The Adjustment Bureau appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Expect a pretty mediocre presentation here.
Sharpness was erratic. Close-ups demonstrated fairly good clarity and delineation, but wider shots tended to become soft and blocky. Mild edge haloes didn’t help, as they gave the movie a somewhat mushy look. Shimmering and jaggies were minor, and source flaws were almost non-existent; I saw a couple of small specks but nothing else.
The film’s palette usually opted for a chilly blue orientation; a few scenes went the amber path, but those were rare. Within that design range, the colors seemed fine; they weren’t especially strong, but they seemed acceptable. Blacks tended to be somewhat inky, and shadows could be a bit flat. This wasn’t an ugly image, but it was lackluster.
Don’t expect fireworks from the film’s Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. On the surface, Bureau would seem to be an action flick, but it’s really not; it’s more of a love story with the occasional flourish. This meant a mix heavy on music and general environmental material. When the track used the side or rear speakers, it was usually for score or material like street sounds or rain. Nothing memorable fleshed out the track; it fit the movie reasonably well but didn’t add much.
Audio quality was fine. Speech seemed natural and concise, and the score demonstrated pretty good vivacity. Effects did little to tax my system but they were clear and accurate enough. Overall, this ended up as a decent but unspectacular track.
We get a mix of extras here. These open with an audio commentary from writer/director George Nolfi. He provides a running, screen-specific look at the film’s development, story/adaptation topics, themes and tone, cast and performances, editing and music, effects, and other filmmaking areas.
Nolfi provides an efficient commentary. He gets into a good mix of appropriate topic and does so in an engaging way. He helps make this a strong chat.
Six Deleted and Extended Scenes run a total of seven minutes, one second. These include “Henderson Patronizes Richardson” (0:50), “David and Charlie in the Car” (0:41), “Henderson Offering Help” (0:31), “Additional Thompson Dialogue” (1:30), “Extended Cedar Lake Dancing” (2:27), and “Thompson Tells David to Walk Away” (1:02). “Lake” is easily the most boring of the bunch; it just shows more of Elise’s performance and does nothing to further the film. The two Henderson clips are fun, however, as they show the pressure that barely-seen character places on Richardson. The other two scenes simply add more from Thompson; they seem redundant, though we get some interesting thoughts about the Bureau’s influence from “Additional Dialogue”.
Three featurettes follow. Leaping Through New York lasts seven minutes, 37 seconds and offers remarks from Nolfi, producers Michael Hackett and Chris Moore, production designer Kevin Thompson, visual effects supervisor Mark Russell, and actors Matt Damon and Emily Blunt. As implied by the title, “Leaping” looks at shooting in New York and aspects of scenes set there. “Leaping” provides a quick but satisfying take on some of the challenges faced by the crew.
Destined to Be fills four minutes, 52 seconds with notes from Damon, Blunt, Nolfi, and actor Anthony Mackie. We hear about the lead cast and characters. This is little more than a promo reel that tells us about aspects of the movie.
Finally, Becoming Elise goes for seven minutes, seven seconds and features Blunt, Nolfi, Hackett, Damon, Moore, choreographer Benoit-Swan Pouffer, and producer Bill Carraro. The piece looks at Blunt’s training for the role and her performance. It provides a good take on the work Blunt did for the part.
The disc opens with ads for Paul, Blue Crush 2, Bring It On: The Musical, Universal Studios Hollywood, Jane Eyre, Scarface and The Eagle. Previews delivers promos for Green Zone, The Bourne Identity, The Good Shepherd, Public Enemies, Wanted, Focus Features, The Film Foundation and “Anywhere 4 U”. No trailer for Bureau shows up here.
Despite its action/sci-fi/thriller trappings, The Adjustment Bureau is an old-fashioned love story at heart, and one that works well. It can thank its leads for that, as Matt Damon and Emily Blunt make the outlandish tale succeed. The DVD delivers mediocre picture, decent audio and a reasonably good set of supplements. This isn’t a great release, but the movie entertains.