First Reformed appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.33:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Unusual (for 2018) aspect ratio aside, this turned into a strong presentation.
Overall sharpness appeared good. A little softness crept into some interiors, but the majority of the flick boasted solid definition and accuracy.
The image lacked any signs of jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge haloes remained absent. No print flaws marred the presentation.
In terms of palette, Reformed heavily emphasized teal. This seemed like a predictable choice but it suited the movie’s downbeat tone/setting, and the Blu-ray reproduced the hues appropriately.
Blacks appeared deep and dense, while shadows offered reasonable clarity and smoothness. All in all, the image worked nicely.
Expect a tremendously subdued DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack from Reformed, one that often bordered on monaural. Little other than general environmental material came from the side/rear channels, and even those elements failed to deliver much involvement.
A movie with little score, Reformed concentrated on dialogue, a factor that led to its nearly monaural experience. While the mix opened up on occasion, it stayed highly restricted most of the time.
Audio quality seemed positive. As noted, effects and score didn’t have a lot to do, but they showed good range and accuracy.
Dialogue acted as the most important element, and speech seemed natural and concise, without edginess or other issues. Though I can’t find much to praise here, I also think the soundtrack fit the story.
In terms of extras, the main attraction comes from an audio commentary with writer/director Paul Schrader. He delivers a running, screen-specific look at the project's origins and development, story and characters, cast and performances, influences, editing, cinematography, music, and related domains.
Schrader provides a consistently strong look at his film. He appears frank and forthright as he discusses various choices and goals. All this adds to a very informative chat.
Discernment: Contemplating First Reformed runs 15 minutes, 43 seconds and provides notes from Schrader, and actors Ethan Hawke, Cedric the Entertainer, and Amanda Seyfried.
The show looks at the project’s roots and development, story/characters, cast and performances, cinematography, and Schrader’s impact on the production. “Discernment” brings a fairly tight overview of the film.
The disc opens with ads for Hereditary, Under the Silver Lake, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Backstabbing for Beginners and Good Time. No trailer for Reformed appears here.
An unusual look at a spiritual journey, First Reformed can be a bit hit or miss in the way it explores its themes. A strong lead performance from Ethan Hawke helps keep it together, though. The Blu-ray boasts very good picture along with low-key audio and supplements highlighted by a solid commentary. Reformed winds up as an intriguing drama.