The Night Before appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Across the board, the movie looked attractive.
Sharpness was usually solid. A few wider shots showed a little softness, but those instances remained minor. Instead, the majority of the movie seemed accurate and concise.
I saw no signs of jagged edges or shimmering, and edge haloes remained absent. Source flaws were a non-factor, as I witnessed no specks, marks or other debris.
Colors were good. In addition to some of the usual Christmas red and green, the film opted for a fairly teal and orange palette and the Blu-ray replicated these tones in an appealing manner.
Black levels were appropriately deep, and shadows seemed clear and well-rendered. Across the board, the visuals proved to be pleasing.
The DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Before suited the story pretty well but won't win any awards. The soundstage appeared nicely broad at the appropriate times and could be moderately engulfing on occasion.
It's a talky little movie for the most part so the focus was mainly up front, but the audio expanded when necessary. Music broadened well, and effects occasionally used the spectrum in a satisfying way via elements like vehicular elements and general craziness. None of this made it a consistently active track, but it had its moments.
Sound quality seemed fine. Dialogue always appeared crisp and natural, and I had no trouble understanding it.
Music was warm and distinctive, and effects also seemed realistic and more than adequate for the tasks at hand, with good bass as necessary. All of this made the mix a solid “B”.
A slew of video extras arrive, and we find four Deleted & Extended Scenes. These fill a total of eight minutes and lean toward added character bits. Nothing especially memorable results, though we do get a little extra backstory about Chris’s football career.
A Gag Reel spans one minute and mostly consists of Seth Rogen as he guffaws. That makes it less than engaging.
Some featurettes follow, and Christmas in the Summer runs five minutes, 35 seconds. It offers notes from director Jonathan Levine, special effects foreman Bob Scupp, production designer Annie Spitz, co-writers Ariel Shaffir and Kyle Hunter, producer/co-writer Evan Goldberg, producer James Weaver, and actors Anthony Mackie and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
“Summer” looks at the movie’s sweater choices as well as sets/locations and shooting a winter movie in the heat. It becomes a decent little overview.
The Spirit of Christmas goes for three minutes, 23 seconds and features Rogen, Levine, Gordon-Levitt, Shaffir, Hunter, Mackie, and actor Lizzy Caplan. They talk about their own Christmas experiences in this fairly light piece.
With Drunkest Santas on the Block, we find a four-minute, 27-second program that includes comments from Levine and actors Jason Mantzoukas and Jason Jones. They talk a little about the inebriated Santa characters, but mostly we find alternate lines. Those make it worth a look.
Midnight Mass with Nana spans four minutes, six seconds and brings info from Levine and actors Darrie Lawrence, Helene Yorke, Curt Bouril and Jillian Bell. We get notes about the scene in question along with more alternate dialogue. Expect another watchable reel.
After this we find the three-minute, 11-second Whale Juice. It includes remarks from Levine, Rogen and Bell.
Like its predecessors, “Juice” mixes scene-specific comments with added lines. It works fine within that construct.
Mr. Green O-Rama fills three minutes, 59 seconds and features Gordon-Levitt. Mostly we get more alternate dialogue that revolves around Michael Shannon’s character. We get some fun bits here.
Finally, Making One Epic Party runs 20 minutes, 22 seconds and involves Levine, Gordon-Levitt, Rogen, Mackie, Shaffir, Hunter, Goldberg, Weaver, Caplan, Bell, and actors Mindy Kaling and Ilana Glazer.
“Epic” looks at the project’s genesis and development, story and characters, cast and performances, and general Christmas movie thoughts. It lacks much depth, but it manages some decent glimpses of the production.
The disc opens with ads for The Walk, The Brothers Grimsby, The 5th Wave. The Driftless Area, Pride + Prejudice + Zombies and The Bronze. No trailer for Before appears here.
Occasionally funny but mostly trite, The Night Before doesn’t click. Despite all the components for a fun “R”-rated Christmas movie, it relies on too many cheap gags to succeed. The Blu-ray brings good picture and audio along with a decent array of bonus materials. This winds up as a semi-witless disappointment.