RocknRolla appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a good but not great image.
Sharpness became the minor weak link, as wide shots tended to feel more tentative than expected. Still, most of the flick offered positive delineation, so the soft elements didn’t become a significant issue.
The image showed no signs of jagged edges or shimmering, and it also lacked edges haloes. Outside of some “intentional flaws” during the credits, the movie came with no source defects.
RocknRolla featured a limited palette that went with a copper tint much of the time as well as instances of teal. Within those parameters, the colors looked fine.
Blacks were deep and dark, and shadows showed nice clarity and smoothness. Outside of the mild softness, this became an appealing presentation.
The Dolby TrueHD 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.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the DVD version? The lossless audio seemed a bit more dynamic, whereas visuals appeared smoother and more accurate. Though the BD didn’t excel in terms of picture, it topped the DVD.
The Blu-ray repeats the extras from the DVD and adds one. We begin with an audio commentary from writer/director Guy Ritchie and actor Mark Strong. Both 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 disc 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 two minutes and shows a chat among One Two, Mumbles and Handsome Bob as the play a caper. It simply adds a little unnecessary exposition.
Exclusive to the Blu-ray, Inside RocknRolla lasts 15 minutes, three seconds and offers info from Butler, Ritchie, Newton, Wilkinson, Strong, and actors Jeremy Piven, Idris Elba, Tony Kebbell, and Chris Bridges.
“Inside” examines story and characters, cast and performances, locations, visual style and stunts/action. Some decent details emerge here, but most of “Inside” feels fairly superficial.