Very Bad Things appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The transfer seemed surprisingly mediocre.
For the most part, sharpness was good. However, exceptions occurred, as some aspects of the flick – mostly wider elements – could be a mushy and ill-defined.
In particular, shots in the Vegas bathroom looked oddly fuzzy. Still, the majority of the film demonstrated fairly positive delineation.
I witnessed no jagged edges or shimmering, but some edge haloes cropped up along the way. The image looked grainier than anticipated – possibly due to some digital noise – and a few small specks appeared.
Things went with a brown-influenced palette, and the colors lacked much impact. These tended to feel overly heavy, so expect hues that appeared decent but unexceptional.
Blacks were a bit too dark, and shadows showed passable clarity, though low-light shots could seem a little thick. This felt like a disappointing presentation.
Though not exceptional, I felt more pleased with the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Things. As with most comedies, the soundfield largely remained anchored to the forward channels, but the mix spread out the audio to a satisfying degree.
The front speakers showed fine stereo separation for the music, and they also offered a clean and accurate sense of spatiality and ambience. Sounds blended together well, and they moved neatly between channels.
The surrounds usually presented general atmosphere, but they came to life nicely at times. For example, the more violent scenes added some breadth.
Audio quality seemed positive. Speech appeared fairly warm and natural, and I heard no signs of edginess or problems related to intelligibility.
Effects didn’t seem outstanding, but they replicated the material with acceptable accuracy and depth. Music showed nice dynamic range as well, as highs seemed to be clean and bright, while low-end was clean and fairly deep. In the end, Things provided a good but unexceptional soundtrack.
A few extras appear, and we get an audio commentary from film critics Witney Seibold and William Bibbiani. Both sit together for this running, screen—specific look at film interpretation, genre areas, and some production notes.
Seibold and Bibbiani mesh well and create a lively track, one that offers some pretty good insights related to Things and other movies. While I might like a little more about the flick’s actual creation, the commentary proves more than satisfactory.
Two interviews follow, the first of which comes from actor Jeremy Piven. In this 17-minute, 23-second reel, Piven discusses working with director Peter Berg, story/characters, experiences during the production and his performance.
I’m glad Piven gave the interview, but he doesn’t bring a lot of insights. Piven tends to keep things superficial in this semi-forgettable chat.
Next we get a chat with actor Daniel Stern. During the 21-minute piece, he tells about a prank he pulled on the set as well as notes from the shoot. Stern proves more informative than Piven and makes this a pretty good interview.
In addition to the film’s trailer, we find a Still Gallery. It includes 73 images that mix promo materials and shots from the set. It becomes a decent compilation.
Very Bad Things offers a moderately entertaining experience, although all the hysterics are likely to get on your nerves sooner than later. It also shows its age and feels too inconsistent to satisfy. The Blu-ray comes with erratic visuals, decent audio and a few bonus materials. Most interesting for its cast’s later careers, Things seems hit and miss.