Fair Game appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The movie boasted a consistently positive presentation.
For the most part, sharpness looked good. Interiors occasionally display light softness, but those instances remained modest. The majority of the movie seemed concise and well-defined. No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects appeared, and edge enhancement didn’t affect the movie. Print flaws also failed to mar the image.
In terms of colors, Game opted for a cool palette. It usually went with an aqua tint at most; its tones stayed fairly chilly and desaturated throughout the film. This meant the hues were subdued but fine given the stylistic choices. Blacks were dark and tight, while low-light shots demonstrated nice clarity. Overall, the film came across well.
If you don’t think you utilize your surround speakers enough, you’ll feel happy with the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, as it made ample use of those channels. Unfortunately, it did so in a poor manner, as it provided the worst-balanced mix I’ve heard in a long time.
This tendency first became painfully apparent during an early scene; the sound of a guy chewing nuts came from the back speakers in a surprisingly loud manner that almost made that effect the focal point of the segment. I hoped that’d be an isolated incident, but it wasn’t, as the movie displayed many more sequences in which incidental information from the rear threatened to overwhelm dialogue and more important material from the front.
I wondered if this was a simple mistake and the track switched channels by accident. That’s happened in the past, as front and back have gotten swapped. That didn’t seem to be the case here, though; dialogue remained front center, and effects came from the correct locations. The information from the rear simply was much louder than it should’ve been.
And that became a fatal flaw, as the mix favored the back speakers to a degree that warped the auditory impression it left. Localization and movement were just fine, and the track provided plenty of information from all five channels; with better balance, this would’ve been a good track. It just couldn’t get the relative volume levels correct.
At least the quality of the audio was fine. Speech seemed natural and distinctive, and music was vivid and full. Effects became tougher to judge due to the weird balance, but they seemed accurate and clear enough. Aspects of the track seemed positive, but its failure to balance out the channels created major distractions and left it as a “D+” mix.
(Another oddity: the Blu-ray provides possibly the loudest menu audio I’ve ever heard. In particular, it cranked up LFE information, so my subwoofer nearly exploded – all while I simply wanted to start the movie! I don’t know what happened here, but the presence of such loud menu audio seems like a strange choice.)
Only one extra shows up here, but it’s an intriguing one. We get an audio commentary from Valerie Plame Wilson and Joe Wilson, the real-life inspirations behind the movie’s characters and story. Both sit together for a running, screen-specific discussion of the film’s events and their real lives.
Expect slow-going during the commentary’s early moments. Dead air dominates, and even when the Wilsons speak, they say little more than how much the like different aspects of the movie. You could skip the commentary’s first 30 minutes or so and miss virtually nothing.
Matters improve as the movie progresses, though the track doesn’t really threaten to become interesting until Valerie gets “outed”; that’s the point at which she and Joe offer the most valuable information, and that trend continues until the film’s conclusion. This is a tremendously spotty commentary, but at least it rebounds after an exceedingly slow start.
The Blu-ray opens with ads for Source Code and The Beaver. No trailer for Fair Game appears here.
With an intriguing real-life political scandal at its heart, Fair Game should’ve been a dynamic tale. Unfortunately, it loses focus of its assets and turns into a bland relationship drama much of the time. The Blu-ray provides very good visuals, but audio suffers from poor balance. It lacks supplements other than an inconsistent audio commentary. Combine the dullness of the movie and the problems with the soundtrack and I find this to be a letdown Blu-ray.