The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack is just kind of adequate. The soulful ‘60s tunes that pepper the film sound good without being truly remarkable. The LFE channel comes across a bit weak, truth be told. There’s not a great deal of ear-catching surround activity. All that aside, this film clearly wasn’t intended to be a razzle-dazzle audio showcase anyway. The necessary elements, including the thick southern-accented dialogue, all sound fine.
Supplemental features are weak, unfortunately. There’s a short promo featurette that’s not even worth clicking on. A seven-minute piece labeled “Behind the Scenes” is raw production footage that is moderately interesting. The four-minute interview with director Lee Daniels is not long enough to be insightful. That leaves the lengthier, but arguably no less valuable, “Cast and Crew Interviews” that amounts to 17 minutes of promotional fluff. We hear from Cusack, Kidman, McConaughey, Efron, Gray, Oyelowo, and Glenn. They all talk breathlessly about what a great director Daniels is and how proud they were to be part of the production. Skip it unless you’re addicted to watching celebrities talk about the importance of their craft (without ever really saying anything).
Though it doesn’t quite add up to a genuinely cohesive story, The Paperboy boasts a slew of remarkable performances, evocative cinematography, a well-chosen soul and R&B soundtrack, and a handful of indelible scenes. Even if the end result is not greater than the sum of its parts, the best bits are alternately funny, haunting, and just a bit insane. If any of the above sounds even the slightest bit interesting, see this film.