Monster’s Ball is a very raw and powerful film. The story and the cinematography are wonderful, as is the acting… thus the Best Actress Academy Award for Halle Berry.
“MONSTER’S BALL is a hard hitting Southern drama tempered by a story of powerful, life-changing love. It is the story of Hank (Billy Bob Thornton), an embittered prison guard working on Death Row who begins an unlikely, but emotionally charged affair with Leticia (Halle Berry), the wife of a man he has just executed.” – Lions Gate
This film sounds great on DVD. The subtle soundtrack is smooth, and the soundstage is used wonderfully. The sound dispersion and separation is very clean, and the dialog is precise.
The video quality on this DVD is also very good. There is very little damage to the print by the way of debris and grain, and the raw feeling of the film is maintained nicely. The skin tones look natural and both the colors and darks are very accurate.
This disc does not contain lots of special features, but it does contain very good special features. The menus are very nice… clean and theme oriented, with a solid score, animated menus, and smooth page transitions.
This disc contains two separate audio commentaries. The first commentary features the films director (Marc Forster) and Director of Photography (Roberto Schaefer) in which is a very informative, but somewhat dry track. The second commentary includes Director Marc Forster, as well as co-star’s Halle Berry and Billy Bob Thornton. This track, though it started of very disjointed and awkward, turned into quite an interesting track. If you have to choose one of these two commentaries to listen to, pick the second.
This disc also includes two featurettes – Behind the Scenes & Scoring the film. The behind the scenes featurette is quite non-conventional for the fact it does not focus on interviews, but rather actual shot footage of behind the scenes film stock. The featurette on the score is one of the best “scoring” features I have ever seen… it is 8 minutes in length, and it really teaches how and why the film sounds as it does. The features are rounded off with 4 deleted scenes and the theatrical trailer.
This is a very solid film and DVD. Lions Gate has created a DVD of very high quality, and has crafted some very nice special features. This disc should be owned, or at least seen by all.
Special Features List
- Director’s Commentary
- Actor’s Commentary w/ Director
- Deleted Scenes
- Behind-the-Scenes Featurette
- Scoring the Film Featurette
- Theatrical Trailer