The Promotion appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. The film came with a mediocre transfer.
Sharpness was decent but erratic. Some noticeable edge enhancement creates moderate softness at times, as the haloes in wide shots made things a bit murky. Most of the time the movie offered good delineation, but too many edge exceptions occurred. I noticed no jaggies or shimmering, and source flaws remained infrequent. I saw a couple of small specks but nothing more.
Colors tended to look bland. The movie featured a fairly natural palette, but the colors remained somewhat dull at times. Blacks were reasonably dark and tight, while shadows were a little thick. Low-light shots showed acceptable delineation but could seem slightly dense. Overall, this was a drab presentation.
Not much came from the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of The Promotion. Most of the movie focused on general ambience. The front and rears speakers added a decent sense of place, and a few louder elements like jets occasionally added a little zest to the proceedings. Music also boasted nice stereo delineation. However, the film’s cope remained limited, so we didn’t get much to make the mix stand out from the crowd.
Audio quality appeared fine. Speech showed good delineation and clarity, as the lines remained natural. Effects didn’t have much to do, but they offered acceptable accuracy and life. Music worked best, as the score and songs seemed dynamic and full. Nothing here turned this into a great mix, but it deserved a “C+”.
When we move to the extras, we find an audio commentary from writer/director Steven Conrad and producers Jessica Borsiczky Goyer and Steven A. Jones. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific piece. They discuss story and character issues, inspirations and influences, cast and performances, sets and locations, music, costume, prop and production design, and a mix of connected subjects.
Though I didn’t think much of the movie itself, I really enjoyed this commentary. It offers a lot of insight into the film and the choices made, and it throws out a number of entertaining stories along the way. We learn plenty about the flick and enjoy ourselves as well.
Six Deleted Scenes fill a total of seven minutes, 41 seconds. These include “Customer Complaint and Courtesy Patrol” (1:43), “Monster Face” (1:14), “Do Good” (0:45), “Rainbow World” (0:55), “Richard Tells Lori He Got High” (1:02) and “Car Ride” (2:02). A little more character exposition appears in a few of these, and that’s about it. There’s not much to most of them, and one – “High” – would’ve been a bad choice to include; the scene of Lori’s departure works better when we don’t see Richard’s confession.
Making The Promotion goes for 18 minutes, 35 seconds, and provides remarks from Conrad, Goyer, and actors John C. Reilly, Gil Bellows, Seann William Scott, Jenna Fischer, Lili Taylor, Bobby Cannavale, and Fred Armisen. We hear about the story’s origins, the script and characters, Conrad’s work on the set, cast and performances, and some scene specifics.
Don’t expect much from the bland featurette. It throws out some minor notes but usually sticks with fluffy promotional talk. I think you can skip the featurette and miss little, especially since the most interesting notes already appear in the commentary.
Next we find five Promotional Webisodes. In these behind the scenes clips, we locate “The Accent” (3:58), “This Could Be Your Daughter” (0:49), “Chicago Press Day” (1:40), “Seann Gets Lost” (1:05) and “Richard Wehlner Montage” (1:07). Most offer staged moments of wackiness to create interest in the movie, while “Daughter” features outtakes and “Montage” simply collects clips of Reilly. None of these are particularly interesting.
In addition to the movie’s trailer, we come across three minutes, 10 seconds of Outtakes. Unlike most gag reels, this one concentrates on attempts to shoot the hospital scene about cleft palates. I like the fact it focuses on one sequence, but the material remains the usual goofs and giggles.
A few ads open the DVD. We get promos for Hole in the Wall Camps, Superhero Movie, The Ex, Where In the World Is Osama Bin Laden? and The Hammer.
Given my affection for many of its cast members, I expected decent things from The Promotion. Unfortunately, it fails to live up to my hopes, as it creates a bland, forgettable tale that goes nowhere. The DVD presents average picture and audio as well as a collection of extras highlighted by a very good audio commentary. I hoped Promotion would amuse, but instead it left me cold.