Rogue (2009) Horror Movie Review
Horror movies Review
Alliance should be ashamed at both the treatment of this film and the absurd price they’re asking fans to pay for a disc that they clearly put no effort into. Like most Alliance Blu-ray Discs, the packaging is mislabeled to the point of false advertising. It’s one thing to make a mistake on occasion, but Alliance mislabels their BDs on a regular basis. I’ve seen bootleg DVDs that were more accurately described on the package. But, who cares about box specs, what really matters is whether or not the preservation of the movie is on par for the format. This one is not.
It’s not that the master is outdated; every studio is guilty of cutting costs by recycling older, inferior masters on occasion that aren’t optimal for a high def presentation, as they were made using SD monitors as a reference and intentionally biased for the weaknesses of the DVD format; rather, Alliance’s BD treatment of Rogue does not even preserve the films master faithfully. Like most Alliance BDs, the films aspect has been modified to fit 1.78 screens fully. That’s not really worth much distain though as the original aspect is very close to 1.78 (Rogue’s OAR is 1.85 according to IMDb), though, here again, the box mislabels the discs aspect as 2.35. What separates this BD from ALL other film-based BDs being produced by every major studio in North America and every one I’ve seen from Europe and Asia as well, is that the films resolution has been degraded to the broadcast resolution of 1080i rather than its full 1080p/24 (1080p can be said to be the equivalent of 2160i). If you don’t think this is a big deal, keep in mind that Warner Bros recalled and replaced at their expense, their early BD release of Terminator 3, for the same exact thing, after much pressure from BD enthusiasts around the net. And Warner hasn’t made the same error since, nor has any major studio or BD distributor that I’m aware of.
For those that love this movie so much that they can justify paying top dollar for a release that is bare-boned, improperly framed, and clearly unfaithful to the film (film is progressive by nature, not interlaced and every movie has been mastered at 1080p/24 for at least a decade), here’s what to expect: Detail still rises clearly above DVD, so this is technically the best presentation of the film available at present in North America. But how much better than DVD it appears will depend on whether you’re downsampling the already down-sampled video to 720p and how proficient your player or display is at deinterlacing 1080i. Since almost all BDs are 1080p/24 except for a few concerts and documentaries, to cut costs, most players don’t prioritize their deinterlacing, meaning the deinterlacing itself could reduce resolution even more. Of course close-ups still look stunning (you know, the type of shots that still look great even on measly 480i DVD). But more expansive, distant shots lack refinement and clarity, more reminescent of broadcast than of high quality BD. And despite the films short runtime, which even this BD25 disc should be more than capable of handling, compression gets a little sloppy in the darker sequences, which most of the films drama happens at night.
Unlike the video, Alliance did splurge on lossless preservation of the audio, by way of DTS HD Master Audio. Though the disc defaults to standard lossy DD and based on their track record with video, you have to question whether or not Alliance even has access to the films original master or some lower quality broadcast master where even the audio might be less faithfully preserved, biased for stereo speakers on most TVs, like some early DVDs.
For a company that is supposed to be a major distributor in Canada, they act and operate an awful lot like a bootleg operation. Unless the price falls below $10, don’t waste your money on this sub-par Blu-ray effort. Wait for Weinstein to get their finances straightened out for a more professional release that will undoubtedly be more faithful to the film, more feature-laden, and most-likely cheaper.
About Rogue (2009)
Starring: John Jarratt, Heather Mitchell, Barry Otto, Michael Vartan, Stephen Curry
Director: Greg McLean