The Music Never Stopped 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. The transfer disappointed and came with many problems.
Sharpness was decent, though. Definition was never great, but close-ups tended to look okay. Wide shots were less effective, and prominent edge enhancement created more than a few distractions. I also saw plenty of shimmering and jaggies; the movie suffered from a blocky feel with obvious digital artifacts. Print flaws were absent.
Colors seemed mediocre. Much of the movie took on a sepia tone typical of period flicks, but even within those constraints, the hues looked muddy and bland. Blacks were reasonably deep, while shadows were acceptable; low-light shots had fair to good clarity. Though not a total disaster, the image was usually pretty unappealing.
While not stellar, the Dolby Digital 5.1 was more satisfying. The soundfield didnít offer a lot of excitement, but it didnít need to do so. Music displayed good stereo presence, and the environment opened up fine when necessary. Those circumstances tended toward ambience such as in the streets or at concerts; they added a little life, but the movie remained focused on music and dialogue, so they didnít have much to do.
Audio quality appeared fine. Speech was natural and distinctive, without edginess or problems. Music seemed warm and full, and effects worked fine; again, they didnít need to offer much pizzazz, but they appeared accurate enough. All of this ended up as an adequate soundtrack.
We get a pretty solid batch of extras here. These open with an audio commentary from director Jim Kohlberg. He delivers a running, screen-specific look at story/character topics, music and related issues, cast and performances, sets and locations, visual design and period details, editing and other production areas.
While Kohlberg usually makes this a good chat, it does drag at times, primarily due to a bit too much dead air. Nonetheless, we learn a reasonable amount about the movie, and the track moves well most of the time; it runs into lulls mainly during its second half. Despite the flaws, itís still a worthwhile listen.
Three Interviews with Oliver Sacks fill a total of 10 minutes, 49 seconds. In these, the author discusses the case that inspired the movieís story, his interactions with the Grateful Dead, and the way the film adapts the tale. We learn a lot about Sacksí work in these informative chats.
Two Cast Interviews occupy a total of 15 minutes, 31 seconds. We hear from JK Simmons (8:19) and Lou Taylor Pucci (7:12). Simmons discusses influences, his own youth and musical tastes, his performance and character, and other aspects of the shoot; Pucci touches on similar subjects. Neither interview seems great, but both have enough going for them to deserve a look.
Eight Deleted Scenes go for a total of nine minutes, 16 seconds. Most offer brief exposition or extensions, but some are more substantial. We get a flashback to the first time Gabe experienced problems due to this tumor, and we also see a long piece in which Dr. Daley works with him on his memory. The formerís a good cut, but the latter mightíve been useful, as it demonstrates Gabeís impairments well.
A few ads open the DVD. We get clips for The Doors, CSNY: Dťjŗ Vu, Apocalypse Now, and The Conspirator. These show up under Also from Lionsgate as well, and we find the filmís trailer, too.
Despite potentially sappy material, The Music Never Stopped gives us a warm, emotional tale of the bond between father and son. It benefits from good performances and a lack of forced sentiment. The DVD offers adequate audio and good supplements but suffers from weak picture quality. The iffy visuals are a disappointment, as the movie deserves better treatment.