If Beale Street Could Talk appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.00:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a solid presentation.
Sharpness was almost always positive. A minor amount of softness crept into a couple of long shots, but otherwise the image remained tight and well-defined at all times.
I noticed no issues with shimmering or jaggies, and edge haloes failed to appear. Print flaws also failed to mar the presentation.
Beale went with a palette that reflected a lot of amber and teal. Within the movie’s color design, the tones seemed solid.
Blacks were dark and deep, while shadows demonstrated nice smoothness. This was a consistently satisfying image.
As for the DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix of Beale, it showed scope typical of the character drama soundfield. This meant a largely limited soundscape without much to make it stand out from the crowd.
Exteriors added a bit of immersiveness, but those instances remained fairly modest. Most of the flick came with a lot of ambience and not much else. Music used the channels best.
Audio quality seemed good. Speech was distinctive and natural, without edginess or other issues.
Music seemed warm and lush, while effects showed nice clarity and accuracy. Again, nothing about the mix impressed, but it suited the story.
Among extras, we find an audio commentary with writer/director Barry Jenkins. He brings a running, screen-specific look at the source and its adaptation, cast and performances, sets and locations, music and audio, editing, photography and related domains.
Jenkins provides a pretty terrific discussion of the film. He covers a wide array of topics and remains invested and informative from start to finish, so expect a strong chat.
Nine Deleted Scenes span a total of 22 minutes, 17 seconds. These tend to focus on added character beats as well as an alternate ending. They’re decent but not usually especially impactful.
We can view the scenes with or without commentary from Jenkins. He gives us thoughts about the segments and why he cut them in this useful commentary.
A featurette called Poetry in Motion runs 27 minutes, 35 seconds. The program comes with info from Jenkins, producers Adele Romanski, Jeremy Kleiner, Sara Murphy and Dede Gardner, makeup department head Doniella Davy, costume designer Caroline Eselin-Schaefer, hair department head Kenneth Walker, production designer Mark Friedberg, and actors Colman Domingo, Regina King, Stephan James, KiKi Layne, Teyonnah Parris, Ed Skrein, Finn Wittrock and Brian Tyree Henry.
“Poetry” looks at story, source and characters, cast and performances, hair, makeup and costumes, sets and locations, music, and general thoughts. This becomes a fairly satisfying overview of various production areas.
In addition to the film’s trailer, we find a Gallery. It shows 12 shots from the movie and becomes a forgettable compilation.
A second disc provides a DVD copy of Beale. It boasts the same extras as the Blu-ray.
As a film, If Beale Street Could Talk shows ambition. However, the end result comes across as too loose and without the narrative impact it needs. The Blu-ray brings very good picture as well as positive audio and a useful set of supplements. I wanted to like Beale but it never quite grabbed me.