The Darkest Minds appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie offered a strong presentation.
Sharpness worked fine, as the film seemed accurate and well-defined. Only a sliver of softness impacted some wider shots. I saw no signs of jaggies or moiré effects, and the film lacked edge haloes or print flaws.
If you suspected Minds would come with the modern standard teal and orange palette, you’ll get what you expected, though the blue side of things dominated more than the orange. Within stylistic constraints, the hues seemed well-developed.
Blacks came across nicely. Dark tones were deep and rich, without any muddiness or problems. In addition, low-light shots gave us smooth, clear visuals. All in all, this became a pleasing image.
I also felt happy with the solid DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack of Minds, as the mix offered plenty of opportunities for lively auditory information, and it took good advantage of these. The track placed information in logical spots and blended all the channels in a smooth, compelling manner.
Audio quality was also positive. Music sounded lively and full, while effects delivered accurate material. Those elements showed nice clarity and kick, with tight low-end.
Speech was always distinctive and concise, too. This mix worked well for the film.
The disc includes a mix of extras, and these start with an audio commentary from director Jennifer Yuh Nelson, producer Dan Levine and executive producer Dan Cohen. All three sit together for a running, screen-specific look at the source and its adaptation, story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, effects, editing, music, photography and related domains.
Despite the usual tendency toward happy talk, this commentary generally works well. It never gets too bogged down in praise, and the participants maintain a light, fun tone that turns this into a largely positive track.
A Gag Reel fills three minutes, 44 seconds. It offers a perfunctory collection of goofs and giggles.
With A Look Beyond Ruby and Liam’s Last Kiss, we find a three-minute, 56-second animatic done by Nelson. She comes from an animation background and she used this work to help sell the movie; she adds a teaser to show what may have happened after the film’s end, too. It’s an interesting curiosity.
We can watch “Look” with or without commentary from Nelson, Cohen and Levine. They give us some basics, but not a lot of substance emerges.
One Deleted Scene fills one minute, 28 seconds. Called “Chubs Confronts Ruby”, it shows an argument between those characters. It delivers some minor character exposition but nothing special.
The scene also comes with optional commentary from Nelson, Cohen and Levine. They provide specifics about the sequence and why it got they boot. They add some decent notes.
A series of featurettes follow, and we open with Heroine At the Helm. It spans 17 minutes, 24 seconds and includes Nelson, Levine, producer Shawn Levy, executive producer John H. Starke, 2nd unit director/stunt coordinator Jack Gill, director of photography Kramer Morgenthau, author Alexandra Bracken, special effects supervisor Michael Lantieri, and actors Miya Cech, Skylan Brooks, Gwendoline Christie, Amandla Stenberg, Harris Dickinson, and Patrick Gibson.
“Helm” looks at how Nelson got the job for Minds as well as her work on the film. Given that its title refers to Nelson as a “heroine”, a lot of praise becomes inevitable. Still, it gives us enough insights to merit a look.
With Harboring Hope, we get a four-minute, 54-second piece with Stenberg, Nelson, Gibson, Levy, Levine, Bracken, and actor Mandy Moore. “Hope” discusses the Ruby character and Stenberg’s performance. It becomes a passable overview, though it lacks much depth.
Next comes A Complicated Relationship, a five-minute, seven-second program with Dickinson, Nelson, Levy, Levine, Bracken, Stenberg, Gibson, and screenwriter Chad Hodge. “Complicated” follows the same model as “Hope”, so it looks at the Liam and Clancy characters and their performances. It comes with the same strengths and weaknesses as “Hope”.
Another character comes to the fore with the four-minute, 13-second Found Family. It includes Brooks, Levy, Bracken, Stenberg, Cech, and Hodge. Here we get notes about Chubs and Brooks’ work. It’s another mediocre reel.
Continuing the trend, we go to Awakened Abilities, a five-minute, 54-second clip with Cech, Nelson, Levy, Levine, Stenberg, Christie, Bracken, Lantieri, Hodge, and visual effects supervisor Bjorn Mayer. This one covers Zu and Cech’s acting, factors that make it very similar to the last few featurettes, though a few notes about visual effects add merit.
More of the same arrives with Crafting a Possible Future. It lasts five minutes, 59 seconds and involves Gibson, Nelson, Bracken, Levy, Levine, Christie, Stenberg, production designer Russell Barnes.
The Clancy character and Gibson’s performance come to the fore here, and it’s another passable piece. A glimpse of production design brings some useful material, though.
A Storyboard to Screen Comparison fills 59 seconds. We see the art on the top half of the screen and the finished movie on the bottom half. It’s awfully short but it’s still a fun comparison.
The “Comparison” comes with optional commentary from Nelson, Levine and Cohen. They offer some basics, but since the segment lasts less than a minute, there’s not much they can say.
Two promotional reels follow: The Power of Georgia (5:00) and Behind the Scenes in Georgia (2:06). In these, we hear from Moore, Morgenthau, Starke, Cohen, Barnes, Stenberg, Gill, Nelson, and Levy.
Both clips do little more than tell us how awesome it is to shoot in Georgia. Yawn.
Next comes a Gallery that packs 25 images. It mixes shots from the set and promotional elements to become a forgettable compilation.
The disc opens with ads for The Hate U Give, Maze Runner: the Death Cure, and Love, Simon. We also get the trailer for Minds.
A second disc presents a DVD copy of Minds. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.
As the dying ember of the “Young Adult” genre, The Darkest Minds shows why no one should miss it. The film boasts all the YA clichés with little real inventiveness or excitement. The Blu-ray boasts very good picture and audio along with a reasonably good set of supplements. This is a solid Blu-ray but the movie itself seems forgettable.