Revolver appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 5:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. The film boasted a consistently good transfer.
Only a few minor issues affected sharpness. I noticed a little softness in some wide shots, but those didn’t create many distractions. Most of the flick appeared concise and well-defined. No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects occurred, and edge enhancement remained minor. In addition, source flaws were absent from this clean presentation.
Colors worked well. A few stylized elements popped up – such as those with heavy red or blue lighting – but much of the movie featured brighter, more dynamic tones. The hues were lively and vibrant throughout the flick. Blacks came across as deep and distinctive, while shadows were smooth and well-rendered. Overall, the image seemed satisfying.
Even better, the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Revolver excelled. The soundfield used all five channels to great advantage throughout the film. Music blasted from the front and rears to pump the adrenaline, and effects showed strong localization and integration. The many action sequences brought out the best material, but more introspective elements also added a lot to the piece.
In addition, the track sounded very good. Music fared well, as the score and songs were dynamic and vivid throughout the flick. Effects were also concise and powerful. They lacked distortion, and both music and effects showed excellent low-end response. Speech was distinctive and crisp at all times. I really liked this involving and active soundtrack.
When we head to the DVD’s extras, we start with an audio commentary from writer/director Guy Ritchie and editor James Herbert. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific chat. They discuss the project’s origins and themes, sets and locations, story elements, metaphors and interpretation, various psychological concepts, and a few production details.
You know how most directors avoid divulging too much about what their films mean? That ain’t Ritchie. Oh, he occasionally holds back, partly to leave something open to viewer interpretation and partly because the subject is too rich to cover adequately in a commentary. However, most of the chat finds Ritchie in interpretive mode, as he digs into the psychological meaning of the film and its various notions.
Which is fine with me, and I expect most other viewers will feel the same way. Ritchie handles all of this with humor and charm, so the medicine goes down easily. Heck, he even addresses the film’s critics – and does so in a rather diplomatic manner. Herbert occasionally throws in his two cents, but Ritchie dominates this consistently engaging commentary.
Seven Deleted/Extended Scenes fill a total of 23 minutes, 52 seconds. These include “Alternate Opening Sequence” (2:40), “Extended Chess Game” (3:32), “White Knickers” (1:29), “Extended Rooftop Golf” (4:54), “Alternate Lord John Assassination” (2:45), “Extended Elevator” (4:55) and “Alternate Ending” (3:34). Some of these are just more explicit versions of existing sequences in terms of narrative; they make some of the movie’s themes more obvious. I can’t say any of them do anything for me. As for the “Ending”, it’s really more of a coda in which we see quotes about perceptions of reality placed over graphic crime scene photos. No thanks.
We also find a four-minute and two-second collection of Outtakes. It’s mostly the usual set of goofs and silliness, so take it as you want.
Three featurettes follow. The Game: The Making of Revolver runs 24 minutes, 30 seconds and provides remarks from Ritchie and actors Jason Statham, Vincent Pastore, and Andre Benjamin. “Game” gives us some characters and story notes, themes and symbolism, script changes and Ritchie’s style on the set, the movie’s look and design, sets and locations, stunts and a few general production thoughts.
For the most part, “Game” talks a lot but doesn’t say much. It prattles on about fairly uninformative subjects and fails to deliver much insight about the movie. Some of the shots from the set are fun to see, but this ends up as a disappointing show.
Revolver: Making the Music goes for 14 minutes, eight seconds and includes Ritchie, composer Nathaniel Mechaly, soundtrack producer Jerome Lateur. We get some info about the score and its recording. A few decent notes emerge here, but the show worries too much about a flashy style. That aspect makes it less substantial than it should be.
For the last featurette, we get the 16-minute and 14-second The Concept: An Interview with Writer/Director Guy Ritchie and Editor James Herbert. In this, they discuss how Herbert came onto the project, editing specifics, cinematic inspirations, the film’s animation, and the movie’s reception. Since they already did a commentary, I thought this chat would be redundant. To my pleasant surprise, Herbert and Ritchie find a lot of new ground to cover here, primarily because editing becomes the focal point. This becomes a solid little piece.
Some stills appear in a Photo Gallery. In all, 55 shots appear, and these come from the set as well as the film. Not many of them seem terribly interesting.
A few ads open the DVD. We get clips for Blu-ray Discs, Southland Tales and Slipstream. These also appear under the Previews domain along with promos for Cleaner and Snatch. Though the set includes a music trailer, it doesn’t present the theatrical ad for Revolver.
Some view Revolver as an intellectual action film, whole others take it as little more than a load of pretentious claptrap. I fall closer to the first camp, as I think the movie manages to create an interesting twist on a well-worn genre. The DVD provides very good picture and audio as well as a few extras highlighted by an informative audio commentary. Revolver won’t be for everyone, but I think it deserves a look.