Southpaw appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This was a consistently pleasing presentation.
Overall sharpness seemed excellent. Little to no softness emerged, so the flick was accurate and detailed. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I noticed no edge haloes. Source flaws were absent, as the movie looked consistently clean.
Colors varied but tended toward amber or teal. Within those parameters, the hues were positive. Blacks seemed deep and dark, while shadows showed good smoothness and clarity. I felt happy with the transfer.
As for the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Southpaw, it came with moderate ambition. The soundfield focused on music and ambience, though it opened up on occasion. For instance, boxing scenes became a little more involving. Nothing especially memorable occurred, though.
Audio quality was fine. Speech seemed natural and concise, without edginess or other issues. Music offered good clarity and range, and effects worked well enough, with clean highs and warm lows. The track never became rock-em sock-em, but the soundtrack suited the material.
A smattering of extras show up here, and we launch with Inside the Ring. This 21-minute, 30-second piece offers notes from director Antoine Fuqua, boxing commentator Jim Lampley, boxer/analyst Roy Jones, Jr., boxer Victor Ortiz, screenwriter Kurt Sutter, and actors Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Oona Laurence and Naomie Harris.
“Ring” looks at story/characters, Gyllenhaal’s training and the depiction of the boxing scenes, cast and performances, and Fuqua’s impact on the production. Occasional worthwhile tidbits emerge here, but most of the program follows a promotional bent. This means we get lots of praise and not a ton of good information.
Next we find a Q&A With the Cast<. In this 18-minute, 56-second reel, we hear from Gyllenhaal, McAdams, Jackson, Laurence, and Miguel Gomez. They discuss characters and performances as well as related elements. Inevitably, some of this feels fluffy, but the actors manage to give us a bunch of nice insights into their choices.
Eight Deleted Scenes total 20 minutes, 46 seconds. These mostly expand on supporting characters, with an emphasis on the Leila and Angela roles. Some of the sequences go on too long – especially those with Billy and his family pre-tragedy – but a few add some useful character material.
We also find an Extended Training Montage. It goes for four minutes, three seconds and mainly shows Gyllenhaal as he gets in shape for the movie. If you want to see the actor shirtless, it’s worth a look. Otherwise, it’s a waste of time.
The disc opens with ads for No Escape, Big Eyes and The Imitation Game. No trailer for Southpaw appears here.
A second disc provides a DVD copy of Southpaw. It includes “Inside the Ring” but lacks the other Blu-ray extras.
At its best, Southpaw benefits from good performances, particularly in terms of the chemistry between Jake Gyllenhaal and Forest Whitaker. Unfortunately, too much of the movie relies open stale melodrama. The Blu-ray offers excellent visuals as well as positive audio and a decent selection of bonus materials. Southpaw has its moments but doesn’t boast enough of these to satisfy on a consistent basis.