RocknRolla Blu-ray: Review By Evan "Mushy" Jacobs

It might not be the most original movie I have ever seen but it does stand out in a sea of very subpar films.
  • OVERALL
    4.0
    GREAT
  • Feature
  • Picture
  • Sound
  • Extras
  • Replay Value
THE GOOD
Guy Ritchie makes a triumphant return.
THE BAD
It'd be nice to see Ritchie have success outside of this genre.
THE FEATURE
RocknRolla sees Guy Ritchie return to the genre that made him. Having burst on the scene with Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, Ritchie had a few missteps but again seems on firmer ground in this new film. He employs a bunch of different stories that all center around one thing... crime. In this film we have Lenny Cole (Tom Wilkinson), a man who is trying to up his social standing on the crime ladder. Throw in One Two (Gerard Butler), a small timer who is also trying to get good, and you start to see that a collision is inevitable. Then you have some fake people in the music business, a mean accountant named Stella (Thandie Newton), and a few other blokes and suddenly one can see how this movie allows itself to revel in a frenetic state. What ensues is a film that examines crimes, character, business and the underbelly of the world that many of us love but won't admit that we love it.

Guy Ritchie is back with RocknRolla but it will be interesting to see what he does with his newfound cachet.
THE EXTRAS
High Definition Extras

Blokes, Birds and Backhanders

Going inside the making of this movie we are given a fairly standard look at how this film was made. What stands out the most is how good it looks in High Definition. We find out what the director and the actors were going for with these characters, how authentic things were actually made, and we also discover where the motivations came from for certain scenes. For example, while a shoot-out in this movie might seem to be utilized to propel the action, it also seems to serve double duty as a device to provide comedy. There are other facts, tidbits and anecdotes, but overall nothing overly impressed me.

Guys Town

Sitting back and reflecting on why he likes London so much, this featurette allows guy Ritchie to discuss this city with complete candor. He talks about how the place has evolved, where he sees the city going, and one gets the feeling that he is being completely genuine. I normally don't go for these types of featurettes, mainly because I could care less why a director (unless I am fascinated by them) likes something. Yet, Ritchie doesn't seem to be taking himself too seriously. One wonders how he might handle different material in the country he loves so much.

Standard Definition Extras

- Commentary Track

- Additional Scene
THE VIDEO
1080p - High Definition. 16x9. 2.4:1. The Special Features are partially in 1080i High Definition, partially 480i or 480p Standard Definition. This movie looked really solid on Blu-ray. I recall seeing the trailers for this film and noticing that it had a smokey/grainy look about it. David Higgs, the man who shot the film, seems to have been trying to amass various colors throughout the scenes. I got the feeling that he wanted the colors to tell us things about the characters (no doubt something that he and Ritchie talked about), and all of this comes out really nice and clean on this disc.
THE AUDIO
Dolby TrueHD: English 5.1 - Dolby Digital: English 5.1 - French, Spanish and Portugues. As you can probably guess, this movie has a real slam bang feel and that is captured quite well with the audio. I sadly don't have my speakers surrounding me, so I don't think I got the full effect of what this movie has to offer. I will say that the audio was crisp. When the bullets shoot off or something breaks it felt very real. I didn't look around my home to see if anything landed or anything, but even with my audio set-up not being the best I still got what was intended out of the sound design.
THE PACKAGE
The cast of this film is presented on this red and white front cover. The back features one image from the movie against a smokey, red background. There are technical specs, a critic's quote, a description of what this movie is about, a Special Features listing and a cast list. Nothing amazing but Warner Bros. does a good enough job.
THE FINAL WORD
I really do like Guy Ritchie's movies. I guess I was very put off by some of the films he has made recently. While I do think that this film is a sort of a gimme, like Martin Scorsese before him, Ritchie appears to be quite comfortable creating in this violent world. I will admit that a movie like this brings out the old argument I used to have with myself about gangster films. Which came first? The gangsters or the movies that showed how the gangsters act? While I know that organized crime has always existed, I tend to think that it hasn't always existed in the way that we see it today. It almost seems like if one could watch RocknRolla or Goodfellas a bunch of times, they might be able to put together just who and how they should be.

What does this have to do with RocknRolla?

It might not be the most original movie I have ever seen but it does stand out in a sea of very subpar films. It also shines on Blu-ray which is about all the impetus one needs to own it.

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Comments (3)

  1. Shelley

    Another good review Mushy! I think you either really like this movie or really dislike it.

    5 years agoby @shelleyFlag

  2. 313td

    Nice review.

    5 years agoby @313tdFlag

  3. Dodd

    I agree Mush. I think this is Ritchie's return.

    5 years agoby @doddFlag