Red Sparrow appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a positive presentation.
Overall definition looked good. Though a few wide shots showed mild softness, the majority of the film appeared accurate and concise.
I noticed no jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge haloes stayed absent. No print flaws cropped up either.
Sparrow offered a pretty standard orange and teal palette. These choices seemed tedious, but within constraints, the colors looked fine.
Blacks were dark and deep, and low-light shots showed good clarity and smoothness. I felt pleased with this fine image.
Given its moderate action orientation, the film’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 opened up pretty well. Though the film didn’t include as many slam-bang set pieces as a typical action flick, it brought out some good sequences. When the track needed to expand during gun battles and the like, it used the full spectrum well.
Elements were properly placed and moved about the setting in a convincing way. The surrounds contributed a nice sense of space and involvement. Music depicted positive stereo imaging and the entire presentation offered a good feeling of environment.
Audio quality fared well. Speech was accurate and distinctive, without notable edginess or other issues. Music sounded full-blooded and rich, as the score was rendered nicely.
Effects showed good range and definition. They demonstrated solid low-end and were impressive across the board. Ultimately, this was a positive track.
The Blu-ray comes with a good array of extras, and we begin with an audio commentary from director Francis Lawrence. He provides a running, screen-specific look at the source novel and its adaptation, story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, effects, stunts/action, music and related areas.
Overall, Lawrence delivers a pretty solid commentary. He covers the requisite array of subjects and does so in a lively, engaging way. All of this adds up to an informative chat.
10 Deleted Scenes take up a total of 12 minutes, 20 seconds. These tend to offer fairly minor character tidbits. Some of these expand exposition to a decent degree, but I can’t claim any of them seem memorable or significant.
We can view these with or without commentary from Lawrence. He gives us specifics about the scenes and usually – but not always – tells us why they got cut. Lawrence’s notes largely prove useful.
Six featurettes ensue, and these start with A New Cold War: Origination & Adaptation. It goes for 12 minutes, 42 seconds and includes info from Lawrence, novelist Jason Matthews, producer David Ready, screenwriter Justin Haythe, associate producer Cameron MacConomy, and actors Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Irons, and Sakina Jaffrey.
“War” discusses the source novel and its adaptation, story and characters. “War” provides a solid examination of these areas and works better than most of its peers.
Next comes the 15-minute, 21-second Agents Provocateurs: The Ensemble Cast. It features Francis Lawrence, Jennifer Lawrence, Irons, MacConomy, Ready, Rampling, Jaffrey, and actors Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Bill Camp, and Charlotte Rampling.
As expected, this one discusses the performers and their work. While we get a few insights, much of “Agents” devotes itself to praise for the actors, so don’t expect a lot of depth from it.
With Tradecraft: Visual Authenticity, we find a 13-minute, 28-second piece that offers notes from Francis Lawrence, Edgerton, Ready, MacConomy, Jennifer Lawrence, Irons, Schoenaerts, costume designer Trish Summerville, and actor Thekla Reuten.
Here we learn about photography and costumes, with a heavy emphasis on the latter domain. Those notes flesh out “Tradecraft” well and make it a useful program.
Heart of the Tempest: On Location runs 10 minutes, 56 seconds and includes Francis Lawrence, Ready, MacConomy, Jennifer Lawrence, Rampling, production designer Maria Djurkovic, and Budapest location manager Ildiko Kemeny.
“Heart” examines sets, location and production design. All of this adds up to another satisfying featurette.
During the 12-minute, 12-second Welcome to Sparrow School: Ballet and Stunts, we find material from Francis Lawrence, Jennifer Lawrence, Edgerton, associate choreographer Kurt Froman, stunt coordinator Chris O’Hara, actor Sebastian Hulk and dance double Isabella Boylston.
Like the title states, the reel details issues connected to the movie’s dancing and stunts. It combines the two domains to create another engaging piece.
Finally, A Puzzle of Need: Post-Production lasts 14 minutes, eight seconds and delivers remarks from Francis Lawrence, Jennifer Lawrence, editor Alan Edward Bell, composer James Newton Howard and guest conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen.
The show digs into editing, audio and music. It delivers a fairly informative program.
A second disc gives us a DVD copy of Sparrow. It includes the commentary and the deleted scenes but it lacks all the featurettes.
As much as I like Jennifer Lawrence, she can’t redeem the sluggish, messy Red Sparrow. The movie lacks narrative coherence and becomes a slow, tedious stab at a spy thriller. The Blu-ray boasts very good picture and audio along with a nice roster of supplements. Sparrow squanders its potential and winds up as a forgettable mediocrity.