Red Riding Hood appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. Though not flawless, the image was usually very good.
Overall clarity looked fine. A few shots displayed a bit of softness, a fact exacerbated by some semi-gauzy photography. Nonetheless, the movie mostly provided solid definition and accuracy. I saw no issues with jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge haloes remained absent. Print flaws were also a non-factor in this clean presentation.
Colors remained stylized and opted for an amber tint. A few other tones emerged – mainly via the titular red cloak – but the golden side of things dominated. I thought the hues looked fine when I considered those choices. Blacks appeared deep and dense, and shadows demonstrated nice clarity and delineation. Only some occasional minor softness made this a “B+”, as the vast majority of the flick looked great.
I felt even more pleased with the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Hood. As befit an action movie, the soundscape offered a lot of vivid material. The wolf-oriented scenes delivered a good punch, as they used the various channels in an engrossing manner. Quieter sequences also satisfied, as they showed a nice sense of place. Music also fared as well, as both score and songs featured positive use of all the speakers.
Audio quality satisfied. Speech was distinctive and concise, without edginess or other concerns. Music boasted nice range and clarity, while effects offered solid accuracy and heft. Bass response was deep and full throughout the movie. All of this combined for an excellent soundtrack.
The Blu-ray comes with a fairly broad set of supplements. We find Both Theatrical and Alternate Cuts of the Film. The former runs 1:39:50, while the latter goes for 1:40:24. I only screened the theatrical edition, but I did watch the last few minutes of the Alternate Cut to see the “provocative alternate ending” it promises. The alternate ending adds a longer sex scene and a twist to the final image. Do these work better? Not really, but they’re not any worse, either.
The disc’s most substantial extra comes via Secrets Behind the Cloak, a picture-in-picture commentary. It includes notes from director Catherine Hardwicke and actors Amanda Seyfried, Max Irons and Shiloh Fernandez. All four sit together for a running, screen-specific look at sets and locations, effects, cast, characters and performances, stunts, music, and a few other areas.
Much of the picture-in-picture side of things focuses on shots of Hardwicke and the three actors. However, other elements appear as well. We see shots from the set, storyboards/art and interview remarks from Hardwicke, Seyfried, Irons, Fernandez, producer Jennifer Davisson Killoran, animal trainer Cherie Smid, costume illustrator Kit Stølen, production designer Tom Sanders, and actors Billy Burke, Virginia Madsen, Gary Oldman, Kacey Rohl, Jennifer Halley, Lukas Haas, Megan Charpentier, Dalila Bela, Cole Heppell, Julie Christie, Christine Willes, Adrian Holmes and Carmen Lavigne. They cover a wide mix of expected production topics like sets, locations, cast, characters and performances, costumes, effects, and the like.
The combination of commentary and PiP pieces makes “Cloak” pretty effective. The commentary parts sputter at times but give us some good data, and I like Irons’ dry wit. That discussion melds well with the PiP components, so we learn a lot about the movie throughout “Cloak”.
Four featurettes follow. The Reinvention of Red Riding Hood goes for five minutes, 25 seconds and includes material from Hardwicke, Seyfried, Irons, Fernandez, Oldman, Madsen, Killoran, Burke, Rohl, Hally, folklorist Catherine Orenstein, executive producer Michael Ireland, and writer David Leslie Johnson. “Reinvention” looks at the source story as well as how the movie updates it. Some of the notes about the original tale are interesting, but most of the show just acts as a promotional piece.
Next comes the three-minute, 18-second Red Riding Hood: Red’s Men. It provides notes from Seyfried, Rohl, Irons, Hardwicke, Halley, Fernandez, and Killoran. We learn about the casting and work of Irons and Fernandez. Essentially the piece tells us how attractive and awesome they are – don’t expect anything more substantial than that.
Red Riding Hood: Making of the Score lasts 10 minutes, 59 seconds and delivers remarks from Hardwicke, composer Alex Heffes and music supervisor/composer Brian Reitzell. They give us some notes about the instrumentation used for the movie’s score. This becomes one of the disc’s better programs, as it offers good details.
Finally, Before the Fur: Making of the CGI Wolf lasts a mere 40 seconds. It provides a narration-free montage that shows some of the elements that went into creating the movie’s beast. Some interesting shots appear, but the lack of commentary – and the extreme brevity – make it less useful.
After this we get a collection of Casting Tapes. With a total running time of seven minutes, 24 seconds, we find “Casting Shiloh Fernandez” (5:30), “Casting Max Irons” (1:22) and “Shiloh Fernandez and Max Irons” (0:31). None become fascinating, but they do offer a fun glimpse at the casting process.
For more behind the scenes footage, we head to Rehearsals. These fill a total of five minutes, 52 seconds and show “The Dance” (1:46), “The Festival” (0:55), and “Wolf Attack” (3:11). Despite the split into three areas, all come from the same part of the film. They’re a decent way to see some practice material.
For something quirky, we get Red Riding Hood In 73 Seconds. Actually, it goes for 78 seconds as it shows fast montages and a few isolated short scenes. This might be the best way to watch Hood; it’s not more entertaining, but at least it’s over more quickly.
Four Deleted Scenes run a total of four minutes, 18 seconds. We get “Claude Finds Lucie” (1:24), “Valerie Remembers Lucie” (0:41), “Valerie and Grandmother” (1:42), and “Cesaire Imagines the Luxe Life” (0:31). Nothing vaguely interesting happens in these short, forgettable clips.
A Gag Reel goes for two minutes, 37 seconds. It provides the standard collection of mistakes and chuckles. No thanks!
Two music videos also appear. We find “The Wolf” from Fever Ray and “Just a Fragment of You” by Anthony Gonzalez and Brian Reitzell. The former shows up in the movie’s dance festival scene, and we see some of that in the video; it spreads to a broader film montage, though, and doesn’t include anything other than snippets from the movie. The song has some interesting sonic textures but the video’s a snoozer.
As for “Fragment”, it’s not as compelling a song. It’s light borderline New Age music, and the video is another dull one, as it just shows more bits from the movie.
At least one Easter Egg shows up on the disc. If you click to the right of “Music Videos” and hit enter, you can watch an “audition” from the wolf. It’s cute but not especially funnt.
The disc opens with an ad for Something Borrowed. No trailer for Hood appears here.
A second platter provides both a digital copy of Hood for use on computers or digital portable gadgets as well as a DVD copy of the film. This delivers a barebones package, so don’t expect any extras.
Red Riding Hood delivers a Twilight-style take on its fairy tale roots, though not in a satisfying way. Instead, the movie seems silly and without much drama or fun to be found. The Blu-ray gives us very good picture and audio along with a useful roster of supplements. Maybe someone else can find something satisfying in this misbegotten fantasy, but I can’t.