The Circle appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie delivered a good but not great presentation.
Sharpness became a minor weak link, as wide shots lacked terrific delineation. Most of the film offered appropriate definition, though, so those instances of softness remained rare. I saw no signs of moiré effects or jagged edges, and the image suffered from no edge haloes or source defects.
In an unsurprising move, the palette opted for a heavy teal and orange orientation. These hues worked fine within their design parameters. Blacks seemed dark and tight, while shadows appeared smooth and clear other than a few mildly thick nighttime shots. Only the occasional instances of mild softness impacted the presentation.
As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it suited the story’s scope. This meant a mix heavy on environmental information and music, with only a few scenes that used the side/surrounds in a more dynamic way. Given the narrative’s ambitions, though, I thought the soundfield made sense.
No issues with audio quality emerged. Music showed nice range and heft, and speech appeared natural and distinctive. Effects came across as accurate and clean. This felt like an appropriate soundtrack.
Three featurettes appear here, and these start with the four-part No More Secrets: Completing The Circle. It lasts 30 minutes, 56 seconds and offers info from writer/director James Ponsoldt, producers Anthony Bregman and Gary Goetzman, production designer Gerald Sullivan and actors Tom Hanks, Emma Watson, Patton Oswalt, John Boyega and Karen Gillan.
“Secrets” looks at the source and its adaptation, story/characters, cast and performances, and sets and locations. The segments offer decent insights into the movie, though they don’t give us a ton of depth given the amount of time availability.
The Future Won’t Wait: Design & Technology runs 10 minutes, 55 seconds and features Ponsoldt, Filmograph executive producer Seth Kleinberg and Filmograph designer Aaron Becker. “Wait” focuses on the movie’s graphics displays as well as credits and offers a decent overview of this subject.
Finally, we get A True Original: Remembering Bill Paxton. This 13-minute, 53-second program brings us comments from Ponsoldt and Hanks. Paxton died a couple of months before the movie’s release, and this becomes a tribute to him.
In particular, Hanks’ anecdotes of his collaboration on Apollo 13 and elsewhere help make this a memorable – and much less sappy than usual – piece. Hanks’ charm allows this show to say goodbye to Paxton in winning manner.
By the way, in a creepy coincidence, Glenne Headley – who plays Paxton’s wife in Circle - passed only a few months after the film hit screens. I guess the Blu-ray went into production too late for mention of Headley’s death to appear.
The disc opens with ads for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets and Nerve. No trailer for Circle appears here.
A second disc provides a DVD copy of The Circle. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.
With a provocative premise, The Circle shows the potential to become a winning drama. However, it sputters due to superficial investment in its themes and a weak performance from its lead actress. The Blu-ray offers generally positive picture and audio along with decent supplements. The Circle lacks depth and meaning despite its intriguing concepts.