Ping Pong Summer appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Shot on 16mm, Summer looked decent but suffered from the limitations of that format.
Sharpness was acceptable. The movie rarely mustered strong clarity, but it usually showed good accuracy, with only occasional instances of softness. The image lacked shimmering or moiré effects, and I saw no edge haloes. Due to the 16mm source, the movie tended to look rather grainy, but it lacked print flaws like specks or marks.
Colors tended toward a somewhat airy, gauzy feel to fit the nostalgia. The hues offered fairly positive representation but didn’t seem especially dynamic. Blacks were acceptably dark, and shadows showed reasonable smoothness. Given the original photography, the image was fine.
As for the film’s Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack, it came with a fairly low-key orientation one would expect from a character comedy like this. Music showed nice spread to the side and rear channels, and occasional effects broadened out as well. These didn’t create a dynamic sense of place or movement, but they added a little involvement to the experience.
Audio quality seemed satisfactory. Speech was consistently concise, and intelligible, without edginess or other issues, and effects appeared accurate enough. Those elements didn’t have much to do, but they came across fine. Music worked best, with pretty good clarity and range. This was an acceptable mix for the story.
When we move to extras, we locate an audio commentary from director Michael Tully and producer George Rush. Both sit together for a running, screen-specific look at cast and performances, sets and locations, the film’s inspirations and autobiographical elements, period components and references, music, story/characters and related areas.
Overall, this becomes a good little chat. Tully and Rush manage to cover the appropriate topics most of the time and they do so in a reasonably concise, likable manner. They never answer “the big question” – ie, how they landed so many well-known actors for an obscure project like this – but they still deliver a positive commentary.
Lazer Beach: The Making of Ping Pong Summer runs 14 minutes, two seconds and offers notes from production sound mixer Alex Altman, head makeup artist Rondi Scott, production assistant Ahmed Chopra, swing Mike Arbin, art director Bob Weisz, 1st assistant camera John David Devirgiliis, 2nd 2nd AD Drew Bourdet, hair department head Sherri Bramlett, boom operator Steve Saada, producer Ryan Zacarias, electrician Mac Cushing and actors Emmi Shockley, Judah Friedlander, John Hannah, Lea Thompson, Helena Seabrook, Gibril Wilson, and Marcello Conte.
“Beach” looks at shooting in Ocean City, cast and performances, the atmosphere on the set, and related elements. Much of “Beach” feels more like a production diary than anything else, and it comes with some good glimpses of the shoot. We don’t get a lot of substance, but it becomes a breezy enough piece.
The disc opens with ads for Rob the Mob, Stuck in Love, Parts Per Billion, and Charlie Countryman. We also get a trailer for Summer.
Going into Ping Pong Summer, I hoped to find a warm, witty nostalgic comedy. Instead, I located an amateurish, formless exercise in pointlessness. The Blu-ray gives us acceptable picture and audio along with some decent supplements. Even if you long for memories of your youth, Summer lacks merit.