The 1080p AVC-encoded Blu-ray transfer is kind of a mixed bag. Framed at 2.35:1, the picture is at times an excellent representation of the different environments in which the movie was shot. The heavily forested areas look stunning at times, with lots of details in the foliage. The Alaskan-based segments, on the other hand, don’t seem to have the same level of distinct detail. While the footage never looks bad, it just has a slightly softer look to it that fails to measure up to the best visuals. Close-ups of actors are generally high in detail, with natural skin tones. Overall The Big Year looks consistently good, and occasionally great, in high definition.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack is perfectly fine for this type of non-action-oriented comedy. The dialogue is easy to understand. Music is well balanced and focused mostly in the right and left channels. There are plenty of subtle effects that create a nicely atmospheric sound field. When Bostick and Harris are flying on a small plane to Alaska, the rumbling engines give a nice kick to the subwoofer. Many scenes in the outdoors, with the characters surrounded by nature, have lots of rustling and chirping coming from the surrounds. It’s not overly impressive, but there’s nothing wrong with it.
Special features include a fairly interesting featurette, “The Big Migration,” that focuses on all the different locations the production traveled to. The seventeen minutes of deleted scenes will only be of real interest to big fans of the movie. A relationship between Jack Black and Rashida Jones (who is barely in the actual movie) is explored a little more in a few deleted scenes. A five minute gag reel features the usual flubbed lines and other assorted mishaps.