Playing with Fire appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie boasted a pleasing image.
Sharpness worked well. Virtually no softness emerged during this accurate presentation.
I saw no shimmering or jaggies, and edge haloes remained absent. Print flaws also failed to become an issue.
Like many modern movies, Fire went a lot of amber and some teal as well. Predictable as the colors tended to be, the Blu-ray rendered them in an appropriate manner.
Blacks looked dark and deep, while shadows seemed smooth and concise. I felt happy with this high-quality presentation.
As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it added involvement to the proceedings. The five channels used music in an involving manner, and various effects also broadened the soundscape in a positive way.
While not a film packed with action, Fire came to life enough to work the speakers well. Various vehicles and elements of natural disaster moved around the room in a convincing pattern to contribute some life to the tale.
Audio quality worked well. Speech seemed concise and distinctive, while effects appeared accurate and natural. Louder moments – such as from various fires and whatnot – boasted fine punch.
Music was warm and full, with a good level of punch from percussive elements. All of this left us with a more than satisfactory “B+” soundtrack.
A mix of extras fills out the disc, and we find a few featurettes. Storytime with John Cena runs one minute, 27 seconds and shows Cena’s attempt to tell Three Little Pigs. It’s mildly amusing at best but the usually reliable Cena overacts too much for a lot of fun to result.
Lighting Up the Laughs fills three minutes, five seconds and brings remarks from Cena, director Andy Fickman and actors Brianna Hildebrand, Christian Convery, Keegan-Michael Key, John Leguizamo, Judy Greer, and Finley Rose Slater.
They offer thoughts about the silliness on the set. Nothing memorable results, though we get some decent shots from the production.
With The Director’s Diaries, we find a five-minute, five-seocnd clip that features Cena and Key. Through the shoot, Fickman would send daily summaries to all involved, and the actors read excerpts from them. This becomes a moderately enjoyable glimpse behind the scenes.
What It Means to Be a Family goes for four minutes, 32 seconds and features Hildebrand, Cena, Key, Leguizamo, Greer, Fickman, writers Matt Lieberman and Dan Ewen, producer Todd Garner and actor Tyler Mane.
They tell us about the different ways families can exist and the “movie family” behind Fire. It’s fluffy and not especially interesting.
For the final featurette, we head to The Real Smokejumpers, a two-minute, 34-second clip introduced by Cena. From there we get a quick overview of the smokejumping job via comments from unnamed firefighters. It’s a worthwhile topic but we don’t learn much due to its short running time.
13 Deleted Scenes fill a total of 14 minutes, 43 seconds. These tend toward extensions to existing sequences, not completely new segments.
As such, the clips fail to add a whole lot. They give us a little additional exposition and some character tidbits – along with an otherwise cut cameo by Joe Manganiello – but nothing especially amusing or memorable.
Finally, we get a collection of Bloopers. This reel spans two minutes, 33 seconds and provides the usual goofiness. These same bits appear during the movie’s end credits, so this presentation feels superfluous.
Thanks to a talented cast, Playing with Fire manages the occasional laugh. However, these remain few and far between, as the movie becomes an awkward mix of slapstick and sentimentality. The Blu-ray boasts excellent visuals and very good audio along with mediocre bonus materials. Fire fails to satisfy.