Summerland appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a satisfying presentation.
Sharpness tended to be positive. A few shots showed a smidgen of softness, usually during interiors, where a lack of light led to a mild lack of definition. Overall, though, detail seemed good.
I noticed no signs of jaggies or edge enhancement, and shimmering was absent. The film lacked print flaws and seemed clean.
Despite the period setting, Summerland went with a heavy teal impression, and some amber as well. These appeared fine within the film’s stylistic choices.
Blacks seemed dark and tight, and shadows demonstrated good clarity. I found this to be worth a “B+”.
A character drama wouldn’t seem to be a candidate for a dynamic soundtrack, and the DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio of Summerland fell into expected realms. A few scenes – by the sea, on roads, war-related, etc. – used the various channels well. Those instances remained the exception to the rule, though, so expect a subdued mix the vast majority of the time.
Audio quality satisfied. The music was full and rich, while effects showed nice clarity and accuracy.
Speech – obviously an important factor here – appeared concise and crisp. Nothing here soared, but it all seemed positive for the material at hand.
A Behind the Scenes featurette goes for 16 minutes, 55 seconds. It provides a “fly on the wall” view of the shoot. “Scenes” feels artsier than most of the genre – with some odd angles and long, languid shots of scenery that seem unnecessary – but it gives us a decent look at the production.
Under Interviews, we see 16 separate segments. These span a total of one hour, 33 minutes, 53 seconds.
The “Interviews” feature writer/director Jessica Swale (8:43), producers Adrian Sturges (11:19) and Guy Heeley (10:53), costume designer Claire Finlay (1:44), set decorator Philippa Hart (6:37), art department designer Christina Moore (9:05), hair and makeup designer Lisa Cavalli-Green (2:29), production sound mixer Nigel Albermaniche (4:10), location manager Peter-Frank Dewulf (2:47), unit stills photographer Michael Wharley (4:12) and actors Gemma Arterton (9:34), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (9:47), Penelope Wilton (4:11), Tom Courtenay (3:36), Dixie Egerickx (2:19) and Lucas Bond (2:27).
Across these, we learn about the project’s roots and development, story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, costumes, hair, makeup, and audio.
I admit I wish the disc’s producers had merged all these clips into a more comprehensive documentary about the film, as we get a lot of repetition over the segments. Still, with more than an hour and a half of content, we still learn plenty about the shoot, so these interviews became erratic but worthwhile.
The disc opens with an ad for Pele. We also get a trailer for Summerland.
When it concentrates on the basics of a character tale, Summerland proves reasonably winning. Unfortunately, the movie relies on too many cheesy twists, and these undercut its appeal. The Blu-ray brings strong picture, appropriate audio and a few bonus materials. Despite some good performances, Summerland doesn’t gel.