Dirty Pretty Things appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. The flick mostly looked good, but it lost a few points due to some minor concerns.
For the most part, sharpness seemed satisfying. Some wider shots appeared slightly soft and ill-defined, but those didnít occur with much frequency. Instead, the majority of the flick came across as reasonably concise. I noticed no issues with jaggies or shimmering, but some moderate edge enhancement caused occasional distractions. Print flaws also popped up at times. I noticed a few bits of grit, though not to a terrible degree.
Things presented a very stylized palette. It favored fairly garish hues at times, apparently in an attempt to set us on edge and understand the charactersí situations; for example, weíd see sickly greens many times. The DVD replicated the colors appropriately; they mostly seemed unappealing, but that came from the visual design. Black levels were nicely firm and distinctive, and low-light shots looked clear and easily visible. The image of Things wasnít great, but it mainly seemed solid.
As one might expect from this sort of character drama, Dirty Pretty Things featured a pretty subdued Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. The mix heavily focused on the forward channels. The surrounds offered some minor ambience and reinforcement but very little else. In the front, I heard good stereo imaging for music and a decent sense of atmosphere, but that was about it. The track didnít try to do to much.
Audio quality seemed positive. Speech consistently came across as clear and crisp, and I heard no problems with intelligibility or edginess. Music was smooth and dynamic, though it matched the subdued nature of the track as a whole; the score was well reproduced but because it didnít usually play an active role, it didnít tax the mix. Effects also were minor but accurate, as those elements seemed clean and concise. Low-end was solid, without exceptional presence but also without boominess or other concerns. The audio of Things didnít stand out, but it seemed fine for this sort of flick.
Dirty Pretty Things presents a few extras. We open with an audio commentary from director Stephen Frears, who offers a running, screen-specific chat. Unfortunately, this piece seems consistently dull. Frears tells us how he came onto the film and also discusses the cast and locations. And thatís about it! Frears speaks infrequently and says very little when he does talk. Frankly, I learned almost nothing about the movie, and the many dead spots made this a frustrating and dull commentary. Skip it.
We also get a short Behind the Scenes featurette. This lasts a mere six minutes and 14 seconds as it offers a quick look at the production. We see clips from the flick, shots from the set, and soundbites from participants. We hear from Frears, writer Steve Knight, actors Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sophie Okonedo, and Audrey Tautou, and executive producer Paul Smith. They give us brief notes about the filmís point of view, the casting of Ejiofor, Tautou, and Sergi Lopez, and a few general notes about the tale. The program is too basic to offer much of use, but itís a decent piece for what it is.
Inside the Sneak Peeks area we find a few ads. We get trailers for Amelie, American Gun, The Magdalene Sisters, and Veronica Guerin as well as a general clip to tour Miramax Home Entertainment.
Amelie fans wonít find any of that flickís light, flighty charm in Dirty Pretty Things, another effort from actor Audrey Tautou. Instead, the movie presents a dark look at the desperate measures taken by those in need, and it does so in a revealing and generally engrossing manner. The DVD presents fairly good picture and audio, but it offers weak extras. The filmís interesting enough for me to recommend a rental, though.