People Like Us appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. This was a consistently pleasing presentation.
Overall sharpness seemed solid. A couple of wide shots looked a smidgen soft, but those were the exception to the rule, as the majority of the flick was accurate and detailed. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I noticed no edge haloes. Source flaws were absent, as the movie looked consistently clean.
Colors favored a golden tint typical for this kind of movie. Some scenes varied this palette – a more garish tone for nightclubs, and a chilly blue for nights – but the amber feel dominated. Within those parameters, the hues were positive. Blacks seemed deep and dark, while shadows showed good smoothness and clarity. I felt happy with the transfer.
As for the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of People, it lacked a ton of ambition. The soundfield focused on music and ambience, though it opened up on occasion. For instance, street scenes became a little more involving. Nothing especially memorable occurred, though.
Audio quality was fine. Speech seemed natural and concise, without edginess or other issues. Music offered good clarity and range, and effects worked well enough. They didn’t have much to do, but they appeared reasonably accurate. All of this ended up as a perfectly satisfactory soundtrack for this sort of movie.
Although People bombed at the box office, the Blu-ray comes with quite a few extras. We find two separate audio commentaries, the first of which comes from director Alex Kurtzman and actors Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific look at sets and locations, the project’s origins and story development, characters, deleted scenes, and cast and performances.
Given the personnel found here, one might expect subjects about actors to dominate, and they do. Pine often states that he’s tired of talking about himself, and he proves that with limited involvement, though he adds some good details along the way.
Nonetheless, Banks and Kurtzman carry the track and do so in a satisfying manner. In particular, Banks is a hoot; she’s smart, saucy and funny. The commentary sags at times and come with more dead air than I’d like, but it still gives us enough quality material to merit a listen.
For the second chat, we hear from Alex Kurtzman and writer Jody Lambert. They sit together for another running, screen-specific discussion of many of the same subjects touched on in the first chat. However, as expected, script/story/character issues dominate.
And that’s a good thing, as it gives this commentary an insightful, introspective air. We learn about various real-life inspirations as well as changes made to the project over its long gestational period. Kurtzman and Lambert interact nicely in this smooth, informative piece.
We also find a Select Scene Commentary from Kurtzman and actor Michelle Pfeiffer. Their chat accompanies 35 minutes, 17 seconds of the film, as the pair talk about cast/character areas, inspirations and other topics. As the third commentary, this one becomes redundant on occasion, but it still has a fair amount of unique information. It’s nice to hear Pfeiffer’s perspective as well.
Next comes the 14-minute, 28-second Number One With a Bullet: The Story Behind People Like Us. It includes info from Kurtzman, Pine, Lambert, Pfeiffer, Banks, writer/producer Roberto Orci, producer Bobby Cohen, and actor Olivia Wilde. “Bullet” looks at aspects of the movie’s roots and development, script, story and characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, and general thoughts. After two and a half commentaries, we don’t get much new information here. Still, “Bullet” moves at a good pace, so it’s a decent program.
Under Taco Talk, we find a four-minute, 51-second reel. It shows outtakes from the “taco scene” with Banks and Pine. I like to see alternate takes, so this becomes an enjoyable collection.
Five Deleted and Extended Scenes fill a total of 18 minutes, 25 seconds. (That total includes introductions from Kurtzman as well.) Deleted scenes often come at the expense of supporting roles, and that’s the case here. Olivia Wilde is the biggest loser from these cuts; she dominates the clips and lost a fair amount of screen time due to their omission. A few other minor character moments also crop up here, but don’t expect anything essential; the final film’s already sluggish, so these little tidbits would’ve made it even slower.
Finally, we get a collection of Bloopers. This section occupies three minutes, 54 seconds with a pretty standard batch of mistakes and silliness, though we also get some alternate lines from Pine. Those help make it more interesting than usual.
The disc opens with ads for The Help and various ABC TV series on home video. Under Sneak Peeks, we find promos for Castle and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. No trailer for People shows up here.
A second disc provides a DVD Copy of People. This gives us a retail version with a few extras.
Loosely based on real events, People Like Us lacks much real drive or drama. It presents trite characters and suffers from an oddly romantic tone that doesn’t fit its family-oriented tale. The Blu-ray delivers very good visuals, decent audio and a nice roster of bonus materials. The Blu-ray presents it well, but the movie remains forgettable.