Elizabethtown appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though more than decent, this tended to be a less than terrific presentation.
Which I must suspect stemmed from the source. As I’ll discuss, the DVD looked blah, and while an improvement, the Blu-ray didn’t look as appealing as one would expect from a movie shot in 2005, so I can’t help but think this was just how it always looked.
Sharpness was generally positive but not consistently solid. While the majority of the movie seemed fairly well-defined, examples of softness materialized.
No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge haloes remained absent. Grain seemed natural enough, and the image lacked print flaws.
Colors seemed adequate, and they occasionally flared to life in a reasonable manner. However, the hues lacked a lot of vivacity and could appear a bit on the heavy side.
Blacks were acceptably deep, but shadows tended to appear slightly dense. Ultimately, this became a more than watchable image, but as noted earlier, it seemed somewhat blah for a ovie from 2005.
The DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Elizabethtown failed to present many strengths. That’s because it was a decidedly low-key affair, and not much happened to bring the soundfield to life.
Music was omnipresent and offered reasonably good stereo imaging, but effects played a minor role. They added some specifics at times but I’d be hard-pressed to name any scenes that made them stand out in a memorable way. This was a music-centered movie that didn’t do much with its soundscape.
Audio quality was fine. Speech seemed natural and concise, and I noticed no problems with the dialogue. Effects were clear and accurate, even if they did stay in the background.
Music varied dependent on the source but remained consistently good at worst. The songs were clean and distinctive. This was a serviceable soundtrack.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the original DVD? The lossless audio seemed a bit more dynamic, though the subdued nature of the mix limited room for growth.
As mentioned earlier, the Blu-ray offered superior visuals when compared to the blah DVD, but the image didn’t deliver as big an upgrade as I expected. Like I said, I suspect the semi-drab nature of the flick came from the original photography.
In any case, the Blu-ray definitely brought a step up from the DVD. While the Blu-ray felt a bit flat, it still worked better than that mediocre DVD.
The Blu-ray repeats the DVD”s extras and includes some new ones as well. In keeping with the movie, a two-minute, 21-second featurette called Training Wheels presents a musical montage.
We hear a song demo as we see video footage from the shoot and rehearsals. It offers a mildly interesting glimpse behind the scenes and nothing more.
Next comes a two-minute, 35-second piece entitled Meet the Crew. Yet another musical montage, it shows us folks on the set and tells us their first names and jobs. It’s nice to give them this form of credit, but that doesn’t make it very compelling.
Including a one-minute, 54-second intro from writer/director Cameron Crowe, eight Deleted & Extended Scenes fill a total of 23 minutes, 49 seconds. Most seem pretty forgettable, though the “Alternate Ending” gives us a sunnier finale. While interesting, it feels out of place for the story.
Note that only two of these eight scenes appeared on the DVD. The other six appear to be new to the Blu-ray – and the Crowe intro clearly comes from 2020.
On the Road to Elizabethtown spans 13 minutes, 49 seconds and brings notes from Crowe, producer Paula Wagner, executive producer Donald E. Lee Jr., and actors Kirsten Dunst, Orlando Bloom, and Susan Sarandon.
“Road” looks at the movie’s origins and path to the screen, story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations. “Road” never digs especially deeply, but it offers a decent overview of the film.
With The Music of Elizabethtown, we find a five-minute, 32-second reel that features Crowe. Unsurprisingly, the featurette goes over the songs of the film. It’s a disappointment as Crowe doesn’t dig into his choices with much insight.
Note that although “Road” and “Music” were created in 2005, they didn’t appear on the prior DVD. It’s unclear if they showed up anywhere or if the Blu-ray marks their home video debut.
Shot specifically for this Blu-ray, Filmmaker Focus gives us a six-minute, 22-second chat with Crowe as he discusses the project’s origins, casting, story/characters, locations, and the movie’s legacy. Most of the info repeats from other programs, so Crowe adds little new material.
Note that Crowe denies that Claire is a “Manic Pixie Dream Girl”. He’s wrong – Claire defines the MPDG concept.
A Photo Gallery splits into 10 smaller areas. We get some behind the scenes shots as well as collections of publicity photos that focus on the actors. All together, we locate 132 images. A few are good, but most are unmemorable.
In addition to two trailers, we locate one TV spot.
One of the most absurd movies I’ve seen in some time, Elizabethtown comes as a major disappointment. I always root for Cameron Crowe, but this stinker flops in almost every way. It borders on parody much of the time and never remotely embraces any believable emotion. The Blu-ray brings acceptable picture and audio along with a mediocre collection of extras. Skip Elizabethtown and watch Almost Famous again instead.
To rate this film, visit the prior review of ELIZABETHTOWN