The Big Year appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The movie came with the fine transfer I expected.
Virtually no softness ever interfered with the presentation. Even wide shots remained tight, as the movie displayed solid clarity and delineation. Jagged edges and moiré effects failed to appear, and edge haloes remained absent. Print flaws also stayed away from this clean image.
In terms of palette, Year went with natural tones affected by a bit of a teal impression. That’s typical for many modern Hollywood flicks, but the bluish tinge didn’t distract or become overwhelming. Overall, the hues were fine and full. Blacks showed good depth, while low-light shots boasted nice clarity. This was a consistently appealing presentation.
Don’t expect a lot more than a standard comedy mix from the disc’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, though the mix of settings allowed for some variety. Storms and different environmental bits demonstrated nice breadth, and a few minor action bits added pizzazz. Otherwise, the audio tended to be restrained, so we didn’t get a lot of involvement and activity. This was fine for a movie of this sort, however, so the often low-key soundfield wasn’t a detriment.
Audio quality was perfectly acceptable. Speech showed nice clarity and naturalism, and music was reasonably distinctive and dynamic. Effects appeared accurate, and they showed good punch when necessary. All of this seemed solid enough for a “B“.
Not a lot of extras pop up here. We do get both the film’s theatrical version (1:40:02) and an Extended Cut (1:43:09). What do we get in those additional three minutes? I have no idea. I only watched the extended edition and never saw the shorter cut, so I couldn’t indicate what differences arose. Nonetheless, I wanted to mention that the two versions appear here.
12 Deleted Scenes fill a total of 17 minutes, 31 seconds. The majority of these extend existing scenes. That means a whole lot more of the characters as they get to know each other on a boat, and a mix of other longer sequences. A few unique tidbits pop up, but they’re pretty minor – and the extended components don’t have a lot going for them. These scenes are just as monotonous as the ones that made the final cut. We do get a more hopeful finale for one of the characters, though.
Next comes a Gag Reel. It goes for five minutes, 58 seconds and shows silliness and goofs. These also throw in some alternate lines, so it’s more interesting than most blooper compilations.
Finally, a featurette called The Big Migration runs 18 minutes, 28 seconds and offers notes from director David Frankel, production designer Brent Thomas, assistant location manager Dan Kuzmenko, costume designer Monique Prudhomme, DP Lawrence Sher, gaffer John Dekker, 2nd AD Mark Bunting, Yukon unit production manager Warren Carr, special effects coordinator Alex Burdett, sound mixer David Husby, 2nd assistant camera Carrie Wilson, transportation captain Cliff Brown, Yukon resident/security Michael Mason, Yukon resident/driver Sandra Hull, generator operator Ken Decker, Yukon production coordinator Shalia Edl, unit publicist Lorraine Jamison, caterer Barb Foster, and actors Steve Martin, Jack Black, Owen Wilson, Rashida Jones, Joel McHale, Kevin Pollak, Jim Parsons, and Steven R. Weber.
“Migration” looks at the movie’s many locations and aspects of the production that took place at these spots. Despite some fluff – most of which emphasizes the big aspect of the film’s scope – we do learn a reasonable amount here, as a variety of good notes arrive along the way.
The disc opens with ads for In Time and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. These also show up under Sneak Peeks, and we get the trailer for Best Year as well.
A second disc adds some value to the set. It delivers a DVD copy of the film as well as a digital copy of Big Year.
With a stellar cast and a fun concept, The Big Year looked like a winner. Unfortunately, it fumbled the ball and provided a slow, lackluster attempt at comedy. The Blu-ray offers excellent visuals and good audio but comes with mediocre supplements. Even fans of the movie’s stars probably won’t get much from this forgettable flick.