Kon-Tiki [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray B - United Kingdom - Soda Pictures
Review written by and copyright: Samuel Scott (12th 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 the Academy Award nominee Kon-Tiki on to Blu-ray in the United Kingdom, using the original aspect ratio of 2.40:1. The film receives an AVC MPEG-4 encode and is 1080p. It includes both the Norwegian, and longer English versions.

Note: Based on viewing of the Norwegian version.
As I said when I reviewed the DVD release a few days back, "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. To add to this, blacks are deep and inky and show very little sign of crush. Details are excellent throughout, with every little bit of sweat dripping down the faces of our characters on the raft noticeable on the contours of the skin. Some scenes are simply spectacular to look at, such as a single shot of the parrot on the raft with the swell of the sea in the background. Unfortunately, there are a couple of small issues. I did spot some occasional banding in some of the long distance shots of the skyline, and also some infrequent light compression problems, likely caused by holding both versions of the film on a single BD50 disc, rather than on two. However, the aliasing I spotted on the DVD release was not present here. Overall, this is a very strong transfer with only minor sparse issues that are barely worth mentioning.

The disc is uncut and includes both Norwegian (118:55) and longer English (113:56) versions.

Audio

The following audio options are included:
- Norwegian DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (Norwegian version)
- Norwegian Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Norwegian version)
- English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (English version)
- English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English version)

For my viewing of the Norwegian version, I opted for the Norwegian DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track which was an enjoyable experience. The film was shot in both Norwegian and English simultaneously, but unlike the DVD which included the English version only (5.1), the Blu-ray has two additional channels to make the track just that little bit more enveloping. The surrounds are well utilised throughout with 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. In comparison to the DVD, the track here sounds crisper, and the upgrade to a lossless track is as good as it should be.

Optional subtitles are available in English for the hard-of-hearing on the English version, and English on the Norwegian version.

Extras

Unfortunately, a pretty basic extras package.

Start-up Trailers (6:11):
- "Electricity" (1:57)
- "The Turning" (1:58)
- "Night Moves" (2:15)
Theatrical Trailer (2:06)

Overall

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

 


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