Margin Call appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. This was a consistently good transfer.
For the most part, sharpness looked fine. Mild softness occasionally interfered with the image, especially in wider shots. Still, the majority of the film provided positive delineation, so I didn’t have major complaints. No signs of jaggies or edge haloes occurred, but I noticed minor shimmering in a shot of an escalator. Source flaws were absent, as I noticed no specks, marks or other issues.
The movie went with a somewhat chilly, subdued palette that seemed good. Not a lot of vivid hues appeared, but when they did, they were full, and the other tones looked appropriate within the movie’s design. Blacks appeared dark and dense, while shadows were clear and appropriate. Overall, I liked the image enough for a “B+”.
Expect a thoroughly acceptable DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack. As one might expect for a movie about the financial world, this was a chatty film, so don’t expect a slam-bang mix. The soundscape showed good breadth for music and environmental elements. Exteriors offered the most life, as they captured late-night Manhattan well. An arriving helicopter and some club scenes boasted the most involving audio, but they offered exceptions to the rule; most of the film remained low-key in terms of the soundfield.
Audio quality was fine. Speech always appeared concise and natural, so the lines seemed solid. Although music remained quiet and restrained, the score showed appropriate range and reproduction. Effects also played a small role but came across with reasonable accuracy. Though it lacked the power to earn an above-average grade, the soundtrack seemed fine for a movie of this sort.
When we shift to extras, we check out an audio commentary from writer/director JC Chandor and producer Neal Dodson. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at sets and locations, story/character/script areas, research and attempts at realism, cast and performances, editing, and a few other production areas.
Chandor and Dodson have a lot to say, but not all – or even probably most - of the material digs into aspects of the film. Chandor often tends to narrate the flick, and both guys throw out an awful lot of praise for flick.
Despite those moments, I appreciate their enthusiasm for the movie, and they still manage to give us a reasonable amount of information about Call. The weaker aspects of the track make it inconsistent, but the positives outweigh the negatives.
Two Deleted Scenes appear. We see “Inside Tips” (2:07) and “Strike Quick” (2:24). The first shows an accidental encounter between Sullivan and an ex-girlfriend on the street in which he warns her to “sell”, while the second depicts Fuld’s “pep talk” prior to the climactic sell-off. Both are interesting to see but not consequential.
We can watch the deleted scenes with or without commentary from Chandor and Dodson. They tell us a bit about the sequences and let us know why the pieces got the boot. They give us some decent thoughts about the material.
Two featurettes follow. Revolving Door: Making Margin Call goes for five minutes, 57 seconds and comes with notes from Chandor, his dad – and former Merrill Lynch employee – Jeff Chandor, and actors Zachary Quinto, Jeremy Irons, Simon Baker, Demi Moore, and Stanley Tucci. “Door” looks at story and characters, Chandor’s approach to the material, cast and performances, and a few general notes. A few minor notes pop up here but the program is mostly soft and promotional.
Missed Calls: Moments with Cast and Crew lasts a whopping one minutes, six seconds and provides a few shots from the set. I like this kind of material, but “Calls” is so brief that it’s almost useless.
We also get a Photo Gallery. This shows a running montage of production pictures; they fill a total of three minutes, 41 seconds and mix behind the scenes images with shots from the movie. These seem decent but unmemorable.
The disc opens with ads for Answers to Nothing, Albert Nobbs, The Conspirator, Winter’s Bone, Pulp Fiction and I Love You Phillip Morris. These show up under Also from Lionsgate as well but no trailer for Margin Call appears here.
With a surprisingly human tone, Margin Call delivers a fairly involving take on the recent financial crisis. It lacks immense bite and can seem a little undramatic at times, but I like the manner in which it personalizes the issues. The Blu-ray comes with very good picture and acceptable audio; supplements aren’t exceptional, but the commentary adds value. Margin Call delivers a thoughtful and engaging take on the Wall Street collapse.