RPG [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray B - United Kingdom - Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Samuel Scott (2nd September 2014).
The Film

***This is a technical review only. For reviews on the movie from various critics, we recommend visiting HERE.***

To win is to survive.

Stricken and suffering with a terminal disease, multimillionaire Steve Battier (Rutger Hauer, Blade Runner, Batman Begins) is desperate to be young again. Prepared to risk all, Battier approaches RPG, a biotechnological company with the ability to displace age, pain and reality.

Submerging the rich in an extreme, revitalizing experience, a ten-hour game ensues. The players awaken in unfamiliar territory and transformed physiques. Faced with the reminder of their old-age holograms, the deadliness of the rules are quickly established and play begins.

In the body of a 23- year old, Battier soon realizes that to be the sole survivor means a guarantee of eternal youth and as the clock ticks and the game darkens, the players ust find out the price they are truly willing to pay...

Video

Independent British studio Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment have released the Rutger Hauer sci-fi action movie "RPG" (AKA Real Playing Game) on to Blu-ray for British audiences in the original aspect ratio of 2.40:1. The transfer is 1080p and uses an AVC MPEG-4 encode. The quality is generally good, though it has its flaws.

The opening scenes take place in a technology company's lab, and this scene has a lot of bright whites and blues, with contrasting blacks. In these opening scenes, colours are strong and vivid, but there is a noticeable amount of crush in the blacks, and a bit of digital noise. These scenes are the worst looking in the feature though, and things do improve as the film progresses. When the 'game' (think "Battle Royale" meets "Surrogates") starts, colours still pop, but the palette expands drastically and there is a lot more depth and pop. Skin tones can appear slightly warm at times, but look natural for the vast majority. Details in these scenes again struggle when it comes to the black clothing and dark hair (suffering from crush), but are otherwise very good - particularly when it comes to the immediate concrete surroundings, where even slight chips in the paint can be seen. I didn't notice much aliasing in the transfer, but there is some consistent minor edge enhancement/ringing, and every now and then, a little bit of a judder with moving objects. As far as low budget B-movies of this ilk goes, "RPG" is above average, and does look good, but there are too many minor issues for it to be great.

The feature is uncut and runs 102:22.

Audio

Two audio options have been made available:
- English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
- English LPCM 2.0 Stereo

For my viewing I opted for the English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. Although the environment sometimes calls for it, there is surprisingly little in the way of surround activity. The score perks up at various times, and creeps in via the surrounds, with some segments using the subtle rumblings of the LFE, but environmental effects are virtually non-existent. There are several opportunities to have included footsteps and foliage rustling, but these effects are generally front orientated. Directionality and separation of effects doesn't really come into the equation, in what is essentially a basic sound design. On the plus side, there are certainly no technical issues with the audio. Dialogue is clear at all times, volume levels are steady, and there are no drop outs or scratches to report.

No subtitles have been included.

Extras

Hidden away in the audio options menu, is an audio commentary with co-director Tino Navarro who also wrote the film. The commentary is as basic as solo efforts get. There are a few dead spots here and there, and nothing is really talked about in-depth enough to be of interest to fans or budding film makers. Navarro sometimes struggles to get his point across fluently also due to English not being his first language, but he does manage to say what he intends to eventually.

The rest of the extras are self-explanatory.
Start-up Trailers:
- "Willow Creek" (1:11)
- "The Informant" (1:25)
Theatrical Trailer (1:35)

Overall

The Film: D+ Video: B- Audio: C+ Extras: D+ Overall: C-

 


DVD Compare is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and the Amazon Europe S.a.r.l. Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.co.uk, amazon.com, amazon.ca, amazon.fr, and amazon.de.