Rouge appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The transfer captured the source well.
Overall definition seemed appealing. A little softness impacted a few interiors, but the majority of the movie brought appealing accuracy and detail.
I saw no issues with jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge haloes remained absent. Grain seemed a bit heavy but appropriate, and I witnessed no print flaws.
Colors went for a fairly natural vibe that worked fine. They seemed well-rendered and appropriate for this tale.
Blacks looked deep and dense, while shadows offered good delineation. Across the board, the image satisfied.
As for the film’s PCM monaural soundtrack, it seemed competent for a film of this sort but not great. Speech became the weakest link, as the dubbed lines tended to appear somewhat edgy and thin.
Effects came with similar concerns, as they could come across as a bit rough. Music worked better and brought warm tones. Given the movie’s era, I thought it merited a “C-”, but the audio didn’t seem positive.
A few extras fill out the set, and we open with a new Interview with Director Stanley Kwan. During this 39-minute, 34-second chat, Kwan touches on aspects of his life/career, with some emphasis on the making of Rouge.
Conducted by filmmaker Sasha Chuk, Kwan provides an engaging overview. He presents a nice examination of the topics in this useful chat.
From 1996, Gender in Chinese Cinema spans one-hour, 19-minutes, 27 seconds. Directed by Kwan, it involves remarks from Kwan, filmmaker Ang Lee, John Woo, Chang Cheh, Xie Jin, Chen Kaige, Xie Yan, Hou Hsiao Hsien, Edward Yang, Allen Fong, Tsai Ming Liang, Zhang Yuan, critics Law Kar and Peggy Chiao, Kwan’s mother, and actors Leslie Cheung and Ti Lung.
As implied by the title, the documentary looks at gender constructs in Chinese films, with some emphasis on homosexual domains. While we get generally good information, the program pursues this in a somewhat scattershot manner, so it can become tough to separate the wheat from the chaff.
In addition to the film’s trailer, we finish with Still Love You After All These. A 1997 short film by Kwan, it runs 44 minutes, seven seconds.
Still looks at Hong Kong through the lens of Kwan’s life and memories. I can’t say I find it especially compelling, but it offers an intriguing component for this set.
The set concludes with a booklet that includes art, credits and an essay from critic Dennis Lim. It adds some value to the package.
Despite an intriguing premise, Rouge cannot find enough substance to sustain its running time. The roots of a good movie exist but the end result feels sluggish and thin. The Blu-ray comes with very good picture as well as erratic audio and a few bonus materials. I wanted to like Rouge but found myself bored by it.