Punch Drunk Love appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Replete with unusual visual choices, the image seemed to represent the source – for good and bad.
This meant more than a few shots that came across as a bit soft. These tended to be intentional choices, but they did leave the film as less than distinctive at times. No signs of jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and print flaws remained absent.
In terms of colors, Love pushed its hues to an intense level at times. Like the softness, this was intentional but it also could look “off”, especially when it came to skin tones, which tended to veer purple. Blacks were dark and tight, while shadows showed reasonable clarity. Again, the image wasn’t the most attractive, but it appeared to replicate the original material.
Though not a rock-em, sock-em affair, the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack added to the project. In particular, music used the various channels well, as the unusual score became an active partner in the story.
Effects played a smaller role. These elements stayed atmospheric, with a few shots that created move activity – like a car accident early in the film – but effects didn’t bring a lot to the picture most of the time.
Audio quality appeared good. Speech remained distinctive and natural, without edginess. Effects sounded accurate and concise, while music was warm and full. This turned into a mix that fit the material.
As we shift to extras, we find two deleted scenes. We get
The Sisters Call” (7:18) and “’Are You From California?’” (2:23). “Call” offers more of the constant phone intrusions from Barry’s sisters, while “California?” gives us a short chat between Barry and the thugs who rob him. “California?” proves to be the more interesting, but both seem superfluous.
Under Mattress Man Commercial, we see a quick fake promo. It goes for 52 seconds and provides outtakes for an ad created by the Philip Seymour Hoffman character. It’s fun but inconsequential.
Next comes the 11-minute, 58-second Blossoms and Blood. It provides nothing more than a montage of film clips and Jeremy Blake imagery set to Jon Brion’s score. There’s not a whole lot to learn here, as the supplement serves as nothing more than a fancy music video.
With Scopitones, we find 12 segments with a total running time of six minutes, 20 seconds. Essentially interstitials, these show art mixed with music and film snippets. They fail to become especially interesting.
An Interview with Composer Jon Brion lasts 27 minutes, 19 seconds. As expected, Brion tells us about his work for the film, with some emphasis on his collaboration with director Paul Thomas Anderson. Brion offers a taut, involving chat.
We also get nine minutes, 56 seconds from a Brion recording session. This takes us to Abbey Road and shows the musicians at work. It doesn’t prove to be illuminating.
Two components appear under the banner of Jeremy Blake. “Gangitano and Connor” provides a chat with New York gallerist Lia Gangitano and curator Michael Connor. In this 20-minute, 25-second piece, they discuss artist Jeremy Blake’s work, with some focus on his creations for the film. Though Gangitano and Connor walk the pretentious side of the street, they manage to offer some decent details.
“Additional Artwork” also accompanies this section. It gives us two minutes, 42 seconds of Blake’s imagery. It leaves me cold.
Cannes Film Festival splits into two areas. “Studio Interviews” fills seven minutes, two seconds and includes comments from director Paul Thomas Anderson and actors Philip Seymour Hoffman, Emily Watson and Adam Sandler. They discuss some basics of the movie and its shoot. The piece seems fairly promotional and lacks a lot of depth.
A “Press Conference” takes 37 minutes, 52 seconds and features Anderson, Sandler, Watson, Hoffman and producer Jo-Anne Sellar. Unsurprisingly, the conference mostly involves questions to Anderson and Sandler.
In addition to three trailers, we get The Pudding Guy. This 2000 interview with David Phillips lasts five minutes, four seconds and provides about the person whose tale loosely inspired this movie’s lead. Phillips seems a lot more normal than Barry, and it’s fun to hear about his scheme.
Finally, the set includes a booklet. This offers an essay from filmmaker, author, and artist Miranda July. It’s not a great addition but it offers a little merit.
Punch-Drunk Love is the type of romance that could only come from the universe that someone like PT Anderson lives in and he gets a surprisingly good and restrained performance from Adam Sandler. The Blu-ray presents largely good picture and audio but the supplements seem less engaging than I expect from Criterion. Both movie and Blu-ray seem good but not great.
To rate this film visit the DVD review of PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE