Cake (Blu-ray Review)

Cake (Blu-ray Review)Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment invites Blu-ray audiences to be inspired as they take a raw and emotional journey with a woman trying to navigate her way through personal redemption in Cake. Pete Hammond of  Deadline writes “JENNIFER ANISTON IS HEARTBREAKINGLY GOOD” as the star of this life-affirming, dark comedy.  She’s an “odd, funny, powerful central metaphor: a character that insists on charting a course in a  she refuses to look at.”  This exploration of the human condition and transformation arrived on Digital HD April 10th and Blu-ray, DVD and VOD last week April 21st.  So sit down, grab a glass of wine and let me show you below what all the buzz is about.



Claire Bennett (Jennifer Aniston) seems to have everything in life – on the surface. Once we dig deeper into her life we get to see that all is not sunshine and rainbows. Claire is a functional (barely) prescription drug popper-cum-junkie. She spends her day heavily medicated, in bed, and going to various doctors’ offices for prescription refills and attends suicide survivor meetings.

Claire lives by herself and is tended to by her often hilarious and stern housekeeper-caretaker Silvana (Adriana Barraza). Claire also has visions of the a dead woman from her suicide group played by Anna Kendrick and now she’s taken to talking to her widower played by Sam Worthington. Why Claire thinks is a good idea to talk to the widower of someone that she used to know is beyond her but on the surface of that she seems to pick at people just to see if they are as messed up as she is. I don’t want to go all the way out and say that she’s a glutton for punishment but most of the bad stuff that happens to her seems to be by her own doing.

She’s obviously an accident survivor. We see that she’s in physical pain at all times and has a few colloidal scars on her face. I think what saves Cake from being really depressing and un-redemptive is that Aniston brings some dark humor to the role and Silvana is an excellent supporting character who seems to be all about Claire’s well being even Claire tends to “use and abuse” her in return. We get a glimpse of Silvana’s home life and it’s not all really peaches and cream. She feels like has a purpose looking after Claire although some would argue that Silvana acts as more on an enabler than a caretaker. She does drive Claire all around for her prescription fixes.

Sam Worthington and Anna Kendrick also do well in their supporting roles as husband and wife. I think Cake should have been 10-20 minutes longer due to the abrupt ending. It ended at a point where the audience was prepared to go on a further journey with Claire. It was a bit of a buzz kill after having spent all of that time building up to whether she would move forward with her life or not. Jennifer Aniston certainly has the chops for dramatics and I do hope she continues working more projects of this caliber.

I kept wanting to reference a “cake and eat it” pun in somewhere but the film isn’t a bright one, so that would take a bit from it. If you’re curious to see some harder edged drama starring the former Friends star then by all means: have a slice.



Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Clarity/Detail: Contrast levels do seem to be pushed a bit but that goes with the drug induced haze (most of the time) of our main character, so it gets a pass, because it’s done for aesthetics sake. Sharpness levels are clean and there is a small layer of grain that keeps everything looking nice and consistent all the way through.

Depth:  The film is bathed in a more neutral palette even though the film takes place in sunny Los Angeles, California. You’re not really going to get vibrancy here – but that’s not to say it doesn’t look good.

Black Levels: Blacks levels are outstanding and I didn’t notice any scenes of crush or distortion.

Color Reproduction: The color palette is quite muted in Claire’s world but it

Flesh Tones:  Flesh tones look nice and natural on every character featured especially Aniston’s frumpy visage. There are times where the scars cannot even be seen but that may be a problem of continuity more than a transfer problem.

Noise/Artifacts: Noise, artifacts, debris – nope, I did not detect any of those things.



Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD MA 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French

Dynamics:  Cake does not seem like the type of film to have a big and boomy soundtrack but it does. The main focus of the sound design is centered but during the freaky dreams and hallucination scenes – it really kicks it intro high gear. The DTS losses track handles it all in a cool and calm-like manner. Who would have thought that such a small film would have a near-reference Blu-ray? I certainly didn’t.

Low Frequency Extension:  There are quite a few scenes that really put the LFE subwoofer channel to good use. The house shook a bit during those scenes – the bass was tight and never felt distorted.

Surround Sound Presentation:  The surround sound channels were put to good use – there were plenty of scenes involving crowds, traffic, Tijuana, etc., and the ambience gets amped up a bit. It was not distracting since it basically points out that whether Claire wants to live or die the world around her is very much alive. The sound design seems to be a reflection of that.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Cake is a dialogue driven film and everything comes in nice and clear.



The pickings are rather slim here.

  • The Many Layers of Cake: Learning to Live Again (HD, 4:00) – Here’s a generic talking head type of featurette where the director and cast talk about the film, filming, and the characters. The short running time does it no favors.
  • The Icing on the Cake: Meet the Cast (HD, 3:00) – This is an even shorter featurette where the actors talk about working on the film and each other.
  • Theatrical Trailer (HD) – The theatrical trailer is presented in high definition.
  • Digital HD – Enjoy the feature film on the go in either the UltraViolet format or iTunes via the redemption code on the enclosed voucher.




Cake is not really a “feel-good” type of film, because Claire’s character can only be taken at face value so much. I would say that the majority of the supporting cast featured help ground the film. There is an underlying sense of optimism that’s just waiting to break through but due to the film’s short running time it really doesn’t. The technical specifications on the Blu-ray are great but the lack of special features brings the overall score down a bit. Cake is recommended.







Cake Blu-ray


Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

Comments are currently closed.