Rogue (2007)

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Released 28-May-2008

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Making Of
Featurette-4 shorter production featurettes
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2007
Running Time 95:02
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (83:52) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Greg McLean
Studio
Distributor
Weinstein Company
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Radha Mitchell
Michael Vartan
Sam Worthington
Caroline Brazier
Stephen Curry
Celia Ireland
John Jarratt
Heather Mitchell
Geoff Morrell
Damien Richardson
Case ?
RPI ? Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement Yes
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

A wildlife cruise up a peaceful Kakadu gorge goes horribly wrong for its passengers and captain (Rahda Mitchell) when they take a detour to follow a distress flare. An aggressive 7 metre long saltwater crocodile attacks their boat, leaving the tourists stranded on a tiny tidal island. Two local hooligans (including Sam Worthington) don't fare any better when they come trumpeting in to the rescue. Panic sets in as the water steadily engulfs the island and the croc slowly picks off more meat. Amidst the confusion, the survivors plan their escape using the limited tools the can salvage from the tour boat.

The tourists are a diverse lot, though they lack the conflict necessary to really build tension among themselves. Michael Vartan fills the hero shoes as a cynical travel writer. Heather Mitchell is a cancer-suffering matriarch of a archetypal monster-bait family. Stephen Curry is an Aussie tourist with a big camera. John Jarratt (in a nod to the legendary unreleased Ozploitation croc-flick The Dark Age) is a grieving older gent. All are amiable and reasonably well characterised. The film does suffer a little from having too many characters for us to really care about, however.

Rogue is the second feature from writer/director Greg Mclean, whose debut Wolf Creek was an international success. Whilst it broadly fits in the same genre as Wolf Creek it is a very different film, both in terms of story and execution. Rogue is a fairly traditional evil-beastie horror movie rather than torture porn, and a pretty good one at that. The story is a little flimsy and the death toll a little low, but pretty much every other aspect of the film makes up for these deficiencies. The cinematography is excellent. The tension is numbing when it needs to be. Rogue is a markedly better movie than the bulk of Australian films that have come out in the past few years.

It has taken Rogue a long time to arrive on DVD, thanks largely to The Weinstein Company's (the film's international distributor) complete inability to open any sort of movie (just look at The Hunting Party, Grindhouse, Death defying Acts or the long-delayed, still unreleased Fanboys, Killshot and Crossing Over) holding up the release. At least it was worth the wait, provided you aren't expecting another Wolf Creek. The acting, story and effects are all solid without being exceptional. The croc is big. It is probably a bit much to ask for more from something that aspires to little more than scenic pulp.

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Transfer Quality

Video

The film is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio, which appears to be an open matte of the theatrical 1.85:1 aspect ratio, and is 16x9 enhanced.

The video looks very good. The image is generally quite sharp, though many of the scenic nature shots at the start of the film really show up the the limited resolution of standard definition DVD compared to HD video (fingers crossed for a Blu-ray edition ASAP). The film features excellent shadow detail and very fine contrast in the many dark scenes of the film. Mild film grain is present throughout the film, which suits the look of the material.

The film features a rich colour palette that has translated well to DVD.

Mild mosquito noise is present around the rather small text that introduces the film. The video is otherwise free of compression artefacts and features no noticeable film artefacts.

English subtitles for the hearing impaired are present for the feature. Based on the portion I sampled they appear to be accurate and well timed.

This is a RSDL disc. The layer break occurs at 83:52 but was not noticeable on my equipment.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 Kbps), English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224 Kbps) and English descriptive audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (224 Kbps) audio tracks are present for the film. Whilst I am dubious of the value of English descriptive audio for what is an occasionally frantic and frequently tense horror/thriller, each of the tracks sound excellent.

The dialogue is presented at a good level in the mix and is clear and easy to understand.

The movie features an exotic score from composer Francois Tetaz. It combines traditional chamber orchestration with exotic world instruments and unusual noises from effecting world instruments to create a unique soundscape that complements the film well.

The surrounds and subwoofer are put to good use throughout the film. The sound field is surprisingly immersive and moves dynamically from ambience during the build up to assault when the croc strikes.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

The disc opens with an absurd anti-piracy short that cannot be skipped (though it does, rather appropriately, make use of the Wolf Creek poster).

Making Of Featurette (46:08)

A rather interesting and very comprehensive "Making Of" featurette that covers the planning, photography and post production of the film. Well worthwhile.

The Music Featurette (14:40)

An extension of the main "Making Of" featurette, focussing on the intriguing techniques employed in producing the film's score. Well worthwhile.

The Northern Territory Featurette (14:46)

An extension of the main "Making Of" featurette that acts as both a puff piece for the top end as well as explaining the film's setting and the locations shot in the Northern Territory. Skip it.

Effects Featurette (6:43)

An extension of the main "Making Of" featurette that covers the film's effects, mostly the construction of big rubber crocodiles and animatronics. Well worthwhile.

The Real Rogue Featurette (2:30)

An brief extension of the main "Making Of" featurette that talks about real crocodiles at a nature park in the Northern Territory that were used as models for the croc in the film. Worth a look.

Theatrical Trailer (2:02)

A fairly conventional theatrical trailer for the film.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

The Region 1 edition of Rogue features all the extras found on the Region 4 release as well as an additional commentary track with director Greg Mclean (which is purported to be a pretty good listen), making it the version of choice.

Summary

An above average creature feature.

Video and audio are of a high quality. The extras are substantial in both quantity and quality.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Monday, July 28, 2008
Review Equipment
DVDSony Playstation 3, using HDMI output
Display Samsung 116cm LA46M81BD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX2016AVS. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX2016AVS
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, 100W centre and 4 surround/rear speakers, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Region 1 DOES have commentary - REPLY POSTED