H D - S E N S E I

A view on Hi-def DVDs by Gary W. Tooze

Rudy [Blu-ray]

 

(David Anspaugh, 1993)

 

 

 

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Studio:

Sony Pictures
 

Discs:

Region: FREE

Feature Runtime: 1:53:59

Chapters: 24

Feature film disc size: 33.0 Gig (dual-layered)

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: September 9th, 2008

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p

Video codec: MPEG4-AVC

 

Audio: English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1, DUB: French: Dolby TrueHD 5.1

Subtitles:
Feature: English SDH, English, French, none
 

Supplements:

Rudy: The Real Story (12:53 - SD)
Production 'Teaser' Featurette (3:10 - SD)
First Down With Sean Astin (1:05 - SD)
HD trailer for Close Encounters of the Third Kind
BD-Live Features

 

Product Description: All his life, people have told Rudy he's not good enough, not smart enough, not big enough. But nothing can stop his impossible dream of playing football for Notre Dame. From the time he's a young boy, Rudy (Sean Astin) is determined to join the Fighting Irish. But his blue collar family only laughs at his ambitions - they know Rudy will follow his father and brothers to the local steel mill. And, for four long years after high school, he does just that. But some dreams won't die, as Rudy proves when he goes to heroic, occasionally hilarious, lengths to win admission to Notre Dame. Once there, he becomes a walk-on player, serving as little more than a human tackling dummy against the starting players. Bloodied but unbeaten, Rudy wins the respect of legendary coach Ara Parseghian and the other Irish players, who give him one shot at gridiron glory. An incredible true story from the creators of Hoosiers, Rudy is an unforgettable testament to the power of dreams and the triumph of the common man...

 

 

 

The Film:

Underdog movies are a durable genre and never go out of style. They're fairly predictable, in the sense that few movie underdogs ever lose in the big last scene. The notion is enormously appealing, however, because everyone can identify in one way or another.

 

In "Rudy," Astin's performance is so self-effacing, so focused and low-key, that we lose sight of the underdog formula and begin to focus on this dogged kid who won't quit. And the last big scene is an emotional powerhouse, just the way it's supposed to be.

Excerpt from Roger Ebert's review at The Chicago Sun-Times located HERE

 

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

Surprisingly strong image considering the film is 15 years old now. Detail exhibited by the 33.0 Gig of space on the dual-layered Blu-ray produces a competent, if not always stellar, 1080P image. This is a very demonstrative improvement over the old SD edition from 2000. Although this new Blu-ray supports the football field scenes of the film with bright true colors - there are still some monochromatic scenes with noise - and even a few speckles. The transfer seems to match the film's lead character with a quiet, understated appearance that plods through the entire film. It is fairly consistent and detail occasionally reaches those profound heights fans of this new format tend to gush over. Rudy is not an overly visual feast with a straightforward storyline and some infrequent close-ups. So purchasers shouldn't expect extravagance. Bottom like is that this transfer quality is healthy enough to endorse and there is no DNR or edge enhancement that I could detect. The majority of the time it is pretty crisp, clean and film-like. The screen captures (linked to full-resolution versions) should give a fair idea of the quality.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio & Music:  
The TrueHD 5.1 track is likewise competent, but rarely aggressive. Crowd noises at the final game tend to separate nicely. Jerry Goldsmith's score and the occasional Notre Dame Victory March are well supported with consistency on the HD track. All-in-all pretty solid - if again not blowing the windows out. Subtitles are offered in English and French. The disc is region FREE.

 

Extras:
Not too much, although I enjoyed seeing the 'real' Rudy in the 12 minutes featurette 'Rudy: The Real Story'. There is also a kind of production teaser lasting a scant 3 minutes (with Anspaugh, Charles Dutton and the screenwriter Pizzo among others giving a line or two) and another piece with the lead; First Down With Sean Astin - all three are in SD. Lastly an HD trailer for Close Encounters of the Third Kind (as seen on many Sony
Blu-rays). This disc supports Sony's BD-Live Features.

 

 

Bottom line:
I really enjoyed this film - especially looking (and sounding) this good. It's the type of experience you need to repeat every once in a while. It's not as over-the-top as so many Hollywood efforts and Anspaugh really has a handle on the underlying 'phantasm' of sports thing - his Hoosiers is another favorite film (also in Indiana, by the way.) I'm a firm believer in so much of life being trying as opposed to succeeding. Rudy supports this philosophy and we need it reinforced continually. The
Blu-ray really helps this film hit home and we endorse this new transfer as the best it looks for home theater playback.  

Gary Tooze

September 9th, 2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





 

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