Still, the colors seemed appropriately rendered within the stylistic decisions. Blacks appeared dark and tight, while shadows looked smooth and clear. In the end, the image appeared excellent.
Though usually restrained, the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix did pop to life on occasion. Thunder rumbled in a menacing manner, the ocean splashed across the spectrum, and a few other scenes brought us pretty decent use of the different speakers. However, those remained in the minority, as most of the track focused on music and general ambience.
Audio quality seemed satisfactory. Music was full and rich, while effects appeared accurate and dynamic. Dialogue always came across as smooth and natural. Nothing here dazzled, but the soundtrack worked fine for the story.
Four featurettes fill out the set. Directing Hollywood goes for four minutes, 11 seconds and provides comments from executive producer Robert Graf, and actors George Clooney, Channing Tatum, Tilda Swinton, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Josh Brolin, and Scarlett Johansson. We get basic notes about the movie’s development and the impact the Coen brothers have on it. A few minor insights emerge but “Directing” mainly feels fluffy.
With The Stars Align, we see an 11-minute, 34-second piece with Clooney, Brolin, Graf, Fiennes, Tatum, Johansson, Ehrenreich, and Swinton. They discuss cast, performances, characters and influences. Like the prior short, we learn a little but not a lot.
The six-minute, 22-second An Era of Glamour involves Graf, Johansson, Tatum, Clooney, Brolin, Fiennes, Swinton, production designer Jess Gonchor and costume designer Mary Zophres. “Era” covers costumes and sets. It becomes another occasionally informative piece that suffers from too much happy talk.
Finally, Magic of a Bygone Era runs six minutes, one second and features Johansson, Tatum, Graf, Clooney, Brolin, and choreographers Mesha Kussman and Chris Gatelli. We learn about the choreographed dancing and swimming scenes. While brief, this turns into arguably the most useful of the four clips.
The disc opens with ads for Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, The Boss, Race, and Rock the Kasbah. No trailer for Caesar shows up here.
A second disc presents a DVD copy of the film. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.
As a lavish recreation of “classic Hollywood”, Hail, Caesar! excels. As anything else, it flops, as the movie fails to become more than a collection of stage pieces with little wit, cleverness or charm. The Blu-ray offers excellent visuals and satisfactory audio but it lacks notable bonus materials. Maybe Coen fans will get something out of Caesar, but it leaves me cold as anything other than an exercise in cinematographic design.