Take Shelter appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. This became a surprisingly good SD-DVD presentation.
Sharpness looked solid. A few shots were slightly soft, but these were minor concerns. Overall, though, definition was quite good. No jagged edges or edge haloes occurred, and shimmering was insubstantial. Source flaws were a non-factor, as the movie stayed clean.
Shelter opted for a low-key palette. It tended to be a little desaturated, actually, but was reasonably natural most of the time. Within their parameters, the colors appeared well-developed. Blacks seemed deep and tight, while shadows were solid; they showed positive clarity. In the end, the transfer proved to be very good.
As for the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Take Shelter, it was a good mix. Curtis’ visions became the most important elements, as those created dynamic sound elements; with thunder, storms and tornadoes, the soundscape really came to life in a vivid manner when necessary. Quieter scenes provided good atmospheric material as well.
Audio quality seemed fine. Speech was crisp and distinctive, with no edginess or other concerns. Music was full and rich, while effects came across as clear and accurate. The track boasted solid low-end when appropriate. All of this was good enough for a “B+”.
We get a mix of extras here, and these open with an audio commentary from writer/director Jeff Nichols and actor Michael Shannon. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story and characters, cast and performances, music and effects, sets and locations, and a few other production areas.
While it occasionally drags a little, the commentary usually covers the movie well. Both Nichols and Shannon mix well, and they add low-key but likable humor along the way. They help make this a pretty informative and enjoyable chat.
Two Deleted Scenes fill a total of five minutes, 59 seconds. These include “Second Counselor Session” (4:22) and “Picnic Table” (1:37). The first shows what it describes, as it takes us to one of Curtis’ therapy periods, while “Table” gives us a chat between Curtis and Samantha that discusses a visit from Curtis’ brother. Both are pretty inconsequential; neither adds anything that would’ve fleshed out the movie in a substantial manner.
Two featurettes follow. Behind the Scenes of Take Shelter goes for 10 minutes, 34 seconds and offers statements from Nichols, Shannon, set dresser Ben Haehn, production designer Chad Keith, and actors Jessica Chastain and Shea Whigham. “Scenes” looks at the film’s story and influences, cast and performances, set design and construction, visual effects, filming in Ohio and other production issues. “Scenes” is too short for much detail, but it’s fairly efficient and it gives us a decent examination of movie topics.
A Q&A with Actors Michael Shannon and Shea Whigham lasts 19 minutes, 51 seconds. Filmed for the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, the performers discuss aspects of their characters and performances as well as a few other elements of the shoot. Both seem engaging and informative through this piece, so we get some nice notes here. (Don’t watch it if you’ve not already seen the movie, though, as it includes potential spoilers.)
The disc opens with ads for The Skin I Live In, A Dangerous Method, Carnage, Retreat and In the Land of Blood and Honey. These also appear under Previews, and we get the film’s trailer as well.
Dark and foreboding, Take Shelter offers an intriguing take on a man’s apparent psychological disintegration. It creates a good character examination and keeps us with it from start to finish. The DVD provides solid picture and audio along with a few useful supplements. Shelter offers a apocalyptic drama.