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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Rams aka Hrútar [Blu-ray]


(Grímur Hákonarson, 2015)


Cohen Media is releasing Rams on Blu-ray in Region 'A' June of 2016:


Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Aeroplan Film

Video: Soda Pictures



Region: 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:32:37.468 

Disc Size: 43,704,924,258 bytes

Feature Size: 29,637,150,720 bytess

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: May 30th, 2016



Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio Icelandic 3282 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3282 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio Icelandic 2046 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2046 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)



English (SDH), none



BFI Q&A with director Grímur Häkonarson (30:45)
Grímur Häkonarson's short film "Wrestling" (2007, 22:26)

•  Trailer (1:28)

Reversible sleeve





Description: In a secluded valley in Iceland, brothers Gummi and Kiddi live side by side, tending to their prized ancestral sheep. But a long-term grudge means that they haven’t spoken to each other for four decades, passing messages via the sheep dog. When a lethal ovine disease suddenly appears in the valley, the authorities move in to cull all of the livestock. But Gummi and Kiddi don’t give up easily and each brother tries to stave off the disaster in his own fashion: Kiddi by using his rifle and Gummi by using his wits. As the authorities close in the brothers will need to come together to save the special breed of sheep passed down for generations - and themselves - from extinction.



The Film:

The perfect tale for a cold winter’s night, Rams tells the story of two brothers. Their names are terribly long and Icelandic, so let’s call them Gummi and Kiddi, which makes them sound like lesser-known cousins of the Marx brothers.

They are sheep farmers who have lived on the same scrubby patch of farmland their entire lives, raising sheep. For reasons that are never made clear, they hate each other and have not spoken for 40 years. (Going out on a limb here, but I think their tiff might be sheep-related.) Their only communication is by written note, carried by Somi, their trusted sheepdog.

Excerpt from The National Post located HERE

Even though they live in rural Iceland, thousands of miles from the Holy Land, and in a modern reality of computers and mechanized farm equipment, Gummi and Kiddi have a decidedly Old Testament vibe. It’s not just the untended beards and the well-tended sheep. The two men, who live on neighboring farms in a quiet valley, are feuding brothers, locked in a sibling rivalry that recalls Jacob and Esau or Cain and Abel. The sources of the bad blood are never specified, but it trickles though “Rams,” Grimur Hakonarson’s new film, like an icy stream.

Kiddi (Theodor Juliusson) is larger, ruddier, drunker and luckier than Gummi (Sigurdur Sigurjonsson), and maybe better at raising and breeding sheep. Neither brother seems to have any other family, but their isolation does not spark any desire for each other’s company. When Gummi’s best ram comes in second to Kiddi’s at an annual contest for local breeders, it’s clear that this is not his first such humiliation. His desire for revenge, which may be aided by something like divine intervention, gives this cleareyed and eccentric movie its plot.

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE


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

Rams gets a dual-layered max'ed-out transfer to Blu-ray from Soda Pictures. It was shot on HD (Arri Alexa) and shows the features of this versatile production method. The image is quite crisp - it does look a shade green to me - but not having seen the film theatrically - I really can't speak to the original appearance. Colors are realistic, not overly bright, and the screen captures should give you a fair idea as to the appearance of the UK 1080P rendering. There are some beautiful shots in Rams.

















Audio :

The audio is transferred in DTS-HD Master with the option of a 5.1 surround or a 2.0 channel in the original Icelandic language. There are some farm-animal sounds but few demonstrative effects. The score is by Atli Örvarsson (Vantage Point) and is sparse but supported well by the lossless. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.


Extras :

Supplements include a 1/2 hour BFI Q&A with director Grímur Häkonarson as well as a Häkonarson's short film "Wrestling" from 2007 running about 22-minutes. It's a love story about 2 gay wrestlers who keep their relationship a secret. There is also a trailer and the Soda Pictures package has a reversible sleeve.



Rams is great - it's very dry, provides us a rare Icelandic exposure, it's about family relationships, honor - the scenery is beautiful, austere. It has plenty of things going for it and I will definitely watch it again and show to friends. I was impressed.  The Soda Pictures Blu-ray provides, what appears to be, a very authentic HD presentation of a highly attractive and compelling film. Strongly recommended! 

Gary Tooze

May 25th, 2016

Cohen Media is releasing Rams on Blu-ray in Region 'A' June of 2016:


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.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
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Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

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Gary W. Tooze






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