St Elmo’s Fire appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Overall, the image held up fairly well.
General sharpness was fine. Though some softness impacted the occasional wide shot, the majority of the film boasted nice clarity and accuracy.
I saw no signs of jaggies or moiré effects, but some light edge haloes appeared at times. Print flaws also didn’t disturb the presentation.
Fire featured a fairly warm palette, and the colors appeared to be acceptably concise and vivid. They offered reasonable pep, with a ruddy, autumnal feel most of the time.
Black levels seemed to be fairly deep and solid, and shadow detail was opaque without heaviness. Low-light situations looked good, as they appeared appropriately defined but not excessively thick. Though it showed its age, the image still worked pretty well.
The Blu-ray boasted a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 remix. Don’t expect the latter to reinvent the wheel, however, as it lacked much ambition. A few decent examples of localized audio or movement occurred, but a lot of the track stayed either centered or spread to the sides in a general way.
The music worked best in this regard, as the score and songs featured good stereo imaging. Effects showed less breadth and failed to deliver much involvement, though they added a little pizzazz at times, especially during bar scenes.
Audio quality was dated but decent. Though speech could be reedy, the lines were acceptably natural most of the time, and they showed good intelligibility. Music became reasonably lively and full.
Effects were also fine given the movie’s age and budget, as these seemed fairly concise and didn’t cause problems. This turned into a workable multichannel remix for a character drama from the 80s.
As we move to extras, an audio commentary with co-writer/director Joel Schumacher opens the set. He offers a running, screen-specific look at the project’s development, story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, costumes, music and related domains.
Schumacher mostly focuses on the cast, as he offers thoughts about their work and personalities. He touches on other topics at times, but the ‘Brat Pack” actors remain the focal point. I might prefer a broader orientation, but Schumacher remains engaging through the chat, so this becomes an enjoyable track.
We get more from the director during the 14-minute, 21-second Joel Schumacher Remembers St. Elmo’s Fire. Here Schumacher discusses the project’s roots and development, story/characters, cast and crew, and other production memories. Inevitably, some of this repeats from the commentary, but Schumacher still provides a good overview.
An Original Making Of Featurette spans eight minutes, 43 seconds and involves Schumacher, producer Lauren Schuler, and actors Rob Lowe, Ally Sheedy, Mare Winningham, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez and Andrew McCarthy. Heavy on film clips and light on substance, this becomes a bland promo reel.
12 Deleted Scenes fill a total of 15 minutes, 41 seconds. These mostly offer a little more character exposition, along with a few jokes. Other than more between Wendy and her dad, nothing meaningful emerges, but fans will likely enjoy these tidbits.
The disc also includes a music video for John Parr’s “Man in Motion”. The video mixes movie clips with lip-synch shots of Parr as he emotes, though the main cast shows up for exclusive material by the end. I hated the song 35 years ago and that sentiment doesn’t change now.
Previews offers ads for A River Runs Through It, Ghostbusters (1984), The Da Vinci Code, Assassination of a High School President, Adoration and Easy Virtue. No trailer for Fire appears here.
One of the more ridiculous “coming of age” films committed to celluloid, St. Elmo’s Fire finds nary a true note. Instead, it substitutes cheap soap opera shenanigans for actual character development and drama. The Blu-ray brings generally positive picture and audio along with a mix of bonus materials. Fire just plain stinks.