What Dreams May Come appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Apparently a recycled transfer created for a 2007 HD-DVD release, the image seemed pretty mediocre.
Overall delineation seemed positive, but variations occurred. Though some of these appeared to relate to the movie’s semi-dreamy style, plenty of unexplained softness appeared.
Mild edge haloes became a factor in that realm, as they added to the movie’s occasional fuzziness. I saw no issues with jagged edges or shimmering, and print flaws were minor.
With a broad palette, colors should’ve been a strength – and they occasionally were, as the movie sporadically threw out vivid tones. However, the hues often came across as more than a bit muddy and without the expected vivacity.
Blacks seemed fairly deep, and shadows showed reasonable clarity, though some low-light shots could veer toward the murky side. Dreams could use an update, as this became a bland presentation.
At least the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack fared better. It delivered a pretty involving piece, with a good sense of place and interaction.
A smattering of louder scenes – like a car crash – brought out the most dynamic material, but others boasted strong integration as well. The movie’s fantastic settings added solid information all around the spectrum and blended well to create a smooth, compelling soundscape.
Audio quality held up well, as speech remained natural and concise. Music appeared lush and full, too.
Effects added accurate material to the mix, with nice range and punch. This became a surprisingly strong soundtrack.
Among the disc’s extras, we find an audio commentary from director Vincent Ward. He provides a running, screen-specific look at story/characters and the source’s adaptation, cast and performances, sets and locations, music, effects and visual design, and connected topics.
Ward clearly works from prepared notes, a technique that bothers some people. I don’t mind – what an approach like this lacks in spontaneity it gains in detail and introspection.
That said, the amount of dead air that occurs here surprises me given the “scripted” nature of the track. I can understand empty spots better when they come from a more unrehearsed piece, but they make less sense when the speaker planned the material in advance.
Despite these gaps, Ward still offers a pretty good chat. He brings a nice array of insights, so we learn a lot about the film.
An Alternate Ending lasts six minutes, 35 seconds. It offers a minor deviation from the “real” finale, one that gives the movie a somewhat darker finish. It’s still not an especially good conclusion, though I prefer it to the terrible ending in the final release.
Just called Featurette, we get a 15-minute, 17-second piece with notes from Ward, producers Barnet Bain and Stephen Simon, author Richard Matheson, executive producer Erica Huggins, production designer Eugenio Zanetti, visual effects supervisors Nick Brooks and Joel Hynek, art director Joshua Rosen, EFX developer/tech supervisor Pierre Jasmin, and actors Robin Williams, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Annabella Sciorra.
The show looks at story and characters, cast and performances, visual design, sets and effects and locations. Though the first half indulges in fluff, the rest offers pretty good notes about technical areas.
Under Visual Effects, we locate two clips. One involves visual effects supervisor Joel Hynek (2:55) and the other features art director Josh Rosen (1:51).
Both offer basics about the work done for the film. We get a little of this info in the featurette, but Hynek and Rosen add a few new details.
We also get two trailers for Dreams.
Sporadically effective, What Dreams May Come boasts a smattering of worthwhile elements. However, the end result seems too inconsistent to become better than average. The Blu-ray offers very good audio along with a handful of supplements and mediocre visuals. This becomes an erratic Blu-ray for an erratic movie.