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Rounders Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: R
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Lionsgate/Miramax
  • Blu-ray Release Date: August 23, 2011
  • List Price: $14.99

[amazon-product]B0055OTJPS[/amazon-product]

Purchase Rounders on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:4/5]

Eight years before Casino Royale came along to reboot the 007 franchise and simultaneously prove that poker (and parcour) on the big screen can make for real thrills, intensity, and, let’s face it, coolness, this 1998 film from Miramax had already done the same thing. Rounders, the name given to people who make their living “making the rounds” from one poker club to the next, follows the intense and often violent world of underground high stakes poker, where the players can win big or lose everything on the turn of a card.

Matt Damon (The Bourne movies; Good Will Hunting) stars as Mike, a reformed gambler who lost his life savings once and is now trying his best to stay straight, earn a decent living, keep his girlfriend (Grechen Mol) happy, and make his way through law school. But when his old childhood friend and gambling buddy Worm (Edward Norton) gets out of prison and needs to make money quickly to pay off the debts he owes, Mike is pulled back into the world of the rounders, with one highly-connected Russian loan shark (John Malkovich) breathing down their necks.

As is usually the case, John Malkovich steals almost every scene he is in here, but Damon puts in a worthy effort in this star-studded affair that also includes strong performances from Norton, John Turturro, and even Martin Landau.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Rounders shows up in a rather nice looking AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 encodement from Liosngate/Miramax. The source is clean, there is a thin and consistent layer of grain. There are inky blacks, natural flesh tones, a textured appearance and no evidence of any sort of video noise. This is one of the stronger looking releases from this recent crop of Miramx releases.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

The audio mix, a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack is somewhat disappointing. There’s a little ambience in the surround channels, but the mix remains rather front-heavy and also shows some crackle in the dialogue from time to time with little low frequency extension.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

Think you can stand shoulder to shoulder with pros? Well, maybe you can after you take in all the tips from the professional poker players they’ve packed onto this release, even if there’s nothing particular to the high-def Blu-ray included, it’s still cool. So, what do you say? You feelin’ lucky?

The supplements as provided are:

  • Audio Commentary with director John Dahl, screenwriters David Levien and Brian Koppelman, and actor Edward Norton
  • Audio Commentary with professional poker players Johnny Chan, Phil Hellmuth, Chris Moneymaker, and Chris “Jesus” Ferguson
  • Behind the Scenes Special (1.33:1; 480i/60; 00:05:19)
  • Inside Professional Poker (1.33:1; 480i/60; 00:05:38)
  • Champion Poker Tips:
    • Johnny Chan
    • Chris “Jesus” Ferguson
    • Phil Hellmuth
    • Chris Moneymaker

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

A really thrilling crime/drama that looks excellent on this Blu-ray release from Miramax and is a good distraction, Rounders is loaded with strong performances, good writing, and lots of thrills.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B0055OTJPS[/amazon-product]

Purchase Rounders on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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