The Meddler appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. The picture never excelled, but it was acceptable for SD-DVD.
Sharpness was usually fine. Wider shots tended to be a bit soft, but those instances weren’t extreme, and much of the flick offered decent to good clarity. Shimmering and jaggies were minor and edge haloes seemed non-problematic. Print flaws were non-existent, as I detected no specks, marks or other blemishes.
The film’s palette usually opted for an amber/orange tint most of the time, with a little teal along the way. Within that design range, the colors seemed fine; they weren’t especially strong, but they were competent. Blacks tended to be somewhat inky, but shadows showed reasonable smoothness. Nothing here did much to impress, but this was an acceptable presentation.
Don’t expect fireworks from the film’s Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, as we got a mix heavy on music and general environmental material. Even when the material broadened, it stayed restrained and effects could seem borderline monaural. This became a restricted track for 5.1.
Audio quality was fine. Speech seemed natural and concise, and the score demonstrated pretty good vivacity. Effects did little to tax my system but they were clear and accurate enough. Overall, this ended up as a passable mix.
A few extras flesh out the disc, and we start with an audio commentary from writer/director Lorene Scafaria and actor Susan Sarandon. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/character areas, sets and locations, cast and performances, inspirational material from Scafaria’s life, music, and related domains.
The best parts of the commentary occur when Scafaria discusses the family facts behind the movie’s fiction, as those give us a good look at her influences. Otherwise, this tends to be a mediocre commentary. We find too much dead air and not enough substance. There’s just enough meat to make the track worth a listen, but it drags a lot of the time.
Two featurettes follow. The Real Marnie runs 12 minutes, eight seconds and offers info from Sarandon, Scafaria and her mother Gail. This looks at how Gail inspired the Marnie character and Sarandon’s performance. I like this glimpse of the actual person behind the fiction..
Next comes The Making of The Meddler. It goes for 16 minutes, seven seconds and features Lorene Scafaria, Sarandon, producer Joy Gorman Wettels, location manager Patsy Fitzgerald, and actors Rose Byrne, JK Simmons, Cecily Strong, Jerrod Carmichael, Michael McKean, and members of Blues Traveler. The show looks at story/character elements, cast and performances, sets and locations, and connected domains. This piece offers a fairly fluffy overview without much substance.
A Gag Reel lasts four minutes, eight seconds. It provides a standard collection of goofs and giggles. Nothing about it stands out as memorable.
The disc opens with ads for The Bronze, Guernica, Hello, My Name Is Doris and Equity. No trailer for Meddler appears here.
When The Meddler works, it does so almost entirely due to its excellent cast. They offer vibrant performances that compensate for the movie’s weaker elements. The DVD provides acceptable picture and audio along with a few supplements. Meddler brings us moderate entertainment.