Urban Cowboy appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a watchable but erratic presentation.
Definition was mostly positive. Occasional soft shots materialized, and I couldn’t call the movie razor-sharp, but the majority showed good clarity. No issues with shimmering or jaggies materialized, and but some edge haloes cropped up at times.
Print flaws remained relatively minor. A handful of specks popped up along with a gate hair, but those issues weren’t pervasive. Instead, the movie usually looked clean.
With a lot of grain on display, it seemed clear the image didn’t undergo massive noise reduction. That said, some interiors at Gilley’s could feel a bit mushy and “smoothed out”. While in the minority, these seemed a little unnatural.
Colors appeared largely appealing. The movie tended toward a low-key palette, and the disc replicated those with good accuracy.
Blacks were reasonably dark, while low-light shots demonstrated appropriate clarity. Overall, I felt this was a “C+“ image.
As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio, it opened up the material in a reasonable manner, especially as it related to music. While some cues remained essentially monaural, others broadened to the sides in a solid manner and delivered nice stereo presence.
Effects also broadened to the various channels in a moderately involving manner. Although those also could lean mono a fair amount of the time, scenes on construction sites or at Gilley’s contributed an appealing sense of place.
Audio quality seemed dated but acceptable to good. Music fared best, as performances often came across with nice range and vibrancy.
Effects felt more pedestrian, and they could come across as a little distorted at times, but these elements usually offered reasonable clarity. While dialogue could appear a bit thin and reedy, the lines remained intelligible. This turned into a more than decent track for a 40-year-old film.
A few extras appear here, and Good Times with Gilley spans 15 minutes, 10 seconds. It brings notes from musician/club co-owner Mickey Gilley as he discusses his life/career and involvement in the movie. Don’t expect real insights, but Gilley brings a likable chat.
Four Deleted Scenes fill a total of eight minutes, two seconds. These offer minor character expansions but nothing memorable. The final cut already runs too long, so it makes sense these got the boot.
Note that all four appear in a 1.33:1 ratio. I believe all got integrated into the broadcast TV version of the film.
We also get four minutes, eight seconds of Outtakes. Here we see “John Travolta and Debra Winger Dancing” (1:28) and “John Travolta Dancing” (2:40).
Some of this seems interesting, especially a scene that feels like it exists to give Travolta a spotlight ala his iconic Saturday Night Fever dancing. Unfortunately, he looks fairly silly here.
Finally, we see four minutes, five seconds of Rehearsal Footage. All three segments focus on Travolta and/or Winger with the mechanical bull.
These allow the actors to work out their efforts. I like this kind of raw footage.
A failed attempt to recreate the buzz of Saturday Night Fever, Urban Cowboy never threatens to bring us an engaging film. With an unlikable lead and a thin plot, the movie lacks obvious charms. The Blu-ray brings acceptable picture along with pretty good audio and a few bonus materials. Don’t expect much from this dull melodrama.