Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r


directed by John Dahl
USA 1998

I'll admit the current poker craze has me gazing in fascination. I have been a quasi-serious player for over 20 years and have (stupidly) stayed in more than my fair share of $1000 pots. I play online now (for fun) and with buddies about once every month. And... I really like this film. It stayed fairly faithful to the truth of the game without glossy royal flushes or 4-of-a-kinds to destroy the realism of most of the rakes. Damon plays his 'everyman', Norton another cocky, intelligent and dangerous young man, Landau as a trusting mentor, Malkovich got to ham it up a little with the Russian accent and Turturro slides into a typical NY hustler/survivor role without much effort. It's a fantasy dream story - with the talented young man forsaking all in his quest for fame. The film is done quite adeptly with great performances and appropriately seedy atmospheres. There are lots of appropriate poker quotes through the film and it again adds to the subtle underground aura. A guilty pleasure which I have seen about three times now, I must recommend. More underplayed than most of Hollywood's current cultural Draino.

Gary Tooze

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 8th, 1998 - Deauville Film Festival

Reviews        More Reviews         DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Miramax - Collector's Edition - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray vs. Miramax / Lionsgate - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

1) Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Miramax - Collector's Edition - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) MiraMax / Lionsgate - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Miramax

Region 1  - NTSC

Miramax
Region 1 - NTSC
Alliance (Universal)
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray
MiraMax / LionsGate
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray
Runtime 2:00:24 2:00:28 2:00:36.437 2:00:46.072
Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.39 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.73 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 18,265,566,333 bytes

Feature Size: 18,194,663,424 bytes

Average Bitrate: 20.11 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

Disc Size: 42,142,402,461 bytes

Feature Size: 37,525,628,928 bytes

Average Bitrate: 34.95 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Standard

 

Bitrate:

 

CE

 

Bitrate: Alliance

 

Blu-ray

 

Bitrate: Lionsgate

 

Blu-ray

 

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1) English (Dolby Digital 5.1), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 2.0)  

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3053 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3053 kbps / 24-bit
(DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio French 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3771 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3771 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Subtitles English (CC) and none English (CC), French, Spanish and none None English (CC), French, Spanish and none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Miramax

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical trailer

DVD Release Date: April 2nd, 2001
Keep Case

Chapters 28

Release Information:
Studio: Miramax

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary by director John Dahl, screenwriters David Levien & Brian Kopplman and actor Edward Norton
• Commentary by professional poker players
• Behind the Scenes of "Rounders"
• Set Top Games - How to Play Poker and Texas Hold'Em
• Tips from Real Poker Champions

DVD Release Date:
September 7th, 2004
Keep Case
Chapters: 28

Release Information:
Studio: Alliance (Universal)

Disc Size: 18,265,566,333 bytes

Feature Size: 18,194,663,424 bytes

Average Bitrate: 20.11 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• None

Blu-ray Release Date: March 3rd, 2009
Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 28

Release Information:
Studio: Miramax

Disc Size: 42,142,402,461 bytes

Feature Size: 37,525,628,928 bytes

Average Bitrate: 34.95 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Commentary by director John Dahl, screenwriters David Levien & Brian Kopplman and actor Edward Norton
• Commentary by professional poker players
• Behind the Scenes of "Rounders" (5:19)

• Inside the Poker Player (5:38)
• Tips from Real Poker Champions

Blu-ray Release Date: August 23rd, 2011
Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 16
 

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

 

ADDITION: LionsGate / MiraMax Blu-ray - August 11': As we expected MiraMax (now with Lionsgate) have come out with a dual-layered release with a significantly higher bitrate. It still doesn't crisp up the way most of us would like but I suppose this is more inherent in the production - or maybe a hint of DNR. Regardless, it still looks better overall 'in-motion' - I can't comment on the colors but the Canadian edition varies quite a bit - looking unpleasantly orange in some scenes or overly bright in others. The MiraMax/LionsGate 1080P, also around 2.35:1, frequently shows more information in the frame - most notably in the top of the frame. 

 

Audio has DTS-HD Master but it's a squeak more robust than the Alliance. It offers subtitles where the first released Blu-ray didn't.

 

Pretty much the same extras as the 2004 DVD with 'Inside the Poker Players' replacing the 'How to play' segment. This new Blu-ray also has some nice jazz music during the opening menus.

 

Great value here - love the film and the price is almost a 'give-away'. No-Limit Hold'em may have gone out of vogue in some circles Rounders is still a classic with great performances filled with gripping scenes. Certainly recommended at this price.

***

 

ADDITION: Alliance Blu-ray - February 09': Okay, this is another Canadian Alliance bare-bones single-layered Blu-ray. MiraMax have already scheduled their US BR on August 23rd, 2011 HERE. With present conversion the Alliance is listed at $17.95 CAD = $14.11 US where the upcoming MiraMax will be $25.95 US - over $11 difference. I don't know positively, but expect the MiraMax will port over the existing extras from the CE DVD. Bottom line here is that it's nice to have the option.

 

This 10-year old film has never looked pristine - perhaps with an intentional rougher look to support the seedy dive locales of Rounders. There are light speckles visible - even on the Blu-ray. It improves in the usual areas - detail and better depth but I don't think this is every going to look dynamically sharp. The Blu-ray is the best digital representation so far and I don't know that dual-layering with superior compression will do a heck of a lot more. Skin tones are typically warmer. I don't see manipulation in the Alliance and it is most-likely reasonably faithful to the theatrical. I'll probably compare this MPEG-4 AVC rendering with the hi-def MiraMax but I don't expect a miraculous turn-around of visual improvement.

 

Audio offers a bump to DTS-HD Master but the film soundtrack doesn't have an immense amount of aggression of moments or separation. It is mostly dialogue and the sound of poker chips. Even Christopher Young's score is passive but suits the film well. This won't give your Surround system excessive work. There are no subtitles offered on the Alliance.

 

There are no extras at all and the price reflects that. It's decent to have the choice IF the supplements will be repeated from the CE DVD (and you already own them - or don't care to indulge). As I said the image may be improved but it wouldn't surprise me if it was very similar. I like this film and enjoyed my viewing. Norton and Damon make a decent combination here with support from Malkovich and Turturro. I'm content to own the Canadian edition at this point.

 

***

 

 

ON THE DVDs: The newer Collector's Edition will show its image superiority most prominently on a widescreen or projection system. Its apparent softer appearance is essentially because of decreasing the image to suit the web format. The original release was not particularly poor, it just was not anamorphic and often its sharpness masqueraded as digital noise and it could look a bit dirty at times. Colors seem duplicated on both and there is no cropping to speak of. Both releases are tight to the frame maximizing horizontal resolution and both are a perfect 2.35 aspect ratio. The extras are vastly superior on the new edition although not totally free of filler-style unimportance (with the game and 5 second tips etc.). The new CE offers a French audio DUB and more subtitle options although I prefer the white font of the old release.

 

Frankly it's nice to see an 'updated' release that improves in every area, especially image and extras.

 - Gary Tooze


DVD Menus

(Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Miramax - Collector's Edition - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

 

 

MiraMax / Lionsgate - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample

 

1) Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Miramax - Collector's Edition - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) MiraMax / Lionsgate - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 


 

Screen Captures

 

1) Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Miramax - Collector's Edition - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) MiraMax / Lionsgate - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 


1) Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Miramax - Collector's Edition - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) MiraMax / Lionsgate - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Miramax - Collector's Edition - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) MiraMax / Lionsgate - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Miramax - Collector's Edition - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) MiraMax / Lionsgate - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Miramax - Collector's Edition - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) MiraMax / Lionsgate - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Miramax - Collector's Edition - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) MiraMax / Lionsgate - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Grabs

1) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) MiraMax / Lionsgate - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

1) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) MiraMax / Lionsgate - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

1) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) MiraMax / Lionsgate - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

1) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) MiraMax / Lionsgate - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

MiraMax LionsGate Blu-ray

Sound:

MiraMax LionsGate Blu-ray

Extras:

MiraMax LionsGate Blu-ray / CE

 

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Miramax

Region 1  - NTSC

Miramax
Region 1 - NTSC
Alliance (Universal)
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray
LionsGate
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray





 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...