Hopscotch appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. I trust Criterion enough that I believe the transfer accurately represented the source, but this turned into such a bland image that this became a leap of faith.
The main issue came from the ample amounts of grain seen during the movie. Even for a product from 1980, grain seemed heavy, and this became an unusual distraction.
The rest of the picture worked better but still not great. Sharpness usually appeared fairly concise, with only an occasional soft shots, mainly during interiors. While never razor-sharp, the image came across with reasonable delineation.
I saw no shimmering or jaggies, and the image lacked edge haloes. Print flaws also failed to materialize.
Colors went with a semi-drab green orientation much of the time. A few brighter hues appeared on occasion and they added some life, though the graininess meant the tones never popped.
Blacks were fairly dark and deep, while shadows showed reasonable clarity. This might be the best the movie will look, but it still seemed lackluster.
I also found the filmís PCM monaural soundtrack to seem mediocre and typical of its era. Speech showed a little edginess at times and the lines seemed somewhat tinny, but dialogue appeared intelligible.
Music played a minor role and seemed adequate when it did appear. Effects also didnít have much to do, as they stayed in the background most of the time. A few louder scenes occurred Ė like one that involved a shootout Ė and these brought us passable clarity. This turned into a pretty mediocre mix.
Only a handful of extras appear here, and we open with a 2002 interview with director Ronald Neame and screenwriter Brian Garfield. This goes for 22 minutes and mixes comments recorded separately Ė Neame and Garfield donít actually chat together.
The piece looks at the source novel and its adaptation, how Neame came to the project, cast and performances, sets and locations, story and characters, and various production memories. We get a nice overview of the subject matter here.
From April 1980, we find a 21-minute, 55-second Dick Cavett Show excerpt. In this, Cavett chats with actor Walter Matthau about his life and career. The segment tends to be a little too cute for its own good, so we donít get a lot of useful material.
A second audio option offers the filmís TV soundtrack. This replaces the ďRĒ-rated movieís profanity with more ďfamily-friendlyĒ dialogue. Itís nothing more than a curiosity, but itís kind of fun.
In addition to both a teaser and a trailer for Hopscotch, the package winds up with a booklet. It provides the usual photos and credits along with an essay from critic Glenn Kenny. It concludes matters well.
Though it comes with a fun premise, Hopscotch fails to live up to its potential. It lacks the needed bounce and feels flat and slow. The Blu-ray brings us acceptable picture and audio as well as a handful of supplements. Hopscotch winds up as a disappointment.