This Is Where I Leave You appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a quality presentation.
Sharpness was fine. A handful of wider shots could be a little tentative, but those remained in the minority, as most of the flick appeared concise and accurate. Jagged edges and shimmering didn’t occur, and edge enhancement remained absent. Source flaws also failed to present any problems, as the movie offered a clean image.
In terms of colors, the film favored a mild golden tint or a blue feel. These were light overtones, so the colors were solid within the design parameters. Blacks seemed deep and tight, while shadows were good. I thought this was a consistently high-quality presentation.
As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it seemed satisfactory. It favored the usual “comedy mix” and didn’t present many chances for the soundscape to explode. We This meant the track usually opted for stereo music and general environmental material. Though these didn’t seem exciting, they opened up the piece in a satisfying manner.
I thought audio quality appeared positive. Speech seemed distinctive and natural, with no rough tones or other issues. Score and songs displayed clear, warm music, and effects functioned well. Those elements were reasonably realistic and full throughout the movie. Again, nothing here dazzled, but the mix accentuated the action in a good way.
As we move to extras, we launch with an audio commentary from director Shawn Levy and writer Jonathan Tropper. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at Tropper’s novel and its adaptation, story/character areas, cast and performances, sets and locations, music, and other subjects.
I once referred to Levy as “eternally chipper”, and that remains true here. Levy’s perkiness means we get a fair amount of happy talk, and Tropper’s presence does nothing to alter that trajectory. Nonetheless, Levy always provides engaging, lively chats, so we learn a fair amount about the movie here despite the tendency toward excessive praise.
Under Points of Departure, we locate four featurettes: “The Brother-Sister Bond” (5:38), “The Matriarch” (3:59), “Sibling Rivals” (5:04) and “Choreographed Chaos” (5:38). Across these, we hear from Levy, Tropper, producer Paula Weinstein, and actors Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Kathryn Hahn, Jane Fonda, Corey Stoll, Ben Schwartz, Adam Driver and Timothy Olyphant. The programs cover story and characters, cast and performances, and Levy’s impact on the production. A handful of decent insights emerge, but the programs mostly lavish praise on all involved.
Next comes the six-minute, 27-second The Gospel According to Rabbi Boner. In it, we hear from Schwartz, Fey, Hahn and Tropper. “Gospel” looks at aspects of Schwartz’s character and performance. With some good outtakes, this becomes a better than expected show.
A Discussion with Shawn Levy and Jonathan Tropper takes up four minutes, 28 seconds and gives their thoughts about the movie’s path to the screen as well as story/adaptation areas. We learn nothing here not already covered in the commentary.
Six Deleted Scenes occupy a total of 13 minutes, 34 seconds. Except for one that focuses on Paul, these pieces concentrate on Judd, which surprises me since he receives so much screen time in the final cut; usually cut sequences highlight supporting roles. Some mildly interesting snippets emerge but not much that adds to the story.
The disc opens with ads for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies and Annabelle. No trailer for Leave appears here.
A second disc delivers a DVD copy of Leave. It includes the “Gospel” featurette but lacks the other extras.
With a terrific cast, This Is Where I Leave You came with potential to be a strong comedy/drama. Unfortunately, it panders too much and never commits to anything, factors that force it to become simplistic and predictable. The Blu-ray provides good picture and audio along with a reasonable set of supplements. Even with a lot of talent behind it, Leave can’t rise above its own triteness.