Venom appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a good but not great presentation.
Sharpness became the weak link, as the movie could seem oddly soft at times, mainly in wider shots. These instances didn’t occur with frequency, but I felt the image appeared less precise than I’d expect.
No signs of jagged edges or moiré effects materialized. I also saw no edge haloes or print flaws.
In terms of palette, Venom opted for a teal impression with some amber/orange along for the ride as well. The colors looked positive within those stylistic choices.
Blacks appeared dark and tight, while shadows showed nice smoothness and clarity. Much of the film looked positive, but the light softness knocked it down a couple of pegs.
A stronger effort, the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack worked well. With its alien/comic book action, the mix boasted many good opportunities for sonic pizzazz, and it took advantage of them.
Music fleshed out all the channels in an engrossing manner, and effects used the soundscape in a compelling way. Quieter scenes made nice use of ambient information, while more action-oriented material created a vivid sense of the drama. All of this meshed together well and formed a lively impression.
Audio quality also worked well. Speech seemed natural and distinctive, without edginess or other concerns.
Music boasted nice range and punch, and effects excelled. Those elements came across as tight and bold, with rich, firm low-end response. We ended up with a top-notch sonic experience.
As we shift to extras, we open with Venom Mode, a feature that runs alongside the movie. Though the title may imply it’ll offer an interactive piece, instead it provides a text commentary.
And a spotty text commentary at that, for “Venom Mode” only sporadically provides information. It gives us occasional facts about the science behind the film as well as related elements. It’s a painless addition and the text blurbs don’t substantially interfere with the movie-watching process, but I can’t say that “Venom Mode” tells us much.
Three Deleted and Extended Scenes fill a total of five minutes. We find “Ride to Hospital” (1:18), “Car Alarm” (0:30) and “San Quentin Extended” (3:12).
The first two offer fairly comedic sequences that are fun but not especially meaningful. The third gives us a longer version of the scene that shows up mid-credits. While it’s always good to see more of the actor who features in that segment, the shorter cut in the movie works better.
Some featurettes follow, and From Symbiote to Screen lasts 20 minutes, three seconds. It delivers comments from director Ruben Fleischer, VFX supervisor Paul Franklin, filmmaker Kevin Smith, producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach, production designer Oliver Scholl, and actors Tom Hardy, Riz Ahmed, Jenny Slate, and Michelle Williams.
“Symbiote” looks at Venom’s usage in the original comics as well as his adaptation for the movies, other characters, cast and performances. It becomes a good overview.
With The Anti-Hero, we get a 10-minute, one-second reel with Hardy, Smith, Franklin, Arad, Tolmach, Fleischer, Scholl, Slate, Williams, Ahmed, co-writer Jeff Pinkner, prop master Josh Roth, production sound mixer Michael Koff, and actor Reid Scott.
Here we get more notes about Venom, Eddie and performances. In particular, the view of Hardy’s work makes this a useful show.
Next comes The Lethal Protector in Action, a nine-minute, 14-second piece that offers statements from Hardy, Franklin, Fleischer, 1st unit stunt coordinator Chris O’Hara, fight coordinator Tim Connolly, stunt double Jimmy Roberts, 2nd unit VFX supervisor Alexander Seaman, stunt rider Robbie Maddison and 2nd unit stunt coordinator Andy Gill.
As implied by the title, “Lethal” looks at stunts and action segments. It winds up as another fairly satisfying take on its topic.
Venom Vision fills seven minutes, two seconds with remarks from Fleischer, Tolmach, Pinkner, Smith, Franklin, Ahmed, Scott, and Williams. “Vision” mainly discusses Fleischer’s approach to the project, and it does its job, albeit in a fluffy way.
During the five-minute, 34-second Designing Venom, we hear from Fleischer, Franklin, Pinkner, Scholl, Tolmach, and Smith. We learn about the title role’s visual look and how the film brought him to life. It’s another engaging program.
Finally, Symbiote Secrets takes up two minutes, 40 seconds and throws out some Easter eggs. It throws out a quick look at these semi-hidden nuggets.
Under Select Scenes Pre-Vis, we find eight clips that fill a total of 13 minutes, 53 seconds. These use a split-screen format to compare final film footage to rough animation and rehearsal shots used to plan sequences. It becomes a fun way to see the material.
Two Music Videos appear, as we get clips for “Venom” by Eminem and “Sunflower” by Post Malone and Swae Lee. The former treats Eminem like a symbiote, so we see a succession of characters rap. It’s a pretty clever concept, even if its visual effects look awful.
“Sunflower” promotes Into the Spider-Verse, and it consists of footage from that movie. It’s a dull video.
We also find a Sneak Peek for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. This simply offers a three-minute, 34-second scene from the movie. Since Spider-Verse is already on screens, it doesn’t seem very useful – and it’s the same sequence that already shows up at the end of Venom.
The disc opens with ads for Alpha, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, The Girl in the Spider’s Web, The Front Runner and Searching. No trailer for Venom appears here.
As a comic book origin story, Venom provides a competent adventure. While it never excels, it creates a fairly entertaining package. The Blu-ray brings generally good picture as well as excellent audio and a decent selection of supplements. Though not a great action flick, Venom remains watchable.