Warrior appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The image mostly seemed positive.
For the most part, sharpness looked good. A little softness crept into the image at times, but not frequently. Instead, the movie almost always appeared nicely detailed and distinctive. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge haloes remained absent. Source flaws were minor, but i noticed the occasional small white speck.
In terms of colors, the movie went with a yellow “sodium vapor” or a chilly blue most of the time, though the Atlantic City scenes took on a peppy neon look. The tones consistently seemed clear and concise within those parameters. Blacks were deep and firm, while low-light shots came across as appropriately dense but not overly dark. Outside of a sliver of softness and some specks, the picture appeared positive.
I also felt pleased with the DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack of Warrior. All of the MMA battles ensured that the mix offered plenty of involving material. The fights filled out the spectrum in an active, involving manner that created a fair amount of exciting audio, and a smattering of war segments added to the mix.
Audio quality also was very good. Speech seemed crisp and distinctive, as I noticed no flaws like edginess. Music seemed warm and full, while effects added a real bang to the proceedings. Those elements showed good clarity and accuracy, and they offered tight, deep bass as well. The track seemed vibrant and dynamic as it accentuated the movie in a satisfying manner.
The Blu-ray comes with a broad roster of extras. We open with an audio commentary from writer/director Gavin O’Connor, writer Anthony Tambakis, editor John Gilroy and actor Joel Edgerton. All four sit together for this running, screen-specific discussion of music, cast and performances, story, editing and characters, sets and locations, training and shooting the fight scenes, and a few other areas.
Across the board, this turns into an engaging track. It covers a good range of subjects and digs into them well. Nothing about it stands out as particularly outstanding, but it’s a consistently solid piece.
For something interactive, we find an enhanced viewing mode. Entitled “Full Contact”, this essentially acts as a video commentary with a rotating roster of participants. O’Connor sits through the whole thing and acts as moderator with the ever-changing collection of participants. We see Tambakis, actor/assistant stunt coordinator Fernando Chien, sound re-recording mixer Christian P. Minkler, sound effects/sound re-recording mixer Mark A. Mangini, music composer Mark Isham, Tapout’s Dan Caldwell and Timothy Katz, “Full Contact” director Jon Mefford and actors Nick Nolte and Maximiliano Hernandez.
In addition to the video commentary elements, we see photos and footage from the set, but the commentary bits become the main attraction here. We learn about story and characters, cast and performances, the fight sequences, sound and music, and a mix of other topics.
Some of this echoes the audio commentary, but the new voices help give it a different personality. “Contact” manages to touch on a lot of areas and does so pretty well. It peters out around the one-hour mark and becomes subject to some gaps, but it’s still an informative look at the film.
Next comes a documentary called Redemption: Bringing Warrior to Life. It lasts 31 minutes, 57 seconds and features O’Connor, Edgerton, Nolte, Tambakis, Katz, Caldwell, Gilroy, stunt coordinator/fight choreographer JJ Perry, executive producer John J. Kelly, and actors Tom Hardy, Jennifer Morrison, Frank Grillo, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, Kurt Angle, Nate Marquardt, and John Rosenthal. “Redemption” looks at influences, themes and story/character subjects, the choice to go with Mixed Martial Arts and aspects of that world, script and development, visual/photographic choices, cast, training and performances, choreography and staging the fights, editing, and the end result.
With two commentaries already behind us, some repetition becomes inevitable with “Redemption”. However, redundant material seems pretty rare, and the program delivers a nice overall view of the production. It’s thoughtful and interesting as it digs into various aspects of the flick.
Three featurettes follow. Philosophy in Combat goes for 21 minutes, seven seconds and offers notes from MMA trainer Greg Jackson and actor Frank Grillo. They chat about MMA, training and the sport’s use in the flick. This isn’t a consistently stimulating discussion, but it’s a decent look at what the guys bring to the flick.
Simply Believe fills 13 minutes, 58 seconds and acts as a tribute to Charles “Mask” Lewis, Jr., one of the founders of Tapout. We get notes from Jackson, Caldwell, Katz, O’Connor, Grillo, Tambakis, MMA fighter Brian Warren, referees Larry Landless and John McCarthy, and trainer Eddie Millis. Lewis died prior to the shoot, so this piece gives us some thoughts about him. It’s not very specific, as it tends to just tell us how wonderful Lewis was, but it’s nice that the producers want to tip their hat to him.
Finally, Brother Vs. Brother lasts 11 minutes, 55 seconds and looks at the film’s climactic battle. We get a split-screen presentation that shows storyboards and rehearsal footage and in the top left while the final film runs in the bottom right. I like this feature, as it gives us a quality look at the prep work for the fight sequence.
One Deleted Scene appears. “The Diner” runs three minutes, two seconds and shows Tommy and Paddy as the latter tries desperately to reconnect with the former. It offers good backstory for Paddy; it’s not crucial but it’s a good way to flesh out the character.
We can watch the clip with or without commentary from O’Connor, Tambakis and Gilroy. They tell us a little about the scene and why it got cut. The commentary adds useful info.
Finally, a Gag Reel appears. It occupies three minutes, 50 seconds as it shows goofing around on the set. It lacks the usual mistakes that occupy these clips, as it’s more focused on jokes. That makes it different, but still not especially entertaining.
The disc opens with ads for Brothers, The Expendables, Affliction, and Facing Ali. These show up under Also from Lionsgate as well. We get no trailer for Warrior.
A second platter provides both a digital copy of Warrior for use on computers or digital portable gadgets as well as a DVD copy of the film. This delivers a barebones package, so don’t expect any extras on the DVD.
Given its use of the “in your face” world of Mixed Martial Arts, one might expect Warrior to be loud, aggressive and abrasive. However, it’s none of those things, as it simply uses MMA as the backdrop for an emotional, involving character piece. The Blu-ray delivers good visuals and audio along with a strong roster of supplements. It’s a shame that Warrior didn’t find an audience on the big screen, but hopefully it’ll reach people on home video – it’s a high-quality movie.