Looper appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The film provided an attractive visual experience.
Sharpness proved excellent. At all times, the film displayed solid clarity and accuracy. I noticed no issues with jagged edges or shimmer, and edge enhancement seemed to be absent. Source flaws also failed to be a concern. The film featured natural levels of grain and didn’t appear to have been subjected to excessive noise reduction.
Like most modern films of this sort, the movie went with a subdued, stylistic palette. A moderately bluish tint appeared at times, and other sequences went with a mild golden tone. The hues reflected the nature of the material and looked fine. Blacks were dark and dense, while shadows seemed decent. Across the board, this was an excellent transfer.
I also felt pleased with the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Looper. The film’s action pieces offered the most dynamic elements. Sequences with explosions, gunfire and chases opened up the soundfield well and gave us a nice sense of involvement. Music showed good stereo imaging, and the flick used the surrounds well. The back speakers worked as active participants and placed us in the action.
Audio quality proved pleasing. Speech was natural and distinctive, without edginess or other concerns. Music appeared lively and dynamic, and effects fared well. Those elements sounded full and rich at all times. Low-end response was quite good and brought out a good sense of depth. This turned into a positive package.
When we move to the set’s extras, we start with an audio commentary from writer/director Rian Johnson and actors Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emily Blunt. All three sit together for a running, screen-specific discussion of story and characters, makeup and effects, cast and performances, sets and locations, editing and deleted scenes, and music.
Though it’s nice to have the actors along, they don’t add a lot to the conversation. Johnson does most of the heavy lifting and allows this to become an informative piece. While I’d like more thoughts about the story and characters, we still find a useful, well-paced track here.
Three featurettes follow. The Future From the Beginning goes for seven minutes, 52 seconds and includes notes from Gordon-Levitt, Blunt, Johnson, producer Ram Bergman, cinematographer Steve Yedlin, and actors Bruce Willis, Paul Dano, Noah Segan, and Piper Perabo. The show looks at the project’s origins and development, script/story/character areas, cast and performances, makeup and effects. This is a quick, promotional piece, but it has a few decent notes.
In the 16-minute, 18-second Scoring Looper, we locate info from composer Nathan Johnson. He gives us some notes about the unusual methods he used for the score, and then we see/hear a few scenes with isolated music. Apparently these were created as online previews for the film; Johnson delivers some useful material and the compilation of clips works well.
The Science of Time Travel lasts eight minutes, 29 seconds and provides info from Rian Johnson, Blunt, Gordon-Levitt, Willis, Perabo, Dano, Segan, and How to Build a Time Machine author Brian Clegg. They chat about aspects of theoretical time travel and its depiction in the movie. This exists essentially as promotion, but it has some intriguing thoughts along the way.
22 Deleted Scenes occupy a total of 36 minutes, 50 seconds. That’s a lot of added footage, and as often occurs in situations like this, much of it concentrates on secondary characters/plot areas. Kid Blue receives a fair amount of extra time, and we see a bit more related to Suzie and her child.
Arguable the most substantial additions/changes relate to Joe, though. We see a longer version of the “future Joe’s life” montage, and another sequence lets us see more of Old Joe’s relationship with his wife. The Old Joe/Young Joe scene receives an extension as well. I can’t find anything here I’d view as crucial, but some worthwhile moments appear; it’d be interesting to see an extended cut of the film with some of these restored.
We can view these with or without commentary from Rian Johnson and Noah Segan. They give us some thoughts about the sequences as well as why they were omitted from the final film. The chat can be a bit spotty, but we learn enough to justify its presence.
For something unusual, we find an Animated Trailer. This uses a variety of artistic styles to convey scenes and concepts from the movie. It’s a cool variation on the standard trailer.
The disc opens with ads for Parker, Premium Rush and Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning. These pop up under Previews along with ads for Company of Heroes, Seven Psychopaths and Lockout.
While the film left me a bit cold when I first saw it, Looper holds up to additional viewings well. Indeed, more scrutiny allowed me to better appreciate its charms and see it as a rich, involving character western with sci-fi elements to give it some spice. The Blu-ray delivers excellent picture and audio along with a good roster of supplements. Looper earns my recommendation as an entertaining, impressing piece of work.