A Single Shot appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Nothing here excelled, but the transfer worked fine.
Sharpness was almost always strong, though interiors could be a little soft. These elements didn’t look significantly ill-defined, but they lacked great clarity. Still, most of the movie showed appropriate delineation. I noticed no jaggies or moiré effects, and edge enhancement never manifested itself. In addition, the film failed to display any print defects.
To match its tone and setting, Shot opted for desaturated hues, so flat blues dominated. Within those constraints, the colors seemed fine, as they showed appropriate range. Blacks were dark and full, but shadows were occasionally a bit heavy; they weren’t terribly opaque, but they could’ve been clearer. All this added up to a good but not great image.
The DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Single Shot worked acceptably well. Various gunfire elements offered the most active use of the spectrum. These scenes didn’t emerge on a frequent basis, but when they appeared, they utilized the soundscape in a worthwhile manner, and music made active use of the different channels.
Audio quality pleased. Speech was concise and natural, without edginess or other issues. Music showed good range and vivacity, while effects worked nicely. Those elements came across as accurate and full, with solid low-end response and positive definition. This felt like a “B” soundtrack.
A handful of extras finish the set. A Making of featurette runs 26 minutes, 19 seconds and includes comments from writer Matthew F. Jones, producers Keith Kjarval, Aaron L. Gilbert and Chris Coen, director David M. Rosenthal, cinematographer Eduard Grau, and actors William H. Macy, Jeffrey Wright, Sam Rockwell, Joe Anderson, Kelly Reilly, Jason Isaacs and Ophelia Lovibond. We learn about story/character areas, the novel’s path to the screen, cast and performances, cinematography and the choice to shoot on film instead of digital, and Rosenthal’s impact on the production.
“Making of” delivers a pretty good overview of the film. It delves into a nice mix of subjects and does so with a minimum of the usual happy talk. While it doesn’t substitute for an audio commentary, the featurette covers the circumstances in a satisfying manner.
Under Interviews, we locate two clips: “Sam Rockwell” (23:25) and “William H. Macy” (6:41). Rockwell discusses what brought him to the film, his character and performance, working with Rosenthal and the other actors, themes, working on indie productions, and various challenges he encountered during the shoot. As for Macy, he covers similar topics for the most part.
With so much more time at his disposal, it comes as no surprise that Rockwell offers the more content of the two actors. Despite suffering from a cold, he proves to be chatty and engaging. Macy also keeps us interested as he discusses his side of the project.
Question of the day: does Melissa Leo appear in this film? Rockwell discusses working with her, and a few reviews I found online mention her. However, she’s not in the credits – or even listed as “uncredited” on IMDB. When I did an image search for her, the photos that alleged to show Leo actually depicted Amy Sloan.
So I’ll be darned if I know what happened to Leo. I’d guess that she ended up cut from the final version and the critics who mentioned her either saw an earlier rendition in which she appeared or goofed. All I know is that if she’s in the version of Shot On this Blu-ray, I can’t find her!
The disc opens with ads for Child of God, McCanick, and The Truth About Emanuel. We also find the trailer for Shot.
With a strong cast and a promising premise, I thought A Single Shot could’ve been a satisfying character drama. While it has some good moments, it drags too much and doesn’t manage to take us on a satisfying and involving journey. The Blu-ray offers generally positive picture and audio with a few informative bonus elements. I want to like Shot but don’t find much in it to recommend.