Moonlight appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Overall, this became an appealing presentation.
On a smidgen of softness ever cropped up here, mainly in some low-light shots. A few elements came with intentional blurriness, but I didn’t fault the transfer for those. Otherwise, the movie showed nice clarity and delineation. Jagged edges and moiré effects failed to appear, and edge haloes remained absent. Print flaws also stayed away from this clean image.
In terms of palette, Moonlight mainly went with subdued amber, orange and teal. Overall, the hues were fine for their visual choices. Blacks showed good depth, while low-light shots boasted nice clarity. This was a solid “B+“ presentation.
As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it gave us competent sonics most of the time as well as a little pep on occasion. A drama like this didn’t need to boast a rock-em, sock-em mix, so the audio seemed acceptable. Usually, the soundfield didn’t have a lot to do; it concentrated on good stereo music and general ambience.
Every once in a while, though, the mix came to life – in a moderate manner, at least. This was especially true during outside scenes, as those brought out a solid sense of place, and a segment in the ocean added range. These didn’t dazzle, but they gave the mix reasonable breadth.
Audio quality was fine. Speech seemed natural and concise, without edginess or other concerns. Music appeared fairly full. I though the score could’ve been a bit more vibrant, but it came across with reasonable definition.
Effects remained clear and accurate, with some pretty solid low-end response during louder moments. This became a satisfying track that suited the material.
When we go to extras, we begin with an audio commentary from writer/director Barry Jenkins. He offers a running, screen-specific look at the source and its adaptation, story/character and autobiographical areas, cast and performances, cinematography, sets and locations, music, production design, and connected topics.
Engaging and invested, Jenkins offers a very good commentary. He touches on a broad array of topics and ensures that we learn a lot about the film’s creation. I especially like the times he touches on personal aspects of the movie, and these tidbits add up to a compelling chat.
Three featurettes follow. Ensemble of Emotion goes for 21 minutes, 37 seconds and provides info from Jenkins, producers Adele Romanski, Jeremy Kleiner and Dede Gardner, and actors Janelle Monae, Mahershala Ali, Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, Andre Holland and Trevante Rhodes.
“Emotion” looks at the source and its adaptation, story and characters, and cast and performances. Some of this falls into the usual happy talk, but “Emotion” offers a reasonable amount of insight.
Poetry Through Collaboration lasts 10 minutes, six seconds and features Jenkins and composer Nicholas Britell. This piece examines the movie’s music, and it does so in a positive manner.
Finally, Cruel Beauty fills up five minutes, 39 seconds with comments from Jenkins, Gardner, Romanski, and story writer/executive producer Tarell Alvin McCraney. “Beauty” offers notes about shooting in and depicting Miami. It’s the least useful of the three featurettes, but it still offers some value.
The disc opens with ads for 20th Century Women, Free Fire, American Honey, Swiss Army Man and The Lobster. No trailer for Moonlight appears here.
At times, Moonlight looks like it might fall back on genre clichés and become just another “life in the hood” flick. However, the movie boasts way too much subtlety and honesty to collapse into those traps. The Blu-ray brings us good picture and audio as well as a few useful supplements. Moonlight turns into an affecting character narrative.