Mr. Woodcock appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Across this board, this was a decent but unexceptional transfer.
Sharpness created my main concerns, as I thought the presentation appeared a bit soft at times. Though the flick never looked terribly imprecise, it lacked the detail I expected. No issues with jagged edges, shimmering or edge enhancement occurred, and I also failed to detect any source flaws, though I felt things could be a little grainier than usual.
As for the colors, the movie went with a fairly warm palette to accentuate the homespun Midwestern setting. The hues came across as reasonably well-developed within those constraints. Blacks were dark and tight, while shadows showed decent delineation. This was a watchable presentation and that’s about it.
On the other hand, I encountered a bit of a pleasant surprise from the film’s Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. This sort of comedy doesn’t usually offer much breadth, but the soundfield proved to be pretty engaging. Various environmental elements – such as in the gym or at the fair – used the different channels to create a good sense of place, and we also got solid stereo music. The track failed to really come at us to a strong degree, but it moved well and opened things up in a pretty lively manner.
Audio quality was also positive. Effects proved quite robust, as components like the exaggerated thump of a bouncing basketball offered impressive bass response. The other elements were clear and vivid as well, and music demonstrated nice depth and range. Speech seemed concise and natural, with no edginess or other concerns. This was a generally impressive soundtrack.
Don’t expect a lot of extras for Woodcock. The Making of Mr. Woodcock runs 15 minutes, 30 seconds, as it mixes movie clips, behind the scenes elements, and interviews. We hear from screenwriters Michael Carnes and Josh Gilbert, producer Bob Cooper, stunt coordinator Gary Jensen, wrestling advisor Tony Flores, stuntman Buddy Joe Hooker, stunt double Kanan Hooker, costume designer Wendy Chuck, and actors Billy Bob Thornton, Amy Poehler, Seann William Scott, Ethan Suplee, Kylee Baldridge, Melissa Sagemiller, Kurt Fuller, Jacob Davich, Alec George and Susan Sarandon.
We learn a little about the characters and story as well as cast and performances, some stunts, costumes, and visual design. Should you expect much more than the average promotional featurette here? No, though “Making” does have its moments. I especially like the bits about the wrestling stunts, as the present some interesting tidbits. There’s not a lot of meat here, but it’s worth a look.
Another featurette called PE Trauma Tales lasts 12 minutes and features Poehler, Sagemiller, Sarandon, Thornton, Cooper, Jensen, Davich, Scott, Suplee, Carnes, Gilbert, Baldridge, Flores, PE teacher Terry Sobel, set costumers Brad Holtzman and Toby Bronson, stand-in Jessica Schwartz, additional video assist operator Owen Taylor, extra JD Piche, actors Jennifer Aspen, Zia Harris, Stephen Monroe Taylor, Brad Beyer and Evan Helmuth, and still photographer Tracy Bennett. Those involved with the flick discuss their painful PE memories, while Sobel talks about his experiences as a teacher. He’s not as intense as Woodcock, but he seems pretty rigid. Anyway, this is a moderately interesting piece, as it’s fun to hear about the PE thoughts.
10 Deleted/Alternate Scenes fill a total of 12 minutes, 47 seconds. These include “Extended Arrival at Airport” (1:41), “Woodcock, Beverly and John Pull Up Outside House” (0:42), “John Sees Tracy at Practice” (0:41), “John in Medicine Cabinet” (0:32), “Flashback to Young Farley in Shower” (0:40), “John, Mom, Woodcock and Tracy Go on Rides” (0:41), “Tracy Tells John to Read His Book” (0:42), “John Must Get Them Back Together” (0:57), “Throwing Eggs at the Parade” (1:28) and “Original Hospital Drive-In” (4:41). Most of these prove to be entirely inconsequential, though we do learn the secret of Woodcock’s sexual prowess, and I like the extended “Airport” because it offers more of the amusing Kurt Fuller. Otherwise, these are pretty forgettable clips.
A few ads launch the disc. We get promos for Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show, Be Kind Rewind, Harold & Kumar 2, Full of It, Grace, The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters and Rush Hour 3. In addition, these appear in the Sneak Peeks area, and the disc also throws in the theatrical trailer for Woodcock.
Despite the presence of some fine actors and a decent premise, Mr. Woodcock proves almost wholly devoid of laughs. Indeed, it bores much more than it entertains, as it plods through its relatively brief running time. The DVD provides surprisingly involving audio, but both picture and extras are fairly mediocre. I can’t find much here to earn a recommendation.