Furious AKA Legenda o Kolovrate
R2 - United Kingdom - Signature Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Rick Curzon (30th April 2019).
The Film

A visually stunning, historical epic, based on the extraordinary real-life events surrounding the Mongol capture of the Russian city of Ryazan. As the Mongol hordes begin ransacking Russia, the invaders pillage and burn down cities, flooding Russian soil with blood, until a Ryazan takes up arms to defend his people. Kolovrat leads a detachment of several hundred brave souls to avenge his love, his people, and his homeland. A breath-taking story of courage, endurance and self-sacrifice for the sake of one's country. The legendary story of Kolvorat the Furious.

Video

Big sprawling Russian historical epic suffers from way too much digital colour correction, green screen and CGI that isn't quite up to the task to make it look real. Like Aquaman (2018), it just doesn't look right coming over like a Pixar animation film with live actors at it's centre; the uncanny valley run rampant. Everything just looks too clean.

However, this is a very slick big budget production with plenty of visual style; hot colour schemes and quality cinematography, as we've come to expect from a big budget historical epics. That said there is a pristine quality to some of these modern productions that sets them apart from traditional film and this is obvious in this transfer.

Furious was lensed in HD and looks decent on Signature's DVD with some detail, rich use of colour and and deep, luxurious black levels. I could see no signs of compression artefacts such as pixilation, aliasing or other issues. Exterior scenes benefit especially well being naturally brighter and the digital colour correction enhances the wintry ambiance. However, there is a softness typical of standard definition transfers of HD material and on that score I can only lament the lack of a Blu-ray release here in the UK. Fans who care will import the Blu-ray from other territories which presents the film in it's full HD glory; a sad state of affairs that many a UK collector is only too aware of.

There this a certain softness to the image inherent in a standard definition transfer of an HD source. That said, this DVD is no disgrace and seems to have been encoded well although for standard definition but imagine what a dual layered Blu-ray with a maxed out bitrate would've done with this large scale epic.

PAL / 2.35:1 / 113:21

Audio

Russian Dolby Digital 5.1
Russian Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Subtitles: English (forced)

Two solid lossy soundtracks. The 5.1 is obviously the way to go with a fair amount of range and plenty of surround activity. Dialogue is central and clear and the score is well defined. There is some depth here but that's to be expected. Once again, it has to be said that a lossless version would blow this lossy version out of the water. As is typical for many lossy tracks the sound level is a bit low and I had to crank the sound up on my 5.1 amp several notches to get the most out of it.

Subtitles are forced on playback alas; subs should always be removable to give viewers the choice.

Extras

Trailer: Rise of the Viking (2:21)

And that's it. Given the scale of this production I'm sure that trailers, TV spots and EPK material are available. Disappointing.

Packaging

A standard keepcase.

Overall

A rock solid, bare bones standard definition copy of this big hefty historical action epic. Picture and sound are more or less as good as can be for DVD and standard definition and the price is cheap, so if you're of a mind ... go for it!

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

 


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