This critic has to start by admitting that he's only liked two films by Tim Burton, "EDWARD SCISSORHANDS" and "ED WOOD." Those films had everything going for them that critics tend to over-praise about all his other films. When hearing that "BIG FISH" felt like a personal film, hopes were greatly raised. However, even a great actor like Albert Finney and a seemingly heart-felt tale about a father and son's love can't rise above a frequently problematic script. John August's script meanders on and on, dragging out the film way past its necessary running time. Tim Burton's typical "dark" look works for some of the tales spun by Finney's character, but Burton would do well to demonstrate that he can do a bright film too! It isn't here!!!
SONY has provided a 1080p/MPEG-2 transfer with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Although Burton loves dark imagery, colors tend to be brighter here than in his previous work. No, this is definitely not a bright looking film, but colors are solid and, occasionally, even vibrant! Detail is excellent for the most part. However, there is a fair amount of grain present in various vignettes. While certainly not the best blu-ray release, it's far better than average.
SONY has provided a PCM 5.1 mix. It's a much livelier mix than what was available on the previously available dvd. Surrounds offer an active presence throughout the film, really boosting the film's magical qualities in various scenes. Bass is more present here than on the dvd too. Dialogue sounds flawless, even within layers of sound and music effects.
SONY has carried over the audio commentary with Burton from the dvd. While a bit dry, fans of Burton will appreciate his insight into the filmmaking process.