RocknRolla (Blu-ray) (2008)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 4-Mar-2009

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Caper Audio Commentary
Theatrical Trailer-x2
Deleted Scenes
Featurette-x3
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2008
Running Time 114:19
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 4 Directed By Guy Ritchie
Studio
Distributor
Dark Castle
Warner Home Video
Starring Gerard Butler
Tom Wilkinson
Kaerl Roden
Idris Elba
Thandie Newton
Toby Kebbell
Mark Strong
Case Amaray Variant
RPI $39.95 Music Steve Isles


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.40:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Following the box-office and critical disasters of Revolver and Swept Away, director Guy Ritchie makes a very welcome return to the London gangster caper with RocknRolla. Along with Quentin Tarantino, writer-producer-director Guy Ritchie is one of the coolest filmmakers of recent years, and he has been sorely missed. RocknRolla is a reasonable return to form. It's all here - English gangster-film parody, fleshed out with exciting action sequences, some slick film visuals, and excellent dialogue. While not as clever or as original as his earlier films, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, RocknRolla has enough clever East End geezer-patter, enjoyable plot twists, and violent charm to win me over.

    Set in the modern London underworld, the plot for RocknRolla at times becomes a little convoluted, but it also makes repeated viewing rewarding. In another twisted, albeit coincidence-driven plot, London old-school gangster Lenny Cole (Tom Wilkinson) has struck a deal with new-money Russian businessman, Uri Omovich (Kaerl Roden), but sadly for both, the deals sours quickly. The large amount of money that Uri owes to Lenny has been stolen by "the Wild Bunch", led by small-time hustlers, One Two (Gerard Butler) and Mumbles (Idris Elba), who have been tipped off by Uri's "very gifted and the financially creative" accountant Stella Baxter (Thandie Newton). To make matters worse, the "lucky" painting that Uri lent Lenny to cement their friendship has gone missing. The suspected thief, Lenny's junkie musician-step-son Johnny Quid (Toby Kebbell) has also vanished, with many believing he has died. Despite this, Johnny's former management, Roman (Jeremy Piven) and Mickey (Chris Bridges) are forced to find him or face some very unpleasant attention from Lenny's right-hand-man, Archy (Mark Strong).

    To write anymore about the plot would be to give too much away. Suffice to say that RocknRolla is a great ensemble piece and the writing and acting performances are all excellent.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    RocknRolla is presented with a high definition transfer, having been authored in 1920 x 1080p. It has been encoded using VC-1 compression. The transfer is presented in a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.40:1, in a native widescreen 16x9 frame. This is the film's original theatrical ratio.

    The detail of the image is excellent, for example look at the pinstripes in Lenny's suit at 5:24. That noted, the film overall has an intentional soft-focus, almost processed look. I understand the 'film' was shot digitally, but I imagine this appearance was an artistic choice.

    Colour is a very important aspect in this film, and Richie has opted for a slightly desaturated palette which enhances the film's gritty locations. Colour tints also appear to have been used throughout, as many interior scenes have a warm golden or almost sepia tone, compared with the cold steely blues and greys of the exterior shots. The approach to colour and contrast leads to limited shadow detail, as can be seen in the music studio at 51:44. The skin tones are accurate, and there are no problems with MPEG, Film-To-Video, or Film Artefacts.

   Eight sets of subtitle streams have been recorded for this disc, and the English subtitles are accurate. The feature is divided into 28 chapters.

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

Audio

    Originally released theatrically with Dolby Digital, dts, and SDDS audio, there are seven audio options on this Blu-ray disc: English Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps), English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, English Dolby Digital Stereo (192 kbps), French Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps), and Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps).

    The dialogue quality and audio sync are excellent on the default English audio, but occasionally the heavy accents and slang of some of the actors make the odd word of dialogue difficult to understand.

   The original music is provided by television composer, Steve Isles and it does the job, but is not particularly memorable.

    RocknRolla is a dialogue-based film, but the surround presence and LFE activity comes to life during the action scenes. The surround sound mix carries the score, provides ambience, and surround effects as required. During some of the action scenes there are some great directional effects, with panning between speakers which places the viewer in the middle of all the action.

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

Extras

    There are a few extras, but nothing of any substance.

Floating Menus

    As with other Blu-rays, the menu options can be accessed while the film is playing.

Opening Trailers

Trailers play when the disc is loaded, but they can be individually skipped:

Audio Commentary

    Guy Ritchie and actor Mark Strong provide a chatty commentary in which they share anecdotes and some behind-the-scenes information.

Featurette - Blokes, Birds, and Backhanders: Inside 'RocknRolla' (15:03)

     Featuring a lot of behind-the-scenes footage and comments by key cast members, this flashy featurette looks at the story and the making of the film, but it is ultimately shallow and devoid of any real substance.

Featurette - Guy's Town (8:32)

   This look at London is a very short extra that repeats some of the footage from the previous featurette.

Featurette - On Location (3:14)

    This is a quick look at the locations used for some of the memorable scenes in the film.

Deleted Scene - Will you put the cigarette out (2:00)

    A strangely long scene in which One Two jogs on a treadmill.

R4 vs R1

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

    Our Region B Blu-ray is largely identical to the Region A US disc.

Summary

    While not as clever or as original as his earlier films, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, RocknRolla has enough to entertain Ritchie fans.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is also very good.

    The extras are light and fluffy.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Review Equipment
DVDSony Playstation 3 (HDMI 1.3) with Upscaling, using HDMI output
DisplayPanasonic High Definition 50' Plasma (127 cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSamsung Pure Digital 6.1 AV Receiver (HDMI 1.3)
SpeakersSamsung

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE