Welcome to the Jungle (The Rundown): Collector's Edition (2003)
Main Menu Introduction
Audio Commentary-Director And Cast
Featurette-Making Of-Rumble In The Jungle
Featurette-The Amazon, Hawaii Style
Featurette-Appetite For Destruction
Featurette-The Rundown Uncensored : A Rock-umentary
Featurette-Running Down The Town
Trailer-Big Fish, Hollywood Homicide, S.W.A.T.,
Trailer-Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines
|Year Of Production||2003|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (67:42)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4,5||Directed By||Peter Berg|
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Seann William Scott
Ernie Reyes Jr.
Stuart F. Wilson
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Czech Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
English Audio Commentary
English Audio Commentary
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Starting with a bang, we meet "retrieval expert" Beck (Dwayne Johnson, although credited here as The Rock) going about his business - in this case retrieving a gambling debt from a pro-football (or Gridiron to the rest of us) quarter-back surrounded by his entire offensive line (a.k.a. lots of big men). Poor old Beck is unfortunately none too happy with his job however, and would much rather start his own restaurant. When he tells this to the mob boss he works for, he is offered one job to clear his debt - to retrieve the boss' son from a Brazilian jungle town. So Beck finds himself buried in the middle of the Amazon rainforest, in a mining town run by the somewhat deranged Cornelius Hatcher (a scene-stealing Christopher Walken), attempting to bring a reluctant Travis Walker (Seann William Scott) back to LA. Things take a turn for the worse when Hatcher gets wind that Travis has found an artefact of great value, and decides to make life difficult for Beck. Throw in a rebel faction fighting Hatcher from the dark recesses of the Amazon forest, and the beautiful barmaid Mariana (Rosario Dawson), and plenty of jungle adventure is the result.
The best thing about this movie are the performances. From The Rock on down, the entire cast is firing at 110%. The banter between The Rock and Seann William Scott is often amusing and even hilarious at times, while Rosario Dawson plays a somewhat difficult part extremely well indeed (that is, aside from her ever fluctuating accent). It will surprise many just how relaxed and natural The Rock's performance is - after all it is fair to say that wrestlers-turned-actors have not exactly set a very high bar for acting. Based on this performance however, The Rock certainly has a future for action and even comedy (he demonstrates pitch perfect timing, and is not afraid to make his character look silly just for laughs). Whether he can stretch to true drama is a question that only time will tell. The real acting highlights however come from two of the smaller roles. Ewen Bremner's part Scottish, part Irish, poetry quoting, bag-pipe playing jungle pilot is a scene stealer, and hilarious to watch. His extremely thick accent is barely understandable (and apparently completely not understandable to US test audiences - who loved the character even more because of it), his character eccentric, and his motivations non-existent, but he is still a joy to watch. Even better than Bremner however is Christopher Walken. The king of weird has the setting at maximum on the freakiness dial here, and is the stand-out character in the movie. In a performance reminiscent of Christopher Plummer's General Chang in Star Trek VI, Walken delivers some of the best speeches and monologues to grace the silver screen. His diatribes on the Tooth Fairy, and "Where you see Hell...I see a driving sense of purpose..." are both extremely funny and very scary at the same time.
So this film delivers in the performance stakes, but what about the action? It is after all an action film. Well, fortunately, that is very good too. Choreographed by Jackie Chan's long time collaborator Andy Chang, the fights are many and varied. As the Beck character has a reluctance to use guns, there is very little gun-play here (aside from the film's finale), and that leads to many different kinds of fights. The opening sequence in the club against the football team is a spectacular set piece that relies on simple brute force. The numerous showdowns against Hatcher's guards all play out in different ways, while the fight with the rather diminutive rebels is impressive for its sheer speed. All are shot with great attention to detail and look stunning.
Welcome To The Jungle may not provide a deep and meaningful viewing experience, but if all you are looking for is an hour and a half of laughs and action, then it will deliver in spades. Recommended.
Presented at the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1, this transfer is 16x9 enhanced.
The image is reasonably sharp, and provides a good amount of fine detail. While not as sharp as can possibly be, the trade off is that the transfer is very smooth, providing excellent transitions between areas of interest. Background grain is constantly high, although this would appear to be due to a high-grain film stock, and as such is an intended look, probably in an attempt to make the film a little "dirtier". Despite this, the grain never becomes particularly noticeable, and is always kept under control, which is an extremely good effort. Shadow detail is easily the worst aspect of the transfer. While it also appears to be the result of the film stock used, the drop-off from well delineated to black murk is much faster than usual for such a recent movie. Fortunately most of the action is very well lit, so this has little overall effect.
Colours are excellent. There appears to be a tinting process used on some portions of the film to lend it a more otherworldly appearance, but it is quite subtle. Aside from when that is applied, the greens of the jungle are luxurious, and the highlights of colour in the Brazilian village vibrant.
There are no compression or film artefacts in this transfer at all. Aliasing is also virtually non-existent, most likely due to the slightly soft nature of the transfer. There are a few instances that are a little distracting, such as the wooden roofing material behind Christopher Walken's head at 71:48, and on the corrugated iron roof at 74:00, but that is about it.
The subtitles are reasonably accurate, only abbreviating from time to time, and not affecting the comedy of the dialogue. They are well paced, and easy to read.
This is an RSDL formatted disc with the layer change taking place at 67:42 between Chapters 19 and 20. It is well placed, not affecting any audio, and is very difficult to spot.
There are five audio tracks present on this disc. The first three are the original English dialogue, and dubs in Czech and Hungarian, all presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 (at 448 Kbps). The other two tracks are both English audio commentary tracks, presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 surround (at 192 Kbps).
Dialogue is clear and easy to understand at all times, with one caveat - Ewen Bremner's dialogue is in a very thick Scottish accent, and may trouble those who have difficulty with accents (although not to despair - not much he says is important, it is more the way he says it). Audio sync is spot on throughout the transfer and is never a problem.
With a couple of notable exceptions (the Johnny Cash song Don't Take Your Guns To Town the most obvious example), virtually all the music in this film is score music, provided by Harry Gregson-Williams, and it provides excellent musical backing. In fact, the producers thought so much of the score that a number of contemporary pieces were pulled from the film to make way for more. Utilising a mix of modern and classical instrumentation and style, Gregson-Williams provides an accompaniment that elevates the action sequences, and maintains the humour. An excellent score that is worth a listen on its own.
Surround activity is the most impressive aspect of this audio transfer. During their commentary track, the producers note director Peter Berg's love of sound detail, and it shows, as this transfer provides some of the most active surround use in a film soundtrack I have heard. A major bonus is that the surround use does not simply die when the action scenes end, with plenty of ambient surround to fill the soundscape.
The subwoofer will get a major workout with this film, as the various fights, explosions, and gunshots provide rumble after rumble. When the action quiets down, the score still has plenty of bass. This soundtrack is an excellent example of how the subwoofer can really enhance a movie soundtrack.
|Surround Channel Use|
The video quality is very good, although the choice of high-grain film stock has caused a drop-off in the shadow detail.
The audio quality is outstanding. This is one of the best modern DVD soundtracks I have heard.
The extras package is surprisingly good for the type of film. Around forty minutes of featurettes, over ten minutes of deleted scenes, and two feature length audio commentaries make for a very worthwhile package.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-555K, using Component output|
|Display||Loewe Xelos 5381ZW. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Onkyo TX-DS787, THX Select|
|Speakers||Rochester Audio Animato Series (2xSAF-02, SAC-02, 3xSAB-01) + 12" Sub (150WRMS)|