'The Boat that Rocked' rolls on to Blu-ray with a very good Region Free 1080p VC-1 encoded transfer that's framed in the widescreen 2.35:1 aspect ratio. It's fairly typical of a recent release, with a sharp image while the skin tones are of the somewhat pale British variety - reminding us that this is not a piece of Hollywood programme filler fodder. There is a very fine veil of grain throughout that becomes more apparent on the boat interior shots where, perhaps, a faster film stock has been used to create a look that works well with the 'handheld' camerawork. There's nothing wrong with this as it merely serves to remind us that it was shot on film and lends the movie a slightly documentary or 'actuality' feel.
Blacks are deep as the ocean in the night time scenes, while contrast is healthy throughout. Overall, a pleasing looking transfer.
The audio on 'The Boat that Rocked' comes in the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 format which ensures that the DJ's patter is firmly and clearly locked to the centre speaker, while the surrounds take command of the beating of the waves in the stormy sections. Towards the end, the 'complaining' of the ship is reproduced with room filling bass by the subwoofer. But come on, this is a movie about the music and the stereo pair are fed a punchy, spacious representation of the period tracks that make them live anew.
Well worth buying, just for the soundtrack itself.
We're given an interesting, light hearted comm. track by director Richard Curtis, producer Hilary Bevan Jones as well as actors Nick Frost & Chris O'Dowd. We hear of the problems of filming on a boat for 5 weeks and fed a few amusing anecdotes from a cast and crew that seem to have had a good time making the movie.
Deleted scenes (HD, 46 mins)
Director Richard Curtis introduces each clip (but there's an option to simply watch the clips) and he seems a bit depressed as he tells us that these are his favourite scenes from the movie and they ended up being cut. He reckons that if they'd been left in, they might have made more money. Some are extended scenes, but others are complete chunks that were removed to get the running time down to a reasonable length. There are one or two good scenes, like the assault on competitor Sunshine Radio and some others that focus on getting as much mileage as possible from Jack Davenport's character's surname (Twatt). Some of it goes a bit far, causing the joke to get tired and it's probably just as well that it was removed.
It's a bit disappointing to note that we don't have a good, substantial 'Making of' documentary. Instead we have a series of 'bite sized chunks' that won't test the attention span of a ferret.
- Tuning In (HD, 3mins 38 sec)
The cast and crew focus on their memories of tuning in to pirate radio stations and the 'coolness' of doing something deemed risky at the time.
- 7” of Heaven (HD, 3 mins)
This short concentrates on the choice of music used throughout the film and the memories it evokes for the cast and crew.
- All at Sea (HD, 2 mins 56 sec)
Here we have the cast sharing their memories of filming on a boat for an extended period. Rhys Derby (Angus in the movie) explains the problems faced by the actors while filming in water.
- Getting Ship Shape (HD, 3mins 7 secs)
Here we are taken on a trip around the various cabins by Rhys Derby who also introduces us to the large 'gimbals' used to rock the boat.
- Hitting the Decks (HD, 3 mins 50 secs)
Emma Freud, associate producer on the movie drew upon her own past experience to train the acting DJ's in the use of the record decks. We hear that each had to find their character's 'radio voice' as well as their normal voice.
- Mark's Love Den (HD, 3 mins)
This short focuses on the scene where Tom Wisdom as Mark shares a scene with a roomful of semi naked women. Apparently 18 guys were involved in the decision as to whether the girls looked okay.
'The Boat that Rocked' is set adrift on Blu-ray with a very good Region Free 1080p VC-1 encoded transfer of this recent movie, framed in its theatrical widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1.
The pale British skin tones are faithfully reproduced and the image is sharp with healthy levels of contrast throughout.
The DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack really does rock like the boat with period music from a wide range of artists. The DJ dialogue is crisp and intelligible while the waves buffet the walls of your lounge courtesy of the surrounds and subwoofer.
Among the extras we have an interesting comm. track, a shovel load of deleted scenes as well as a raft of mini featurettes.
As a movie it's a humorous tale of pirate radio, filled with on board antics as our heroes battle with a spoilsport British Government of the day to broadcast their own kind of music. Worth a spin.
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