The Shape of Water appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a strong presentation.
Overall, sharpness seemed very good. Some interiors came across as slightly soft, but the vast majority of the film appeared accurate and concise.
Jagged edges and moiré effects didn’t mar the presentation, and I saw no edge haloes. Print flaws also failed to appear.
In terms of palette, Shape went with a heavily teal orientation. A lot of orange appeared as well, and we found splashes of other hues on occasion, but they remained in a distinct minority in this strong blue/green affair.
Within stylistic choices, the hues seemed well-depicted. Blacks were dark and dense, and low-light shots gave us good clarity. I felt pleased with this solid transfer.
Similar thoughts greeted the fairly good DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Shape, as the soundfield mostly delivered a mix heavy on atmosphere. Environmental noises cropped up in the side and rear speakers, and action moments added to the track. Those elements created a nice sense of place and added impact to the material.
Audio quality satisfied. Speech sounded crisp and distinctive, and music appeared robust and full.
Effects were accurate and dynamic, while low-end response showed good warmth and richness. Nothing here dazzled, but the audio merited a “B”.
Though prior Guillermo del Toro movies came with extensive extras, Shape just provides a handful of featurettes. The five-part A Fairy Tale for Troubled Times runs 28 minutes, 55 seconds and includes notes from writer/director del Toro, producer J. Miles Dale, creature designer Mike Hill, effects supervisor/co-creature designer Shane Mahan, visual effects supervisor Dennis Berardi, production designer Paul Austerberry, costume designer Luis Sequiera, director of photography Dan Laustsen, composer Alexandre Desplat, and actors Doug Jones, Michael Shannon, Michael Stuhlbarg, Octavia Spencer, Sally Hawkins, David Hewlett and Richard Jenkins.
“Tale” looks at story/characters, the design and execution of “Amphibian Man”, cast and performances, production design, costumes and period details, photography and colors, and music. The first couple of chapters seem superficial, but once “Tale” digs into filmmaking specifics, it becomes pretty informative.
Under Anatomy of a Scene, we find two clips: “Prologue” (3:14) and “The Dance” (4:50). In these, we hear from del Toro, as he discusses details of the two segments in question. Always insightful, del Toro digs into the sequences well.
Shaping the Waves offers an interview with artist James Jean. It goes for five minutes, five seconds and features Jean’s comments about his work for one of the movie’s posters. He delivers useful thoughts about his creation.
Finally, Guillermo del Toro’s Master Class fills 13 minutes, 27 seconds with a panel that includes del Toro, Mahan, Laustsen, Berardi, Sequiera, and Austerberry. They offer a mix of details about the production in this informative little overview, though some of the material repeats from “Fairy Tale”.
The disc opens with ads for Red Sparrow, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Murder on the Orient Express. Sneak Peeks adds promos for Goodbye Christopher Robin, The Mountain Between Us and The Post. We also find three trailers for Shape.
A second disc provides a DVD copy of Shape. It includes “Fairy Tale” and the trailers but lacks the other extras.
Well-crafted and generally compelling, The Shape of Water offers a mostly involving drama but not a great one. It simply lacks the originality and real spark to make it better than “pretty good”. The Blu-ray offers very good picture with satisfactory audio and a small set of supplements. Shape turns into an enjoyable film but not one that stands out as great.