The Shack appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. For the most part, the image looked positive.
Sharpness seemed fine. Some wide shots displayed mild softness, but those instances remained minor. The majority of the flick offered pretty good clarity. No issues with jaggies or moiré effects occurred, and I witnessed no edge haloes. Print flaws failed to mar the presentation.
In terms of colors, Shack went with a teal/orange feel. In particular, blues dominated and made this a stylized affair. I think the movie would’ve made more sense with a natural impression, but the hues worked fine within those limitations.
Blacks seemed deep enough, and shadows showed good smoothness. This wasn’t a great image but it merited a “B”.
I didn’t anticipate a slambang DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack from Shack, and the audio followed expectations. For the most part, the soundscape didn’t have much to do, as it tended toward general ambience.
The scenes used the side and back speakers in a mildly engaging manner, and the track provided solid music from all the channels. These components didn’t bring a whole lot to the package, so this remained a laid-back mix.
Audio quality was satisfactory. Music sounded peppy and full, while effects were reasonably accurate and concise. Speech sounded natural and easily intelligible. Though nothing here impressed, the track was appropriate for the material.
When we go to the set’s extras, we launch with an audio commentary from director Stuart Hazeldine. He provides a running, screen-specific look at the source and its adaptation, story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, music, cinematography and production design, editing and related topics.
From start to finish, Hazeldine delivers a top-notch commentary. He covers the material in an insightful manner and does so with charm and enthusiasm. I find a lot to like about this informative chat.
A handful of featurettes follow, and we find Touched By God: A Writer’s Journey. In this 10-minute, five-second show, we hear from Hazeldine, author William Paul Young, producer/collaborator Brad Cummings, collaborator Wayne Jacobsen, Agape International Spiritual Center founder Michael Bernard Beckwith, executive producer Mike Drake, theology professor Gary Black Jr., screenwriter John Fusco, and actors Octavia Spencer, Sam Worthington and Tim McGraw.
We learn why Young wrote Shack as well as other aspects of the novel and its path to the screen. Although we get a handful of insights, much of the program seems superficial.
God’s Heart for Humanity runs eight minutes, 59 seconds and involves Young, Cummings, Hazeldine, Jacobsen, Beckwith, Black, Worthington, and theology professor William A. Dyrness. “Heart” examines theological topics found in the film. Some of this becomes intriguing, but too much of the piece just praises the movie.
Next comes Something Bigger Than Ourselves: The Making of The Shack. A 13-minute, three-second piece, it features Hazeldine, Worthington, Spencer, Young, Cummings, Drake, co-producer Lani Armstrong Netter, production designer Joseph Nemec, VFX supervisors Chris Van Dyke and Raymond McIntyre Jr., and actors Gage Munroe, Megan Charpentier, Radha Mitchell, Avraham Aviv Alush, and Sumire.
“Bigger” looks at story/characters, themes, cast and performances, production design and effects. Once again, we get a handful of details among long stretches of happy talk.
Premiere Night: A Blessed Evening lasts 18 minutes, seven seconds. Hosted by “radio personality” Delilah, we get some notes from Young, Worthington, Spencer, Alush, Mitchell and McGraw. “Blessed” offers basics about the production, and we also get a music video from “Dan + Shay”. In a Blu-ray packed with promotional fluff, “Blessed” is the most promotional and fluffiest.
For the final featurette, we get ”Heaven Knows”: The Power of Song. During its six minutes, nine seconds, we hear the song accompanied by footage of the band in the studio and movie clips. It’s nothing more than a cheap take on a music video.
One Deleted Scene goes for one minute, 18 seconds. The sequence features a little male bonding between Mack and his pal Willie. It lacks much purpose and seems redundant given all the similar content in the final film.
The disc opens with ads for Hacksaw Ridge, La La Land, The Great Gilly Hopkins, Lion and The Choice. No trailer for Shack appears here.
A second disc presents a DVD copy of Shack. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.
In an attempt to entice the Christian audience, The Shack comes heavy on sentiment and light on depth or real meaning. The film touches on spiritual themes without insight, as it turns into a draggy, superficial bore. The Blu-ray offers very good picture as well as acceptable audio and an informative commentary. Shack fails to deliver an engaging character journey.