RocknRolla appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Although many recent Warner Bros. transfers have proved lacking, this one looked great.
At all times, sharpness satisfied. Even in the movie’s wide shots, the image remained crisp and well-defined. I noticed no signs of jagged edges or shimmering, and I found no signs of edge enhancement either. I expected a clean transfer, and I got one via this defect-free presentation; not a speck, mark or blemish appeared. I saw a little grain in some dark interiors, but nothing major came along for the ride.
RocknRolla featured a limited palette that went with a copper tint much of the time. This meant brighter hues were few and far between, as it stayed quite restrained. Within those parameters, the colors looked fine. Blacks were deep and dark, and shadows showed nice clarity and smoothness. I thought the image worked very well from start to finish.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of RocknRolla worked reasonably well, though it didn’t provide a broad enough soundfield to merit more than a “B”. The track showed good stereo spread throughout the movie, and the forward channels offered a nice sense of atmosphere. Elements blended well and moved smoothly across the front spectrum. As for the surrounds, they contributed moderate reinforcement of the front elements and only sporadically provided unique information. They brought some life to the package but didn’t do much to excel.
Audio quality appeared fine. The lines remained natural and distinct, and they showed no issues related to edginess or intelligibility – well, no issues unrelated to the many heavy accents. Effects sounded clean and accurate, and they displayed no distortion. Music also seemed vibrant and robust with deep and rich low-end. In the end, the track lacked the sonic ambition to earn a high grade, but RocknRolla still provided a quality auditory experience.
Only a few extras pop up here. We begin with an audio commentary from writer/director Guy Ritchie and actor Mark Strong. They sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story subjects and inspirations, cast and performances, cinematography and editing, sets and locations, music, and a few other production subjects.
I like the fact that Ritchie and Strong don’t seem to take themselves too seriously, but I don’t think they provide an especially memorable track. A few fun remarks appear, such as when we learn that Chris “Ludacris” Bridges carried porn mags devoted to big butts with him – but the majority of the info seems pretty ordinary. In addition, the piece peters out pretty badly during its second half, especially when Ritchie does little more than quote the flick’s dialogue. We learn a smattering of decent details about the production but we don’t get many real insights.
By the way, the pair clearly recorded the commentary before Ritchie’s split from Madonna in October 2008. Ritchie refers to “the missus” in the track but not in an acrimonious way, so I guess he didn’t expect that they’d be finished as a couple when the DVD hit the streets.
A featurette called Guy’s Town runs eight minutes, 32 seconds. We find notes from Ritchie, Strong, producer Steve Clark-Hall, cinematographer David Higgs, location manager Claire Tovey, production designer Richard Bridgland, and actors Thandie Newton, Tom Wilkinson, and Gerard Butler. “Town” takes a look at London and its portrayal in the film. The show zips by way too quickly to offer much depth, but it throws in some nice facts about the flick’s various locations.
Next we find one deleted scene. “Will You Put That Cigarette Out?” lasts one minute, 59 seconds and shows a chat among One Two, Mumbles and Handsome Bob as the play a caper. It simply adds a little unnecessary exposition.
A few ads open the DVD. We get clips for the Project Origin videogame, Pride and Glory, Watchmen, Blu-Ray Disc and Body of Lies. No trailer for RocknRolla appears here.
Finally, DVD Two includes a Digital Copy of RocknRolla. It seems like every DVD provides this option these days; it allows you to easily transfer the flick to a portable device. I have no use for it, but I guess someone must dig it.
At times, RocknRolla offers shows potential to become a dynamic gangster adventure. However, it never sustains its minor highs to keep our attention on a consistent basis. The whole feels like less than the sum of its parts, as the movie never quite kicks into higher gear. The DVD provides excellent picture quality, good audio, and a few decent extras. RocknRolla isn’t a bad film, but it’s not particularly memorable, either.
Note that a single-disc version of RocknRolla also can be found. It simply drops the digital copy and retails for $7 less than this set.