Extra Time - Take Shelter's Blu-ray Extras

Extra Time: the easy guide to Blu-ray and DVD extras

Extra Everything

It's a bit of a waste of time going through the normal structure for Extra Time because Take Shelter's blu-ray offers two lone special features; deleted scenes and a making of. Now, the completely justifiable excuse for this would normally be that Take Shelter is an independent-ish production with a pretty small budget and, therefore, couldn't afford the extra expense to load the blu-ray up with commentaries and features and oodles of other paraphernalia. The problem with this argument on this occasion is that, as reported in Collider's review and apparently confirmed by Amazon.com's product listing, the US release of the film had a Michael Shannon and Jeff Nicholls commentary, a Q&A from a screening and some featurettes, as well as the extras on the UK disc. If this material existed already then where's the reasoning behind not including it on the release on this side of the pond? Poor show Universal, poor show.

What you do get on the disc is an eleven-minute whistle stop tour of various peoples' opinions and behind-the-scenes shots and six-minutes of deleted scenes, which all-in-all doesn't really make a decent-sized ant-hill of features. The deleted scenes are interesting enough but you can understand why they were deleted; the first in particular adds too much definition to some of the ideas the film keeps bubbling below the surface and the second covers ideas expressed elsewhere. The making of sees Jeff Nicholls discussing ideas about marriage and happiness, which is fleetingly interesting and all of the cast actually have some passingly engaging things to say, although they lack the time to go into detail.

Extra Rating

It'd be nice to go higher for such a great film but what can you say when the extras are, in total, less than twenty-minutes and feature nothing out-of-the-ordinary?

Extra Film

Luckily, the film itself is more than great enough to warrant a purchase of the blu-ray on its own. It's still as five-star-fantastic as it was back at the Leeds International Film Festival in November and it's still comfortably one of the three best films of last year. Jessica Chastain's segment in the making of proves the most insightful when undertaking a re-watch. Chastain briefly covers the fact that she had to approach the film through the prism of it being primarily a love story, otherwise she couldn't see how Curtis (Shannon) and Samantha (Chastain) made it through (or even to the middle) of the events of the film. This is both a great way of looking at things and a completely justifiable way to read Take Shelter; Curtis and Samantha do, despite the events that happen, clearly love one another and the lead players warm performances, both of which deserved award recognition, are vital to the believability of that element of the story. You can see how you the film can be read as a metaphor for the problems people face during a largely successful, loving, relationship.

It's a wonderful achievement, melding well-used special effects and an indie sensibility. The final frames, though maligned by some since last year, still form one of the best endings you'll bear witness to.

Take Shelter is released on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK on Monday 19th March 2012.

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