Joy appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie offered a positive presentation.
Sharpness appeared solid. A few slightly soft shots materialized, but nothing significant, so the majority of the film presented nice delineation. Moiré effects and jagged edges presented no concerns, and edge enhancement remained absent. Print flaws never caused distractions.
In terms of colors, the flick went with a subdued set of tones. Hues opted for the usual teal and orange, without much beyond that. Within those parameters, the tones looked fine. Blacks were dark and firm, while shadows appeared clear and well-developed. The image seemed generally good, but the slight softness made it a “B+“.
As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it offered a functional effort and not a lot more. Of course, I didn’t expect a dazzling soundfield from this sort of drama, and I got exactly what I anticipated. In terms of effects, general ambience ruled the day.
Surround usage stayed limited; the back speakers gently fleshed out various settings but did little more than that. A few scenes perked up the mix – such as those at a body shop or on the sea – but much of the mix remained modest in scope.
In those forward channels, the music provided nice stereo separation and opened up the mix reasonably well. There wasn’t a whole lot of activity or movement, but the effects conveyed a good sense of space and place. The track functioned appropriately for the story.
Audio quality appeared fine. Dialogue was consistently warm and natural; I heard a little edginess at times but nothing serious. Effects were a minor component of the mix, and they seemed appropriately subdued and accurate; there wasn’t much to hear, but the various elements were clean and distinct. The music came across as the best part of the track, as the songs and score were pretty lively and full. This was a decent reproduction of the material.
A few extras flesh out the set. Joy, Strength and Perseverance runs 20 minutes, 21 seconds and offers info from co-writer/director David O. Russell, inventor Joy Mangano, and actors Jennifer Lawrence, Virginia Madsen, Diane Ladd, Elisabeth Rohm, Edgar Ramirez, Isabella Rosselini, and Bradley Cooper. The featurette looks at story/characters and themes, cast and performances, and Russell’s approach to the material. “Strength” has a smattering of insights but it seems less substantial than I’d like.
During the one-hour, seven-minute and 42-second Times Talk, we hear from Russell and Lawrence. In a session moderated by journalist Maureen Dowd, Russell and Lawrence discuss what inspired the film, story, characters and themes, fact and fiction, the current state of Hollywood, cast and performances, and assorted other topics.
The “Times Talk” offers a mixed bag. Dowd offers questions that vary from insightful to pointless, and those dictate the flow of the conversation. We still get a decent array of notes, but the result lacks consistency.
Finally, the disc includes a gallery. It offers a whopping seven movie images. It’s too short to be useful.
At times, Joy threatens to cohere into a decent movie, but it fails to come together in a natural manner. The end result flits all over the place and never turns into a satisfying product. The Blu-ray offers pretty good picture and audio along with mediocre supplements. Joy winds up as a lackluster effort from David O. Russell.