Leatherheads appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The film provided a satisfying transfer.
Overall sharpness looked strong. A few wider shots came across as slightly soft – such as in football stadiums – but most of the flick came with appealing accuracy.
I witnessed no signs of jagged edges or shimmering, and edge haloes failed to materialize. Source flaws also caused no concerns, as the flick remained clean and fresh at all times.
Leatherheads went with a stylized palette that cast everything in a golden hue that gave it a vintage amber tone. Within that range, the colors looked solid, as various reds and blues still came out well.
Blacks seemed deep and firm, while shadows provided nice clarity and delineation. This was a consistently positive presentation.
Though not as impressive, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Leatherheads worked fine for the material. A romantic comedy at heart, the soundscape didn’t provide a lot of pizzazz.
Music demonstrated nice stereo imaging, and football games added a decent sense of place, though they failed to involve the viewer as much as expected. This was a forward-oriented mix that used the surrounds in a moderate manner, so the track provided acceptable involvement but not much more than that.
Audio quality seemed satisfying. Speech always appeared warm and natural, with no edginess or other issues. Music was lively and full, as the score showed solid reproduction.
Effects also boasted good clarity and definition, though they didn’t exactly push the auditory envelope. Overall, the soundtrack was perfectly acceptable for this sort of flick.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the DVD version? The lossless soundtrack appeared a bit warmer and more robust than its lossy DVD counterpart.
Visuals demonstrated the usual format-based improvements, as the Blu-ray seemed tighter and more natural. Though the DVD looked good, the BD worked better.
The Blu-ray’s extras begin with an audio commentary from director/actor George Clooney and producer/actor Grant Heslov. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific piece.
They discuss music, visual design and period details, sets and locations, cast and performances, some minor effects, script changes and reshoots, filming the football scenes, problems with the weather, influences, and a few other production issues.
Old pals Clooney and Heslov interact well, so their chemistry helps make this an entertaining piece. They throw out plenty of low-key bits of humor along with all the facts about the movie. I think they don’t quite reveal the project’s complicated history – it took forever to get to the screen and Clooney apparently did tons of uncredited script rewrites – but they do provide more than enough interesting notes and self-effacing cracks to make this a useful discussion.
Under U-Control, two components appear. First, “Video Commentary” allows us to see Clooney and Heslov nine times through the film.
These moments just offer a glimpse of the audio commentary sessions. They prove less than enlightening.
Of more interest, “Picture-in-Picture” brings a mix of footage from the shoot as well as interviews. We hear from Clooney, Heslov, screenwriters Duncan Brantley and Rick Reilly, producer Casey Silver, football consultant TJ Troup, railroad advisor Dr. Art Miller, assistant terminal superintendent Justin Meko, stunt coordinator George Aguilar, composer Randy Newman, dance consultant Jack Kelly, and actors Renee Zellweger, Stephen Root, Wayne Duvall, Matt Bushell, Tommy Hinkley, Nick Paonessa, Tim Griffin, Malcolm Goodwin, Robert Baker and Jonathan Pryce.
The remarks discuss story and characters, the project’s path to the screen, cast and performances, sets and locations, period elements, recreating the era’s football, music, and Clooney’s work as director.
We get a good overview of various production elements, though I admit I don’t love the picture-in-picture format. While I like the content, I’d prefer to just see this stuff in traditional featurettes.
Note that the Blu-ray loses extras from the DVD, as it included deleted scenes and a few featurettes. While some of the latter get incorporated into “U-Control”, we don’t get any cut footage, and some of the other material goes missing as well. It perplexes me that the Blu-ray omits anything from the DVD.
From start to finish, Leatherheads gives us a mediocre flick. Due to a good cast, we manage to maintain some interest in events, but not a whole lot, as the tale drags and doesn’t go anywhere. The Blu-ray provides fine visuals, good audio and some useful extras. I can’t complain about the quality of this disc, but the movie itself is a disappointment.
To rate this film, visit the prior review of LEATHERHEADS