Mortal Engines appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a largely strong image.
While most of the movie presented nice clarity, some wider shots looked a bit tentative. Still, the majority of the flick appeared solid, and no signs of moiré effects or jaggies occurred. The movie also lacked edge haloes or print flaws.
In terms of palette, Engines favored a combination of teal and orange. Those choices came as no surprise, and the Blu-ray reproduced them in a satisfactory manner.
Blacks showed strong depth, and shadows were good, with nice opacity and clarity. All of this was enough for a “B+” that lost points solely due to the occasional slightly soft shots.
I felt more consistently pleased with the excellent Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Engines. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the soundscape offered frequent room for information to emanate from the various speakers.
The mix featured the frequent mayhem well. The soundtrack delivered wall-to-wall auditory material that spread out across the speakers in a satisfying manner and that blended together nicely.
This meant an active track in which the surrounds worked as nearly equal partners and kept the mix humming. Plenty of action moments made this a consistently impressive soundfield.
Audio quality also satisfied, as speech was natural and concise, while music sounded peppy and full. Effects turned into the primary factor, and those elements appeared accurate and vivid.
Bass response added real depth and rocked my subwoofer. The movie’s soundtrack worked very well.
A mix of extras appear here, and we open with an audio commentary from director Christian Rivers. He offers a running, screen-specific look at the source and its adaptation, story/characters, cast and performances, design choices, sets and locations, various effects, and connected domains.
Given his background, it comes as no surprise that Rivers mostly discusses technical areas, but this does lead to a fairly dry chat. He touches on a nice array of subjects and offers a mix of useful details at times.
Still, the commentary feels less than fascinating. While Rivers covers the production in a passable manner, this tends to be a mostly mediocre chat.
A few featurettes follow, and End of the Ancients runs three minutes, 13 seconds. Narrated by the film’s “Tom Natsworthy” as he leads us through the “London Museum”.
This offers a skewed far-in-the-future view of history. It becomes a good precursor to the movie, and it offers some amusement as well. Watch it before you view the film.
Under Character Series, we get five clips with a total running time of 21 minutes, 43 seconds. Across these, we hear from Rivers, author Philip Reeve, co-writers Peter Jackson and Philippa Boyens,
and actors Hera Hilmar, Robert Sheehan, Leila George, Jihae, Regé-Jean Page, Frankie Adams, Hugo Weaving, and Stephen Lang.
As implied by the title, these segments discuss cast, characters and performances. They come with some decent details but they often seem glossy and superficial.
With Welcome to London, we locate five more featurettes, and they fill a total of 26 minutes, 19 seconds. These involve notes from Rivers, Sheehan, Jackson, Boyens, Reeve, George, Weaving, Hilmar, art, concept and design artist Nick Keller, visual effects supervisor Ken McCaugh, previsualization supervisor Marco Spitoni, animation supervisor Dennis Yoo, production designer Dan Hennah, art director Brendan Heffernan, set decorating buyer Eliza Meldrum, soft furnishings assistant Hannah Webster, prop maker Tony Drawbridge, assistant art director Tane Griffin, costume props supervisor Ryan Atwood, director of photography Simon Raby, set dresser Aurelian Campbell,
and actor Colin Salmon.
“London” examines various design choices, pre-visualization, visual effects, sets and props. Some of this material veers toward the superficial, but the clips usually offer pretty good information.
In the Air lasts four minutes, 52 seconds and features Hilmar, Jihae, Page, Jackson, Raby, Reeve, Keller, Hennah, and SFX supervisor Scott Harens. We get a view of the film’s airships in this short but informative reel.
Finally, Film New Zealand spans three minutes, 52 seconds and offers info from Rivers, Raby, Weaving, Boyens, Jackson, Hilmar, Jihae, Lang, Salmon, Sheehan, and producers Amanda Walker and Deborah Forte. It’s little more than an advertisement.
The disc opens with ads for Glass, Mary Queen of Scots, A Private War and Doom: Annihilation. No trailer for Engines appears here.
An attempt to launch a new cinematic franchise, Mortal Engines ends up DOA. An awkward, excitement-free enterprise, the movie lacks much to make it an enjoyable adventure. The Blu-ray brings very good picture as well as excellent audio and a reasonably positive set of supplements. Given the talent involved, Engines disappoints