50/50 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. Though not stellar, the transfer was always good.
Some minor issues with sharpness arose. At times, wide shots looked a bit on the soft side and lacked expected delineation. However, those instances were infrequent, so the majority of the movie appeared accurate and concise. I noticed no signs of jaggies or edge enhancement, and shimmering was absent. The film lacked print flaws and seemed clean.
The film went with a subdued palette that tended toward a somewhat airy, blown-out look. Though it lacked a lot of peppy hues, the presentation seemed fine, as the colors worked well within the flick’s design. Blacks seemed dark and tight, and shadows demonstrated good clarity. Though this wasn’t a great transfer, it was strong enough for a “B”.
The DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio of 50/50 deliver something pretty typical for a character-based comedy. This was a chatty flick that lacked any significant “showy” sequences. Stereo music and general ambience ruled the day. These gave us a decent sense of place but rarely much more; only some club scenes opened up the mix to any notable degree, and those were brief.
Audio quality satisfied. Music was full and rich, while effects showed nice clarity and accuracy. Speech – obviously an important factor here – appeared concise and crisp. Nothing here soared, but it all seemed acceptable.
We get a mix of extras here, and these launch with an audio commentary from actor/producer Seth Rogen, director Jonathan Levine, producers Evan Goldberg and Ben Karlin, and writer Will Reiser. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific look at the flick’s origins and autobiographical elements, cast and performances, editing and music, sets and locations, and a few other elements.
Don’t expect to learn a ton from this commentary, as it provides more of a bull session among the guys than a fact-packed program. We do learn a decent amount about the production, but we just don’t get a ton of material, and that can disappoint; in particular, I’d have liked more info about Reiser’s real-life experiences.
Still, even without a lot of depth and detail, this is an enjoyable piece. The various guys mesh well and make it a fun chat from start to finish. While I’d like more information and less clowning, it remains a good enough combination of those two sides to merit a listen.
Five Deleted Scenes run a total of six minutes, 17 seconds including a quick intro from Levine. These include “Mom Wants a Third Option” (0:59), “Lentil Nut Loaf” (0:54), “Adam Returns to SPR” (1:42), “Alan Gives Adam His Ties” (1:27), and “Adam Collapses on the Street” (1:09). The last one allegedly offers a darker alternate ending, but it’s pretty clear it was actually shot as a joke.
As for the others, they’re reasonably interesting, if not vital. They give us additional glimpses of a few supporting characters and are perfectly solid in their own right. Any of them could’ve made the final cut and been fine in the film.
We can view these with or without commentary from Levine. He delivers some thoughts about the scenes and why he cut them. Levine delivers a nice take on the sequences and covers them well.
A few featurettes ensue. The Story of 50/50 goes for seven minutes, 54 seconds and includes notes from Reiser, Rogen, Goldberg, Levine, director of photography Terry Stacey, still photographer Chris Helcermanas-Benge, camera trainee Michael Sharkey, B camera 2nd AC Adriene Wise, assistant location manager Rico Mielnicki, and actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt. “Story” examines the real-life roots of the project, what Levine brought to the table, the film’s dog, and some of the crew’s experiences with cancer. It’s a broad featurette and not an especially detailed one, but it moves quickly and offers enough meat to merit a look.
Under Life Inspires Art, we get four segments with a total running time of nine minutes, 15 seconds. We get some notes from Reiser, Goldberg, Rogen, and Gordon-Levitt. Each of these take us to various sets and give us more notes about the real-life experiences Reiser and the others went through when he battled cancer. The clips tend to be brief and fluffy, but they throw in interesting notes about Reiser’s life.
Finally, Seek and Destroy lasts two minutes, 21 seconds. It delivers remarks from Rogen and shows the shooting of the scene in which Adam and Kyle ruin a painting. “Destroy” follows the same template as the “Life Inspires Art” snippets, though it’s not as informative. Still, it’s a fun little piece.
The disc opens with ads for Man on a Ledge and The Darkest Hour. No trailer for 50/50 appears here.
With its combination of comedy and drama, 50/50 hits a good balance. It throws in enough humor to counteract the seriousness, and vice versa. Add a good cast and we get a likable, involving tale. The Blu-ray delivers decent to good picture and audio along with a reasonably interesting set of supplements. Chalk up 50/50 as an effective comedy/drama.