Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Gangster > British > RocknRolla (Warner Blu-ray & DVD)

RocknRolla (Warner Blu-ray & DVD)


Picture: B/B-†††† Sound: B/B-†††† Extras: C†††† Film: B



Filmmaker Guy Ritchie is still trying to recovery from two obviously poor career choices: 1) Madonna and 2) the film he made with her called Swept Away.After his first two feature films (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels & Snatch) it seemed like there was little that Ritchie could do wrong, but he proved everyone wrong very quickly.Maybe his rise to the top with two quirky cult hit films were a mistake and all that stardom snuffed out his creative spark and all other sensibilities.Well, I think itís safe to say that after seeing RocknRolla that Ritchie is back, and in pure form again.


That being said, I want to also state that while he returns to what he knows best it also seems that this will be where he stays if he wishes to continue making films.Which I suppose is a good thing, but at the same time when you see one of his films you can expect that same style again and again.So what is Ritchieís forte? Well, odd-ball characters combined with criminal acts all spun together with some memorable witty dialogue and rapid editing that is as genius as it is vital to the overall feel and look of the film.


RocknRolla right off the bat lets us know that Ritchie is ready to Ďrollí again himself as we immediately are sucked into a very Snatch-like pace as we are introduced to our characters and in many respects it almost feels like a sequel than anything else.This time around we are dealing with a shady real estate deal that goes down between a Russian billionaire and a notorious London crime boss, but before the deal is done several thugs and gangsters will try and get their grubby hands into the mix as the transaction takes place.Among the thugs is a guy named One Two (played excellently by Gerard Butler of 300 fame) who quickly becomes one of the favorites within the film to root for.Of course other big names also grace the screen like Thandie Newton, Tom Wilkinson, and even Jeremy Piven, but itís the writing of the film that really helps draw us into this wild ride of backstabbing, betrayal, and goofy criminals.


Here we are reviewing both the Blu-ray and DVD for the film, the Blu-ray received a really stunning 1080p High Definition transfer that is framed in scope 2.40 X 1.For the film Ritchie incorporates a naturally soft look to it to begin with, which the Blu-ray handles well and demonstrates the neutral palette of colors that run throughout.While it was shot entirely on high definition cameras itís apparent that Ritchie wanted the film to have a non-film-like look as there is no grain or texture, but rather a smooth image instead.The DVD on the other hand has a harder time making this look right as it the film looks washed out and more incompetent on DVD with a softer appearance and colors that seem off.The Blu-ray is the winner for a variety of reasons, but most importantly for the overall resolution and ability to demonstrate how solid the film can look when rendered correctly in a format that can handle it.


The audio for the Blu-ray has an edge as well with a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix that outperforms the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix that is on the DVD. The mix here is disappointing at times too, especially when compared to the fantastic Superbit edition of Snatch on DVD, which was available in DTS and was fun, playful, smart, and contained tons of energy that made that film work on an even greater level.RocknRolla is predominately front heavy and forward for the most part, it would have been great to have this is DTS, but the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 performs well overall and gives a great sense of life and depth overall.


Extras are also disappointing when compared to the release of Snatch as we only get a commentary with Ritchie along with a short Inside Look, plus deleted scenes and both the DVD and the Blu-ray contain the digital copy, but aside from that the wealth of extras and content is very limited and is surely a title that in the future would be great to have re-issued with more extras.


Itís great to see Ritchie getting back into his groove, we can only hope that this is just the beginning and we will expect the future Blu-rays of his films to be a notch above as well.



-†† Nate Goss


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com