Vice appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a generally appealing presentation.
Sharpness looked fine. A bit of softness crept into a few interior shots, but not enough to really mar the movie. The flick mostly showed fairly good definition and delineation.
Jagged edges and shimmering were no problem, and no edge haloes appeared. Print flaws also failed to appear.
Colors worked reasonably well, and the flick went with a stylized palette that clearly favored teal and green along with some amber. Within these constraints, the hues worked fine.
Black levels also appeared deep and rich, while shadow detail was appropriately opaque but not too thick. The image was more than satisfactory.
As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it added some kick to the proceedings. Scenes with violence brought out the most evocative moments, as explosions, gunfire and related sequences managed to use the five channels in an involving manner.
General ambience also worked fine, and music showed good imaging. This was a chatty flick but it opened up on occasion.
Audio quality also satisfied. Speech appeared natural, and music displayed nice range.
Effects boasted pretty solid accuracy and punch, especially during those louder scenes. The mix suited the film.
A handful of extras appear here, and we find a featurette called Gaming the System. It runs 35 minutes, 42 seconds and includes notes from writer/director Adam McKay, producers Dede Gardner, Kevin Messick and Jeremy Kleiner, special makeup designer Greh Cannom, executive producer Greg Waxman, makeup department head Kate Biscoe, costume designer Susan Matheson, production designer Patrice Vermette, and actors Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Steve Carell, Tyler Perry, Alfred Molina, Alison Pill, and Lily Rabe.
“System” looks at the project’s origins and development, story and characters, McKay’s approach to the material, cast and performances, makeup and costumes, sets and production design, editing and photography.
Inevitably, we get a fair amount of happy talk here. However, we still find plenty of good insights, so this turns into a pretty informative piece.
Three Deleted Scenes occupy a total of 17 minutes, five seconds. We find “High School” (10:25), “Musical” (3:46) and “Bunker” (2:44).
Of these, only “Bunker” offers a fairly conventional scene, as it shows Cheney and Rumsfeld during a training exercise in a secret military facility. It offers entertainment – and shows the terrifying shirtless Bale shot found in the trailer – but it’s not especially informative.
“Musical” takes a cafeteria chat between Cheney and Rumsfeld and gives it a song and dance spin, while “School” offers a veritable mini-movie about teenaged Dick and Lynne. “Musical” seems fun but would’ve been a stylistic bridge too far in the final cut.
As for “School”, it’s unclear where it would’ve played in the film – alternate opening, maybe? It acts as a self-contained piece, with its own opening and closing credits. It’s interesting as a portrait of young Lynne but goes on far too long to fit in the final movie, especially since it tells us little we don’t infer elsewhere.
The Power of Music fills five minutes, seven seconds and features comments from McKay, composer Nicholas Britell, choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler, and actor/singer Brittany Howard.
“Power” discusses the “Musical” deleted scene. It brings a few decent thoughts but it’s light on details, especially because McKay doesn’t tell us why he cut it from the final film.
In addition to the film’s trailer, we get a Gallery. It shows 12 photos from the film and it lacks much value.
A second disc offers a DVD copy of Vice. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.
Erratic but bold and inventive, Vice does more right than wrong. I can forgive its occasional missteps because so much of it entertains. The Blu-ray offers pretty good picture and audio along with a few bonus features. Even with its spotty segments, this becomes an engaging spin on the biopic.