Million Dollar Arm appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a pleasing presentation.
Overall sharpness worked fine. A smidgen of softness crept into a handful of elements, but those instances didn’t trouble me. Instead, the majority of the flick provided solid delineation. The image lacked shimmering or jaggies, and no edge haloes materialized. As one would expect from a brand-new movie, print defects failed to mar the picture.
In terms of palette, Arm opted for a mix of light amber and mild teal. Those choices seemed a bit odd for a story like this – I would’ve expected “hotter” colors, especially in India – but the Blu-ray reproduced them well enough. Blacks came across as dark and deep, while shadows seemed smooth and concise. Overall, the transfer worked well.
No one anticipates a dynamic soundscape from a character piece like Arm, and the DTS-HD MA 5.1 track matched my expectations. Music used the various channels well to become an active partner, and effects added a bit of life to the proceedings. Street and baseball scenes broadened sonic horizons to a moderate degree, as they brought us atmospheric information. Nothing I’d call memorable occurred, though.
Audio quality seemed good. Speech remained concise and crisp, with no edginess or related concerns. Music fared best of all, as the score/songs appeared peppy and full. Effects lacked much prominence, but they remained accurate and dynamic enough. This became a “B” mix.
Three featurettes launch the disc’s extras, and we open with Training Camp. It goes for six minutes, 18 seconds and includes notes from actors Suraj Sharma, Madhur Mittal, pitching coach Mike Ribaudo, and trainer Ahmed Yusuf. We get an overview of the methods used to whip the actors into baseball shape. Some of the behind the scenes footage offers interesting material, but we don’t get much substance.
In the two-minute, 54-second Their Story, we hear from real-life JB Bernstein, Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel. They offer some observations about their experiences in the story that inspired the movie. It’s good to hear a little from the actual subjects but their remarks give us no insights; this is a promo reel for the film more than anything else.
Lastly, Million Dollar Music fills two minutes, 34 seconds and features composer AR Rahman,. He tells us about the score/songs he created for the film. With so little time at his disposal, Rahman can’t tell us much, so this ends up as another superficial piece.
Three Deleted Scenes occupy a total of two minutes, 28 seconds. We see “JB’s Problem” (0:42), “Sold” (0:53) and “I’d Take Ten Dollars” (0:38). We also find an Alternate Ending (0:49). The “deleted scenes” add a little character information and the first two allow us to see more of Alan Arkin, which is always a good thing. The “Ending” offers superficial differences, so don’t expect much from it; the sequence does nothing to change any story/character points.
A collection of Outtakes lasts two minutes, four second. It shows the standard allotment of wackiness and mistakes. It seems average for the genre.
The disc opens with ads for Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day and 101 Dalmatians. Sneak Peeks throws in promos for Disney Parks, The Fosters, Maleficent, Star Wars: Rebels and Sleeping Beauty. No trailer for Arm shows up here.
Though more than a little predictable and more than a little long, Million Dollar Arm still manages entertainment value. I’d like it more if it was tighter and less sentimental, but it still gives us a decent feel-good story. The Blu-ray delivers good picture and audio but skimps on bonus materials. I can’t say Arm does a lot for me, but it winds up as a likable enough experience.