Rock Star (2001)

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Released 16-Apr-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio
Listing-Cast & Crew
Audio Commentary
Featurette
Music Video
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 101:44
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (43:19) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Stephen Herek
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Mark Wahlberg
Jennifer Aniston
Case ?
RPI $34.95 Music Trevor Rabin


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.40:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Spanish
Italian
Dutch
Hebrew
Swedish
Finnish
Norwegian
Danish
Icelandic
Portuguese
Greek
Turkish
Bulgarian
Polish
Romanian
Croatian
Czech
Hungarian
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes, and some drug use, but nothing too heavy
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, out-takes, extra footage, behind-the-scenes clips

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

Plot Synopsis

    Imagine that you live with your parents in the suburbs, you have a boring job, and your main focus in life is singing in a tribute band. Imagine then that the real band contacts you and asks you to audition as a possible replacement for their lead singer. It's a great premise for a story, and Rock Star tells it well.

    If the story sounds like fantasy, consider this -- it's based on a true story! In 1997, the influential and famous stadium-playing British Heavy Metal band Judas Priest replaced legendary singer Rob Halford with Tim Owens, a singer from a Judas Priest tribute band.

    In Rock Star, Chris Cole (Mark Wahlberg) is a dedicated fan of Steel Dragon. By day, Cole works as a photocopy machine repairman, but at night he comes alive as the singer in a Steel Dragon tribute band. After getting the boot from the tribute band for taking things way too seriously, he gets a call from Steel Dragon, asking him to audition. Cole is successful and is immediately thrust into a surreal world of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll.

    Former Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch rapper Wahlberg is at his best when playing wide-eyed, naive and honest characters just trying to do their best and being almost too eager to please. Consider, for example, his performances in Boogie Nights and Three Kings. He pulls this puppy-dog act off again in Rock Star effortlessly. Perhaps more importantly, there is a strong on-screen chemistry between Wahlberg and his girlfriend/manager Jennifer Aniston which adds some depth to the story. While Aniston looks a little 'long in the tooth' for the role that she plays, she really does shine.

    A great deal of credibility is added to the movie by having real Hard Rock and Metal performers filling most of the supporting roles. This include Blas Elias, Jason Bonham, Stephen Jenkins, Brian Vander Ark, Jeff Pilson and Zakk Wylde. If you are a Hard Rock/Metal fan, these names will be very familiar to you. Not only do they all do a great job with their roles, but some of them have a genuine screen presence and also handle the more dramatic elements of the story effortlessly.

    The direction by Stephen Herek is often innovative and inspired. He employs a number of film techniques such as time-lapse, slow-motion, superimposed shots, snorkel-cam shots and some great lighting effects to create a very visual and memorable viewing experience. While the movie sometimes resembles a really long Bon Jovi or Motley Crue music video, the arena concert scenes are fantastic, the movie's generic Def Leppard-sounding Metal tunes are catchy, and the story and characters are both believable and engaging.

    As they sing in the movie: "Stand Up and Shoouuuuuut!!!"

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

Transfer Quality

Video

    This is a breathtakingly good transfer that almost earned a place in the Hall Of Fame, but for a few very minor flaws.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The sharpness of the image is amazing. Consider, for example, the intricate detail of the hotel lobby at 74:14. The black level and shadow detail are also perfect.

    There are a rich palette of colours and accurate flesh tones. As mentioned earlier, there are some great lighting effects employed in this movie, many involving the use of coloured lights. The transfer does all this justice.

    There are no MPEG artefacts to complain of, but there is some rare and mild aliasing, such as a very slight shimmer on the Venetian blinds in the background at 62:58.

    This is a pristine print and there are only a few film artefacts. They are tiny, infrequent and not distracting at all. An example of one of these tiny flecks appears at 79:21.

    There are 21 sets of subtitles present on this DVD, and the English subtitles are accurate.

    This is a RSDL disc, with the layer change placed during Chapter 14, at 43:19. It is one of the best layer changes that I have ever (not) seen. The picture fades to black, the audio is silent, and then, faster than you can snap your fingers, we're on to the next layer.

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

Audio

    The great video is matched by great audio.

    There are English, Spanish, and Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 audio tracks. There is also an English Dolby 2.0 surround-encoded track for the director's commentary.

    The dialogue quality and audio sync are excellent on the default English Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track.

    The musical score is credited to Trevor Rabin, and it is very soft and subtle. The movie's source music however, is neither soft nor subtle, and has Steel Dragon performing songs written by some of the best Hard Rock/Metal songwriters around today, including Ronnie Dio, Desmond Child, and Sammy Hagar. Mark Wahlberg performs some of his own vocals, and the song Believe In Me is performed by Jennifer Aniston. The movie also has a driving soundtrack that makes use of songs by AC/DC, Bon Jovi, KISS, Def Leppard, and Motley Crue.

    Rock Star has great surround presence and activity which effectively creates an immersive soundfield that often places the viewer either on-stage or as a part of the crowd in the concert scenes. There are a number of split-rear directional effects, and rear speakers are used effectively to help carry the score, such as at 78:14, and provide ambience, such as the crowd at 44:58.

    The subwoofer is also utilised very effectively to support both the score and the sound effects, such as the muted rumble of drums heard from backstage at 46:44 and the stage pyrotechnics at 5:50.

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

Extras

    There are a good selection of extras on this DVD.

Menu

    A simple menu, presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced with Dolby Digital stereo audio underscore.

Theatrical Trailer (2:18)

    This accurately portrays the movie, and is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, 16x9 enhanced, with Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded audio.

Cast and Crew

    Basic text with images, identifying the main cast and crew members.

Documentary (4:04)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio, this is your standard made-for-television advertorial, containing letterboxed clips, behind-the-scenes footage, and sound bites from the cast and crew.

Music Video (3:44)

    Strangely, this does not identify either the song title or the band. I happen to know that it is Everclear's music video for their catchy song Rock Star. It is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.

Director's Commentary

    Stephen Herek provides an informative commentary in which he shares some behind-the-scenes anecdotes and discusses some of the techniques he employed in making the movie, especially regarding the elaborate concert scenes.

R4 vs R1

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

    Rock Star was released on DVD in Region 1 in January 2002.

    The Region 4 DVD misses out on:

    The Region 1 DVD misses out on:

    In Region 4 we have been treated to an RSDL disc, and our superior PAL image. Therefore I easily favour our version.

Summary

    Rock Star may be a little simplistic and predicable, but it's a great night's entertainment. Metal and Hard Rock fans will probably revisit this title a few times, - I know that I will. One more time . . . "Stand Up and Shoouuuuuut!!!"

    The video quality is excellent.

    The audio quality is also excellent.

    The extras are great.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Monday, March 11, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony STR DE-545
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

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