Christine appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though a little dated, the image largely held up well.
A few concerns with sharpness arose. Though most of the flick appeared acceptably concise and well-defined, wide shots could come across as a bit soft. Those remained infrequent, though, and the film usually looked good.
I noticed no issues with jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge haloes failed to appear. Print defects also never occurred in this clean presentation.
Christine went with a fairly natural palette, and it boasted good reproduction of the hues. They felt full and rich throughout the film.
Blacks showed good depth and darkness, while shadows offered nice clarity and delineation. Outside of the softness, this felt like a solid image.
In addition, the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack also provided a positive affair. This meant a pretty impressive soundscape for a movie from 1983.
Music boasted nice stereo engagement, while effects manifested around the spectrum in a satisfying manner. The horror/action beats became the most impressive, but the soundfield also provided a nice sense of atmosphere as well.
Audio quality worked well, with speech that came across as largely natural. Some of the lines felt a bit hollow, but no issues with edginess or intelligibility occurred.
Music was largely full and rich, while effects seemed accurate and dynamic, without much distortion. All of this added up to a more than satisfactory mix for a 1980s flick.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the 2004 DVD? Audio seemed more accurate and immersive, while visuals were tighter, cleaner and more film-like. The Blu-ray brought us a solid upgrade over the mediocre DVD.
Most of the DVD’s extras repeat, and we start with an audio commentary from director John Carpenter and actor Keith Gordon. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific piece. They discuss locations and sets, the adaptation of the novel, effects and stunts, cars, cast and characters, performances and relationships on the set, and stories from the shoot.
Carpenter and Gordon fit together well during this consistently enjoyable commentary. Not only do they provide a good look at the flick’s creation, but also they offer interesting tidbits such as filmmaking superstitions.
Gordon’s subsequent work as a director allows him to give us a good dual perspective, and both men are frank and funny. I really like this track.
20 Deleted Scenes fill a total of 25 minutes, 20. With so many sequences on display, you’d expect at least a few of them to be interesting, right? Nope – overall, they’re pretty dull.
Many offer simple extensions of existing scenes, and we also get tedious material like additional takes of the bullies as they attack Christine. The most useful show the growth of the relationship between Leigh and Dennis.
I think these are unnecessary, but at least they’re mildly worthwhile. Most of the segments don’t contribute anything.
Three featurettes follow. Fast and Furious goes for 28 minutes, 55 seconds and brings comments from Carpenter, Gordon, screenwriter Bill Phillips, producer Richard Kobritz, stunt coordinator Terry Leonard, and actors John Stockwell and Alexandra Paul.
“Fast” covers actors, characters and performances, locations and the cars, effects, changes from the novel, the film’s depiction of violence, stunts, and some shoot specifics. Since the commentary covered so much, repetition becomes inevitable, but repeated elements remain minimal.
Most of the material is fresh, and the added perspectives help. I think the featurette doesn’t flow terribly well – it jumps from one subject to another without much logic – but it informs and remains enjoyable.
Finish Line lasts seven minutes, 17 seconds and features Phillips, Carpenter, Kobritz, Paul, Stockwell, and Gordon. “Line” looks at the movie’s music as well as the film’s reception and how it’s held up over the years.
I like the notes about the score and source music, but the other parts tend to be a bit dull. A few good tales emerge, such as when Carpenter describes his dismay when he realized how egotistical posters plastered with his name looked, but the featurette doesn’t include a ton of solid information.
Finally, Ignition goes for 11 minutes, 52 seconds and includes notes from Kobritz, Carpenter, Phillips, Gordon, Stockwell, and Paul. We learn about the novel’s path to the screen, how Carpenter came onto the project, the book’s adaptation and changes, finding and renovating the cars used in the flick, casting and performances.
“Ignition” gives us a lot of good info and proves satisfying, but I can’t figure out why the disc presents it last. It really should’ve been the first featurette in the sequence, not the final one, since it deals with pre-production elements.
Well, if you read this before you watch the disc, just view this one and then “Fast” and “Finish”. Despite its odd placement, “Ignition” offers many interesting notes.
Christine features a good premise and a few effective sequences, but it sags too much of the time to succeed. From awkward storytelling to an over the top lead performance to weird suspensions of disbelief, the movie never really gets out of first gear. The Blu-ray presents pretty good picture and audio as well as a nice roster of supplements. I’m not wild about the movie, but fans should be happy with this release.
To rate this film, visit the DVD review of CHRISTINE