Blu-ray: SHUTTER ISLAND (2010)
Martin Scorsese’s psychological thriller comes to Blu-ray in a rich transfer. The color range is quite impressive as muted dank colors mix with vibrant flashes. This is never more evident then when Leonardo DiCaprio’s Teddy Daniels first arrives at the prison where the grays of the patients’ uniforms are in stark contrast to the lush greens of the yard and deep purples of the flowers. Likewise, in the dream sequences, the bright colors of Michele Williams’ dress radiate off the screen, spotlighted by the dark ash raining down. The blacks are crisp especially in the scenes in Ward C where Robert Richardson’s shadowy cinematography meets its peak. The clarity of the picture brings out the lines on DiCaprio’s face more fully as he sinks deeper into the labyrinth of the story.
The DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack shows off Scorsese’s mastery of sound and music. The LFE track vibrates as ominous tones set the stage as the marshals arrive at the institution. As the storm descends on the island, the audience is enveloped in the torrential rain. Good use of directionality comes into play during the Ward C moments as well. What violent patient might be lurking in shadows? The dialogue is clear throughout, which is absolutely essential for the closing scenes.
The disc features only two featurettes. They are spoiler filled looks at the plot and theme of the film. "Behind the Shutters" looks into making of the film from how Scorsese got involved and how he approached the story and its twists. Many of the actors talk about the challenge of playing dual roles at the same time. Star Leonardo DiCaprio asked questions of his character to the novel's writer Dennis Lehane that the scribe couldn't answer. "Inside the Lighthouse" looks into the concept of madness that runs throughout the story. One of most interesting part of the mini-doc is discussions with consultant James Gilligan, who wrote the influential book VIOLENCE. He not only helped the actors prepare for their roles, but aided the production design team create an accurate look for a 1950s mental institution.