The Talented Mr. Ripley appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie’s visuals looked good.
The shows offered solid clarity. Only a smidgen of softness materialized, so definition was generally positive.
No issues with jagged edges or shimmering appeared, and I saw no edge haloes. Source flaws failed to mar the presentation.
The film opted for a palette with a lean toward amber and reds. Within those parameters, the colors seemed fine.
Blacks were pretty deep and tight, while shadows appeared positive, with only a little opacity on occasion. Overall, the film provided appealing visuals.
The DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack suited the movie and became more immersive than expected. Music turned into an active partner, as the score and other musical moments filled the room in a broad manner.
Given then movie’s character basis, effects had less to do, but they fleshed out the tale well. Atmospheric material felt involving and convincing.
Sound quality seemed fine. Dialogue always appeared crisp and natural, and I had no trouble understanding it. The score was warm and distinctive.
Effects also seemed realistic and adequate for the tasks at hand. This was a better than expected mix for a character drama.
As we head to extras, we open with an audio commentary from writer/director Anthony Minghella. He offers a running, screen-specific look at story and characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, photography, music, and other elements.
When I first screened this commentary in 2000, I really liked it, as I thought Minghella offered a ton of insight into his film. 20 years later, I still find the track to bring useful material, but it doesn’t impress me quite as much.
Like I noted in 2000, Minghella provides more of an “audio essay” than a traditional nuts and bolts discussion. While that means useful insights, it also leaves us with Minghella in “narrator mode” a little too often, as the track occasionally devolves into a basic recitation of what we see onscreen.
Still, one should regard that as a fairly minor complain, for Minghella usually provides worthwhile observations. Though not the great commentary I believed it to be 20 years ago, this still turns into a solid chat.
A few featurettes follow, and Inside The Talented Mr. Ripley runs 22 minutes, 34 seconds. It brings notes from Minghella, producers Tom Sternberg and William Horberg, executive producer Sydney Pollack, and actors Matt Damon, Jude Law, Cate Blanchett, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
“Inside” looks at story and characters, cast and performances, period details, sets and locations, music, and Minghella’s impact on the production. While we find some decent notes, “Inside” mainly exists as a promo piece, so don’t expect much depth from it.
Reflections on The Talented Mr. Ripley spans 14 minutes, 42 seconds and includes remarks from Minghella, Damon, Law, Blanchett, and Hoffman.
With “Reflections”, we get more thoughts about story/characters and cast/performances. Like “Inside”, occasional insights result, but the overall impact remains fluffy.
In addition to two trailers, the disc concludes with Making of the Soundtrack. It lasts eight minutes, 25 seconds and features info from Minghella, Damon, and composer Gabriel Yared.
As expected, “Soundtrack” looks at aspects of the film’s music. Though it offers a bit more substance than the other two featurettes, it never gives us a lot of worthwhile material.
A taut character-based thriller, The Talented Mr. Ripley fires on all cylinders. Blessed with an excellent cast and fine execution, the movie delivers a strong cinematic experience. The Blu-ray offers solid picture and audio along with a few bonus materials. Ripley holds up after more than 20 years.