The Rock

DVD Rating: *****

Reviewed by: Gator MacReady

Read Gator MacReady's film review of The Rock
The Rock

Filmed in Super-35, the 2.35:1 picture is flawless. Bay's trademark style of photography is beautifully represented and 1000 different tints and color filters look brilliant. The blue sky in some scenes looks good enough to swim in. The Rock has a pretty vibrant and varied colour pallet, so whatever your favourite colour may be, it looks good.

The DVD sports a Dolby 5.1 AND a very powerful DTS track. In fact the DTS track is the most obnoxious and loudest I have ever heard. Split surrounds, stereo effects and deep bass are all over the place. Zimmer's score sound ace. And the.1 LFE channel will rumble the hell out of your living room. If you have neighbours, then they will surely be calling the police. The Dolby Digital track, while not as full, or as loud, is still very good and gives your system a solid workout.

Copy picture

The DVD, itself, is almost a direct copy of the Region 1 Criterion Collection edition, which was itself a direct copy of the 1997 Criterion Collection laserdisc. You think you're getting loads of new material with this Deluxe Edition DVD. You're not.

The commentary is very busy indeed and many people make contributions and have interesting things to say. Bay's voice doesn't sound too different from Bruckheimer's, so it is hard to differentiate them. I wouldn't say it is a good commentary because it's hardly a film lesson from an old master. More like jive-talkin' from a young hack.

A short clip on how the dive sequence was created explains the use of models - I couldn't tell, could you? - and green screen work. It's informative. But boring.

All I will say about the Outtakes is that Ed Harris is a scary man. A very, very scary man. I haven't seen that kind of bloodthirsty rage since the day I brought crazed wolves into kindergarten.

Production stills, storyboards and production design drawings are typical "cycle through it with the arrow keys" bore.

Do's and Don'ts of Hollywood Gunplay - thank God there is finally something that explains that firing weapons of any kind is not easy. Holding guns sideways, as demonstrated in many Gangsta movies, is not very clever. You'll never hit the target. And this clip, hosted by two real life Navy SEALS, will explain that. There is also lots more info on how a majority of weapons are handled and how to properly hold and fire them. Well worth some attention.

The interview with Jerry Bruckheimer gives us insight into his filmmaking beliefs and what his typical intentions are. It all seems like stuff he left out of the commentary but still feels like he needs to say. If you like his movies then go ahead and soak up his wisdom.

Just as Pearl Harbor premiered on a battleship in Hawaii, The Rock had its premier on Alcatraz. I think the only reason Bruckheimer didn't waste billions of dollars on premiering Armageddon on a real life asteroid is that he was washing his hair that particular night. If you want to see the stars walking on a red carpet, wearing shades and tuxedos and smiling - it's right here.

Reviewed on: 13 Jul 2002
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The Rock packshot
FBI boffin Nicolas Cage and grizzled lifer Sean Connery save Alcatraz from wacko army general.
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Product Code: D888427

Region: 2

Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1

Extras: Commentary from Michael Bay, Jerry Bruckheimer, Nicolas Cage, Ed Harris and technical advisor Harry Humphries; Analysis of the dive sequence; Special Effects analysis; Outtakes; Production Stills; Storyboards; Production design drawings; Do

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