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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Action > Drama > Post Apocalyptic > Australia > The Rover (2014/Lionsgate Blu-ray)

The Rover (2014/Lionsgate Blu-ray)

Picture: A Sound: A- Extras: B+ Film: A-

The Rover is an intense Australian dystopian filmmaking journey from frame one and one of the best films of the year! Starring Guy Pearce (Memento) and Robert Pattinson (the Twilight series) in roles like you have never seen them before. It is a contemporary western taking place in the Australian outback, ten years after a global economic collapse where you are killed or be killed.

Every aspect of the film is spot on and really hooks you from frame one. Writer/Director David Muchod (Animal Kingdom), reviewed on Blu-ray elsewhere on this site) keeps the dialogue minimal and expertly directs his actors to instead tell the story through raw emotion generating a similar feeling I had when I watched Nicholas Winding Refn's Drive a few years ago. I hadn't much about this film until this Blu-ray release but really wouldn't be surprised if it caught the attention of the Academy this year. The ending of the film is really good too where you don't quite know what Eric (Guy Pearce) is after until the final scene.

10 years after a global economic collapse, the Australian outback is a lawless wasteland, crime and poverty is common and small military units patrol the outback attempting to maintain what little law and order is left. After a robbery gone wrong, Archie (David Field), Caleb (Tawanda Manyimo) and Henry (Scoot McNairy of Gareth Edward's Monsters) flee, leaving behind Henry's injured brother Rey (Robert Pattinson). While driving away, Archie mocks Rey and Henry attacks him, causing Caleb to crash. When they cannot maneuver the vehicle out of debris, Archie steals the car belonging to mysterious loner Eric (Guy Pearce). Eric manages to start the getaway vehicle and follows them. After a brief chase, Archie stops and Eric confronts them. When Eric tries to attack Archie, Henry knocks him unconscious with a shotgun.

Eric wakes up and drives his new car into town, where he wanders into several establishments, asking if they have seen the men. He comes across the injured Rey who recognizes Eric's stolen vehicle as his brother's and soon form an unlikely bond in a search to find Eric's car. Pattinson's performance in this film is very commendable as he plays a mentally challenged character whom is very nervous and on edge the entire time.

Sound and Picture on the disc are top notch for the format and really helps bring out the ingenious cinematography and soundtrack of the film. The 1080p high definition transfer preserves the 2.40:1 widescreen aspect ratio of the theatrical presentation as impressively shot in 3-perf Super 35mm on great Kodak Vision 3 color negative film stocks by Director of Photography Natasha Braier (Chinese Puzzle, Milk Of Sorrow). The sound has been mastered in a lossless 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track that is stunning and flawless.

Extras on the disc are minimal but a 44 minute documentary on the making of the film, Something Elemental: Making The Rover, is fascinating and spot on with excellent interviews with the cast and crew and rare footage from behind the scenes. Unlike most discs nowadays, this film really gives you a sense of what the filmmakers were going for and is very thorough. There is also a Theatrical Trailer for the film.

I highly recommend this release.

- James Harland Lockhart V



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