S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
(Greg Mclean, 2007)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Dimension Films
Video: Alliance Canada
Region: 'A'-locked (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 22,499,662,154 bytes
Feature Size: 22,418,393,088 bytes
Video Bitrate: 23.99 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: October 6th, 2009
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080i / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3673 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3673 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
Description: A handful of tourists looking for adventure get more than they bargained for when they cross paths with a massive man-eating beast in this thriller. Pete McKell (Michael Vartan) is a writer for an American travel magazine who has been assigned to write a story about vacationing in rugged Northern Australia. Pete signs up for a cruise along a river that's home to a large crocodile population, with tough but pretty Kate Ryan (Radha Mitchell) serving as guide. Pete soon finds he's roughing it in the Aussie wilds with an eclectic variety of travelers, including Russell (John Jarratt), who is dealing with the death of his wife; Simon (Stephen Curry), a tactless amateur photographer; and Allen (Geoff Morrell), a member of the British upper crust making the trip with his ailing spouse (Heather Mitchell) and their rambunctious daughter (Mia Wasikowska). While Kate's former husband, who also works on the river, makes a pest of himself in the early stages of the voyage, the travelers soon find they have more to worry about when their craft is attacked by a massive 25-foot crocodile, who is just clever enough to know how to trap its prey before enjoying them for dinner. Rogue was written and directed by Greg McLean, who made a splash among horror fans in 2005 with his debut film, Wolf Creek.
A group of tourists are nuzzled down the food chain when they encounter a giant crocodile while exploring the lush and eerily beautiful backwaters of Australia’s outback.
McLean initially takes the slow-burn, less-is-more approach, fleshing out the characters while treating us to all manner of seductive scenery; ever hinting at the hostility of nature and the potential dangers that lurk just beneath the surface of that all-too-tranquil, picture-postcard water. The cinematography, courtesy of Will Gibson, negates the sleazy abattoir grime of Wolf Creek to offer us stunning sun-dappled vistas and shimmering, snaking waterways as far as the eye can see. In capturing the untainted majestic beauty and timelessness of the Northern Territory, Gibson has probably done more for the Australian Outback Tourist Board than any of their own advertising campaigns.Excerpt from James Gracey at Eye For Film located HERE
The transfer from Alliance is interlaced (1080i) but the outdoor cinematography of Australia on Blu-ray still looks quite impressive. Detail is quite good in close-ups. This is only single-layered but has an acceptable bitrate. Colors seem brighter and truer than SD could relate and while noise exists - it is never intrusive - but more prevalent later in the film. The daylight scenes are more impressive and the latter 1/3 of Rogue is very dark. This Blu-ray is not exceptional but does an adequate job of presenting this gripping film with very pleasing, if not stellar, visuals.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Alliance offers another surprisingly strong DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3673 kbps and there are plenty of effect noises, rock music and awkward suspense cues to go along with the chilling pauses. It has decent bass and is impressively robust. There is also a standard 5.1 and French DUB available but no subtitle options at all and my Momitsu has identified it as being Region 'A'-locked.
Typical of Alliance Canada - there are no supplements - not even a trailer - and barely a menu as the presentation starts almost immediately upon putting the disc in the player. The 'Pop-up' menu gives only the audio options.
October 19th, 2009
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be
it, but film will always be my first love and I list my
favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze