Kon-Tiki
R2 - United Kingdom - Soda Pictures
Review written by and copyright: Samuel Scott (7th March 2015).
The Film

***This is an A/V and Extras review only. For reviews on the movie from various critics, we recommend visiting HERE.***

Real adventure has no limits.

In 1947, adventurer Thor Heyerdahl embarked on an astonishing expedition – a journey of 4,300 nautical miles across the Pacific Ocean on a balsa-wood raft, seeking to prove his then-unpopular theory that the South Sea Islands had been settled by ancient South Americans from thousands of miles to the east.

Despite his inability to swim and fear of water, and the complete inexperience of his crew, Thor braves the voyage in one of the most famous and incredible expeditions of all time.

Video

Soda Pictures have released Norwegian Academy Award nominee "Kon-Tiki" on to DVD in the United Kingdom using the original aspect ratio of 2.40:1. The transfer is in PAL format and is anamorphic. Overall, it looks pretty damn good for DVD!

"Kon-Tiki" is a beautiful looking film, with some exceptional cinematography from Geir Hartly Andreassen ("Max Manus: Man of War", "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones"), especially during the long sweeping shots of the ocean and the shot of the initial encounter with the whale passing underneath the raft. The colours look great, with various shades of blues adding a feeling of significant depth during the journey. Skin tones are natural, and the yellows and browns of the raft and clothing are distinct and suit the feature well. Details are towards the high end of the DVD format, with close-ups remarkably noteworthy. Every out of place hair, and the various minute details in the wood of the raft are of particular note. Details in background items do lack a little clarity, but in my opinion, this is often down to the restrictions of standard definition. Problem wise, there isn't really anything to report, though if you want to be ultra-fussy, there is some extremely minor aliasing such as in hair 22:24, and a little dullness in some of the shadowy blacks. This is a very strong presentation, that is just shy of reference quality for DVD.

This is the longer English version of the film, which is considerably longer than the English version released Stateside by Anchor Bay. There are no cuts from the BBFC, and the feature runs 109:16.

Audio

There are two audio options available here:
- English Dolby Digital 5.1
- English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo

When "Kon-Tiki" was made, the cast and crew effectively shot the film twice, filming every scene both in Norwegian, and in English - so contrary to popular belief, it is fair to say this is one of the original language tracks, though of course the Norwegian version would have been a welcome addition. It must be said though, that like the transfer, the audio is great, and a very engrossing affair. I opted to view the feature with the 5.1 track, which was an enveloping experience, utilising the surrounds at just about every opportunity, yet never over-enthusiastically. Subtle environmental effects such as wind, the motion of the waves, and even the strain on the various aspects of the raft all sound lifelike and showcase high levels of direction and channel separation. The LFE is also used well where required, from low rumblings, to solid thuds. Dialogue is clear at all times, and there are no signs of damage such as scratches, drop outs, or pops. No background hiss is present either.

Optional subtitles are available in English for the hard-of-hearing.

Extras

Unfortunately, not a whole lot of extras to be found here.

Start-Up Trailers (5:56):
- "Electricity" (1:52)
- "The Turning" (1:53)
- "Night Moves" (2:09)
Theatrical Trailer (2:01)

Overall

The Film: B Video: A Audio: B+ Extras: E Overall: B

 


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