High Life appears in an aspect ratio of 1.66:1 on this Blu-ray Disc – mainly. The image opened to 1.85:1 at the end, but the vast majority of the film remained 1.66:1.
Life also came with varying film stocks, and those impacted quality. In particular, shots based on Earth used 16mm, so those looked softer and grainier than the rest of the movie.
Overall quality remained positive, though, as most of the flick seemed well-depicted. Occasional soft spots materialized but these remained modest.
No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I saw no edge haloes. Print flaws stayed absent.
Colors often embraced orange and teal, but a mix of greens and reds appeared as well. In the 16mm shots, these lacked vivacity, but they seemed pretty bold the rest of the time.
Blacks were usually deep and dense, while shadows offered appropriate delineation. This ended up as a largely positive presentation.
To my surprise, the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack felt fairly restrained, as the soundscape lacked ambition much of the time. Music spread to the five channels well and some of the more “action-oriented” broadened the sonic horizons.
However, effects usually stayed subdued. Even during some scenes that I expected to fill the surrounds, they tended to focus on the front channels.
Audio quality worked fine, with speech that seemed concise and natural. Music appeared full and rich.
Effects showed nice clarity and accuracy, with deep low-end when appropriate. The soundtrack sounded good but didn’t use the five channels as well as I anticipated.
Two featurettes appear, and Making High Life runs 18 minutes, 45 seconds. It provides comments from producers Andrew Lauren, DJ Gugenheim, Chrisoph Friedel and Oliver Dungey, co-writer/director Claire Denis, and actors Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, Mia Goth, Agata Buzek, Lars Eidinger, Gloria Obianyo, Andre Benjamin, and Claire Tran.
“Making” looks at the project’s path to the screen, story and characters, themes, cast and performances, and the work of director Denis. This turns into a reasonably informative reel.
With Visualizing the Abyss, we get an 11-minute, 15-second reel that features Friedel, Dungey, Benjamin, Pattinson, Lauren, Denis, Obianyo, Tran, Eidinger, physicist Aurelien Barrau and actor Jessie Ross.
“Abyss” covers sets and design choices as well as scientific elements. It becomes another useful view of the production.
The disc opens with ads for Gloria Bell, Climax, Under the Silver Lake and Mid90s. No trailer for Life appears here.
At its heart, High Life aspires to become 2001 for Millennials. Instead, it delivers nothing more than a sluggish, pretentious bore. The Blu-ray comes with generally positive picture and audio as well as a couple of decent featurettes. Somewhere hidden here, one might find a good movie, but this one becomes a snoozer.