Animal Factory appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This seemed like a surprisingly bland image for a movie from 2000.
Sharpness appeared good for the most part. I didn’t think the movie offered great delineation, but it provided adequate clarity and definition.
No signs of shimmering or jaggies popped up, and the image also lacked edge haloes. Occasional specks and spots appeared – nothing heavy, but these were a nuisance at times.
Colors tended to be flat, though probably by design. Still, even with the gritty nature of the project, the hues seemed somewhat dull.
Blacks were acceptably dark, while shadows presented decent smoothness. Though this always remained a watchable image, it never became much better than that.
I also found little to impress with the movie’s DTS-HD MA 2.0 soundtrack. The soundscape seemed awfully restricted for a movie from 2000, as it failed to use the various speakers in a lively manner.
This meant we got modest stereo separation for the music and not much more. Effects occasionally broadened to the side speakers in a gentle manner, but the majority of the track felt monaural in nature.
Audio quality appeared acceptable. Music showed reasonable vivacity, while dialogue was natural and concise.
Effects lacked much heft, but they also came across with decent clarity and accuracy. I expect more from a circa 2000 movie than this mediocre mix.
A few extras pop up here, and we find an audio commentary from novelist/co-writer/actor Eddie Bunker and actor/co-producer Danny Trejo. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at the film’s roots and development, story and characters, cast and performances, locations and real elements behind the movie’s fiction.
Recorded for a 2001 DVD, this proves to be a fairly dull commentary. Trejo heavily dominates and he occasionally interjects some interesting notes about life in prison, but those moments remain rare.
Instead, we tend to get lots of dead air along with the occasional banal comment about the quality of the production. Though not without worth, the track lacks much value.
In addition to the film’s trailer, we get a featurette called Eddie Bunker: Life of Crime. It runs 20 minutes, 50 seconds and presents an interview with critic Barry Forshaw.
“Crime” looks at Bunker’s life and career. Forshaw manages a good overview of the subject matter.
The package concludes with a booklet. It includes photos and an essay from critic Glenn Kenny. It’s a good complement – though I’m not sure how the credit for “RobertEbert.com” got past quality control.
A lackluster stab at the prison genre, Animal Factory fails to deliver much juice. The movie comes across as flat and banal too much of the time, without meaningful characters or situations to impact the viewer. The Blu-ray offers mediocre picture and audio along with minor supplements. Despite good talent attached, Factory disappoints.