Black or White appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. No real concerns cropped up here.
Sharpness was usually strong. A little softness affected some wide shots, but those examples occurred too infrequently to cause problems. Instead, the film usually looked concise and well-defined. No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects occurred, and edge enhancement was absent. I also failed to detect any source flaws.
In terms of colors, the movie featured a palette that favored a golden tone or some teal. Across the board, the hues looked positive. They showed nice clarity and breadth and came out well. Blacks were dark and deep, while shadows appeared clear and smooth. I thought the movie consistently looked fine.
I thought that the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of White seemed positive but it didn’t excel because of a lack of ambition. Like most character films, the movie featured a limited soundfield that strongly favored the forward channels. It showed nice stereo spread to the music as well as some general ambience from the sides.
Panning was decent, and the surrounds usually kicked in basic reinforcement. A few scenes opened up better, but most of the movie stayed with limited imaging.
Audio quality appeared good. Speech was natural and distinct, with no issues related to edginess or intelligibility. Effects sounded clean and accurate, with nice fidelity and no signs of distortion. Music was perfectly fine, as the score and songs showed positive dimensionality. This track was solid enough for a “B-“ but it didn’t particularly impress.
Some minor extras fill out the set. Shades of Gray: The Making of Black or White lasts 23 minutes, 54 seconds and includes comments from writer/director Mike Binder, producer Todd Lewis,
and actors Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer, Mpho Koaho, Gillian Jacobs, Bill Burr, Anthony Mackie, and Jillian Estell. We learn about the project’s roots and development, story/character areas, cast and performances, shooting in Louisiana for California, and Binder’s impact on the production.
“Gray” offers a handful of decent details but mostly just praises the movie and all involved. It’s a fluff piece.
Footnote: both Spencer and Costner refer to the film as Black and White. Did they slip up or was the movie originally titled Black and White instead of Black or White? I’m guessing it’s the latter.
Two promotional featurettes ensue: “Kevin Costner” (2:02) and “Family First” (2:12). Across these, we hear from Costner, Spencer, and Mackie. These offer simple advertisements and nothing more.
Footnote to my footnote: Spencer and Costner call the movie Black or White here, but oddly, those comments are off-camera. Did they re-record their statements to correct to Black or White instead of Black and White after the fact? Is it sad I’m so fascinated by this subject?
The disc opens with ads for Far From the Madding Crowd, Beyond the Lights and Cake. Sneak Peek adds promos for Belle, 3 Days to Kill and Relativity Explosion. We find the trailer for White as well.
Despite a mostly talented cast, Black or White comes with too many flaws to succeed. It squanders good performances on tacky comedy, cheap melodrama and ham-fisted social commentary. The Blu-ray provides solid picture, acceptable audio and some minor bonus materials. White lacks the self-confidence to turn into a satisfying movie.