S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
The Rocket [Blu-ray]
(Kim Mordaunt, 2013)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Red Lamp Films
Region: 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 33,073,195,684 bytes
Feature Size: 29,532,976,512 bytes
Video Bitrate: 34.98 Mbps
Case: Transparent Blu-ray case
Release date: June 30th, 2014
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio Lao 1813 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1813 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary: LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
English (SDH), none
• Director Commentary with Kim Mordaunt
•The Making of (19:42)
• Original UK Theatrical Trailer (2:25)
Description: Laos: A ten year old boy, Ahlo, who is believed
to bring bad luck, is blamed for a string of disasters. When
his family loses their home and are forced to move, Ahlo
meets the spirited orphan Kia and her eccentric uncle
Purple: an ex-soldier with a purple suit, a rice-wine habit
and a fetish for James Brown. Struggling to hang on to his
father s trust, Ahlo leads his family, Purple and Kia
through a land scarred by war in search of a new home. In a
last plea to try and prove he s not cursed, Ahlo builds a
giant explosive rocket to enter the most lucrative but
dangerous competition of the year: the Rocket Festival. As
the most bombed country in the world shoots back at the sky,
a boy will reach to the heavens for forgiveness.
A 10-year-old boy from rural Laos strives prove to his family that he isn't cursed by building the rocket that will win him a major competition in this feature from first-time writer, director, and producer Kim Mordaunt. Ahlo is a young boy with some serious baggage; from as long as he can remember his family has claimed he was cursed. Fleeing into rural Laos with his father and grandmother as their village is emptied out to make way for a new dam, the trio happens across a rocket contest that captivates young Ahlo's imagination. Before long Ahlo's new friend Kia and her odd-ball uncle - a James Brown fanatic - are helping the young boy to build his very own rocket. But this competition has an air of danger, and as Ahlo prepares for the big day, the risk only seems to grow.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
The spirit of childhood skips and giggles through The Rocket even
though Kim Mordaunt's debut fiction feature touches on deeply disturbing
humanitarian issues, including population displacement and the constant
threat of undetonated bombs for those living in modern, post-war Laos.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The Rocket gets an impressive transfer to Blu-ray from Eureka. This is a dual-layered transfer with a max'ed out bitrate for the 1.5 hour feature. I believe this was shot on HD and is filled with interesting and crisp looking visuals. Colors are tighter and truer than SD could relate and there is no noise in the darker sequences later in the film. The 1080P supports solid contrast exhibiting healthy, rich black levels and some minor depth in the 2.35:1 frame. It's pristinely clean showcasing some hi-def detail and there are really no flaws with the rendering. This Blu-ray does a great job of presenting the film's video. The HD rendering, combined with the excellent cinematography, is nothing short of impressive.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Eureka utilize a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 1813 kbps which supports the film without any issues. Effects seem limited existing on the realism - even the rocket sounds are authentic without augmentation. The score is by Caitlin Yeo - an Australian musician whose compositions have been featured in many documentaries. Some of it initially struck me as too modern and out of place - but after a few minutes seems to work pleasingly within the narrative. The film is on the Lao language and offers optional English subtitles. My Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.
Eureka include a revealing director commentary from Kim Mordaunt. His extensive work as both a director and cinematographer in documentaries helped develop his vérité style. The commentary gives emphasis to the production details reflecting back to the story creation. Quite worth the listen. There is also an Insight on the Making of... lasting almost 20-minutes with the director and more plus the original UK theatrical trailer.
June 16th, 2014
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 5000 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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