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4.0 out of 5 stars
Rogue [DVD]
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 18 January 2011
Its clear what this film is about, a group of tourists on a guided tour go to investigate a distress flare and end up stranded on a tiny island with a damaged boat, a rising tide, night drawing in and a massive crocodile who isn't happy with their presence. It's typical killer croc fare, nothing is particularly new hear, but it is done with a certain class and finesse. The cinematography is simply stunning, the special effects do enough to not take you out of the movie and there's enough action, drama and suspense to keep you entertained to the end.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 24 August 2012
I actually think this is a 3.5-4 star film. I love 'creature features' and this is one of the best. But, I've given this blu-ray a five star rating because the picture and sound quality elevate it so far beyond the DVD and film alone.
This is a visually stunning film anyway, with director Greg McLean lingering lovingly on the sweeping shots of the Australian outback - and, having been there myself I can say he really does it justice! Once the action starts the film shifts to a lot of night scenes; and even then the picture quality excells. All in all, this is one of the best blu-rays I have seen. 10/10 for picture quality.
Then we get the sound: a ground-shaking, wall-vibrating DTS HD-Master 5.1 track that really utilises my speaker setup.
The extras look the same as the UK DVD edition.
I get really annoyed reading blu-ray reviews that don't bother saying anything about the picture and sound, and in all my reviews I aim to give the reader information that is actually useful rather than just my opinion of the film.
Finally, then, if you like the film (read other reviews for detailed plot information) then this is a definite no-risk upgrade to blu-ray.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The simplest ideas are often the best, and there are few movie ideas more effective than depositing your characters in a hole and watching their increasingly desperate attempts to extricate themselves from it. In Rogue the hole is a tiny island that a group of tourists in Australia's Northern Territory find themselves on after a giant salt water crocodile in a particularly bad mood causes them to wreck their tour boat, and just to make matters worse, it's on a tidal river and they'll be up to their necks in water by nightfall. Oh, and nobody knows they're there. Foolproof, right? Wrong. In Wolf Creek director Greg McLean's hands it's a real wet sponge of a movie, professionally more than competent but often just... dull.

A box-office disaster in its native Oz and barely even released in the US, for once you don't feel the Weinsteins were entirely unjustified in shelving the movie for a year while they tried to figure out what to do with it before just dumping it when no-one was looking. This doesn't feel like a film that's been destroyed in post-production so much as one that just doesn't really work despite everyone's best efforts. Radha Mitchell is fine as the heroine and the low-key supporting cast convincing enough - the tour boat even gives a convincing reason for imported American `star' Michael Vartan - and there's some spectacular footage of the Territory that may well be the best digital photography to date. But the film just ambles along at a relentlessly even and unhurried pace, taking forever to strand its supply of walking food and never getting particularly excited even once the croc starts picking them off from its private larder. Things do pick up at the halfway point when someone gets the bright idea of swimming to dry land with a rope, but the promised thrills never really materialise because the film doesn't do anything we haven't seen many, many times before or do them well enough to trouble the edge of your seat.

Perhaps the biggest problem is that the croc doesn't just have no personality (which shouldn't be a problem since it's just an animal), it has no presence. There's no sense of a huge killer lurking under the water, no threat, no danger. Instead, the film just seems becalmed. It's not until some 80 minutes into the movie that we finally get much of a look at the croc, and despite being an impressive mixture of CGi and animatronics even then there's no adrenaline rush or tension as it goes through what feels like a scaled-down version of the cave scene from Dragonslayer (McLean isn't exactly the most imaginative of filmmakers, it must be said).

There are minor compensations along the way: the performances are certainly above average for such generic fodder, partially because McLean has a good feel for characterisation through small details, and there are a couple of musical homages - a distress flare is slyly underscored with a quote from Jerry Goldsmith's score for Alien while Never Smile at a Crocodile plays over the end credits. Yet ultimately it's the kind of film that all too often leaves your pulse undisturbed as you wonder what you'll watch next. There are no surprises, nothing to keep you hooked and definitely no bite. It's just too damn average to leave much impression.

A few decent extras on the DVD hint at a better film that could have been made, but you may not be able to summon up the enthusiasm to watch them after the disappointment of the main feature.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 2 February 2011
I bought this based on the great reviews it received and was really impressed. Firstly check out the cast, Sam Worthington from Avatar, Radha Mitchell from Silent Hill and Michael Vartan from One Hour Photo. The scenery is breathtaking and immediately makes you want to go to the outback of Australia. The supporting cast are pretty good too, a few over used stereotypes but nothing too cringe worthy. Some good builds of suspense through the film (spoiler warning) and I like the fact that you don't see the Crocodile much at all through most of the film and when you do see it, they made fantastic use of the budget on the CGI special effects and it looks superb, nothing over the top and it's not a freakishly unrealistic size either, just very big!

Overall a great film, will definitely be watching it again soon. In context of the budget of the film I would say Special Effects 5/5 Acting 4/5 Visual/Audio 5/5.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Saw this film a couple of years ago so it was only a matter of time before buying on bluray.

A great film with some nice performances from Radha Mitchell and a pre-Avatar Sam Worthington.

This film is not as predictable as a lot of horror/creature feature films and to me is a bit of a hidden gem in a world of over-rated blockbusters from the bigger studios.

The transfer on this bluray is amazing. Some of the shots are worthy of a David Attenborough BBC Nature series.

A great film at a great price with some nice bonus features too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Rogue starts off really well. Pseudo-documentary cinematography and understated performances from well drawn characters (when one character empties an urn of ashes into the river, it's all show and no tell). Things continue in this tightly controlled vein after the initial croc strike lands our hapless band of protagonists on a mid-river island with the tide coming in and a killer beastie in the water. The tension is stacked up, and some lovely moments really set it apart from uber-silly B-movie fare such as Mega Shark et al.

However, this arc does not continue indefinitely, and ultimately comes down to a classic one man vs beastie showdown. It's clichéd and a shame, lacking the tension and guts (metaphorically) of the opening two thirds. It's perhaps lazy to compare all creature features to "Jaws", and Rogue goes some way to moving away from the stylistic precedent set by that classic, but in the end it Rogue ends with one man against a toothsome monster, and I'm sorry - that's been done before, and better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Rogue is co-produced, written and directed by Greg Mclean (Wolf Creek). It stars Michael Vartan, Radha Mitchell, Sam Worthington & John Jarratt. The film is inspired by the true story of "Sweetheart", a giant Australian crocodile that terrorised boats in a 5 year period between 1974 & 1979. Plot sees travel journalist Pete McKell (Vartan) in the Northern Territory of Australia finishing off his latest feature. With time to kill he joins a river boat cruise led by spunky local lass Kate Ryan (Mitchell). So along with assorted other tourists, they set off up river. Where after a tricky encounter with a couple of local nuisances, one of the tourists spies a distress flare further up stream, then another, and another. As captain of the boat, Kate is duty bound to respond to aid anyone who may be in distress on the waters. However, this means straying into "sacred waters" and before they know it, they are in the middle of the hunting ground of a gigantic crocodile. Who promptly attacks the boat and forces the group onto the nearest mini island, an island that is in tidal waters....and the tide is coming in...

Upon viewing Rouge it would seem that it may be one of the most unfortunate horror releases of the last ten years. It barely got a theatrical release outside of its own country (practically one week in selected cinemas in America & Europe), and it came out at a time when killer-croc movies were appearing almost every other month; Primeval, Black Water and Lake Placid 2 (good grief) all "surfaced" (hrr hrr hrr) during 2007 to take a "chomp" (ok I'll stop now) at the movie watching public. This following on from the sub-genre of aquatic reptile horror movies already being well served by Steve Miner's Lake Placid (1999) & Lewis Teague's Alligator (1980), both of which have huge fan bases. It's all relevant because Rogue happens to be the best of the bunch, a snappy (sorry, couldn't resist), scary, fun and slickly-produced Aussie movie. It's sickening that reams of sub-standard horror remakes get wide distribution whilst something like this, that deserves the chance at least, can't. The Weinstein Bothers should be ashamed of themselves for the treatment of Mclean's film.

Straight away we should make clear that, as its certification suggests, Rouge is not particularly bloody. Those in need of sequence after sequence of a crocodile tearing humans limb from limb need not seek this film out. While it is in no way able to live with Lake Placid in terms of being "intentionally" humorous, thus comedy seekers should approach with caution. What Rogue offers is a movie that's tightly structured and paced to precision, packed with suspense and affording its characters some time to actually impact on the story. The first half hour is technically sublime, as we get to know the various folk on board the boat, we are treated to gorgeous cinematography from Will Gibson (location the estuaries of the Northern Territory), accompanied by one of the most pleasingly orchestral scores ever laid down for a creature feature, courtesy of François Tetaz (the nods to Jaws are just fine). All of this of course serves to offer up the calm before the inevitable storm; from where Mclean then follows the marker set by Jaws by not giving us sight of the croc. It's the ultimate tease until the attacks start, but even then its mostly suggestion, the tension mounts as we couple it with our own imagination.

What unfolds from here is a series of set pieces as our stranded group try to avoid becoming crocodile lunch. Here normally a film of this ilk shows dumb people doing dumb things, but Mclean shows respect to the genre and its fans by having some of these folk do silly, yet understandable, things, thus the scares are elicited by way of believable reactions. And of course the situation brings out the best and worst from most of them; peril has a funny way of doing that to a human being. Also of note here is that Mclean doesn't make the croc a monster, this is merely a hungry animal protecting its territory. A quick piece of dialogue earlier in the story had pointed to hunters possibly being the ones who fired the distress flares, as croc goes about his snarly way, it doesn't hurt to remember this moment. The cast all give credible performances, notably the handsome hero in waiting Vartan, Mitchell (whose becoming the screen queen darling these days) & Jarratt, who shows us a different string to his acting bow than the one he played as loony Mick Taylor in Wolf Creek.

The movie has its flaws, but they are few. The croc on appearance will irk some people, tis true that Mclean could have done better there. While one WTF turn of events loses its impact as the director isn't as bold to follow thru like he did in Wolf Creek. But they are forgivable. For as we find ourselves holding our breaths during the creepy and practically silent finale, that culminates in a fine B movie bit of outrageousness, we realise that above all else it's been the suspense and ominous foreboding that made this one damn effective thriller. Mclean appears to be holding a grudge against his native country, his two films thus far hardly enticing the tourists to explore the gorgeous lands of Australia. What ever his means or motivation, long may it continue if he keeps producing films like this. Lets hope that his next project is not as ignored as this one was. Because for sure there is a very good director here and it would be tragic should a talent be burned by how his movie was handled and decided to take a step back from directing.

Evocative beauty blends with B movie thrills for a devilishly great time. 8/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This intriguing film by independent Australian film maker Greg McLean, is actually much better than the rather sensationalised cover suggests. In true auteur tradition McLean wrote produced and directed this impressive little offering. But be warned that this director is a member of the unofficial "Splat Pack", a term coined by film historian Alan Jones in Total magazine, for the new crop of directors making particularly brutal horror movies. Yes there is some blood, but to be perfectly honest, nothing that I would describe as gratuitous. This film should be better remembered for the outstanding scenery captured in the area of Kakadu National Park, Northern Territories, Australia, where the story is set.

The story like many of the best is very simple. A group of tourists take a boat trip deep into the Kakadu wilderness, a stronghold of the ferocious salt water or Estuarine crocodile. Most definitely an apex predator and the largest of all the crocodiles. In the film the boat goes to investigate a distress flare, and that is when their problems begin. The group end up on an island that is gradually submerging with the incoming tide. But swimming is not a healthy option, with a hungry seven metre long rogue crocodile lurking under the water. As you will have guessed, not all the actors survive to the end credits. To a hungry crocodile they are merely a very handy food supply.

The idea of a seven metre salt water crocodile is certainly not that far fetched, as the official record accepted by Guinness is that exact size, although others have been claimed that are larger. That they will happily kill humans for food is also a fact. There are usually a couple of deaths every year to crocodiles in Australia. There was also a famously huge Nile crocodile called "Gustave" in Burundi, Africa who dined regularly on the locals. The film itself is based on the exploits of a giant crocodile called "Sweetheart", who attacked boats in Australia in the late seventies. The film uses the same brooding suspense as "Jaws", a film it will inevitably be compared with. This was done to such good effect that I was tempted to dive behind the setee as I had done many years ago. Okay, so this is not oscar winning stuff, but it is a very competently handled little film that does not take itself too seriously. You only have to listen to the amusing version of the song "Never Smile at a Crocodile" from "Peter Pan", at the end credits to realise this. I have not seen the directors earlier cult offering "Wolf Creek", but after this showing I may well give it a go! I watched the blu-ray version, which did much to enhance the gorgeous scenery.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This film is (very) loosely based on the true story of Sweet Heart - a huge 'rogue' croc that was captured and killed after attacking 15 boats in Australia during the 1970s. She now sits stuffed in a museum in the Northern Territories.

'Rouge', is the term given to crocodiles that cause problems for humans and have to be caught or killed. All in all, this film's a good way to kill a couple of hours. It's not the greatest film ever made and I doubt you expect it to be, but it's certainly not the worst either.

The Australian scenery is beautiful, the acting pretty good, and the SFX were surprisingly competent, with plenty of satisfying chances to see the croc in it's whole and also it was rather unpredictable in some respects. How did it compare to other croc horror films. Somewhere towards the top of the pile I'd say.

Over all, for once I was left pleasantly surprised by a film. And after seeing so many Hollywood blockbusters that were meant to be good but were rubbish, it made a refreshing change. However - this might have had something to do with the fact I was expecting it to be rubbish. With such low expectations of this film, the only way for it to go was up. But for the cast... the only way was down... (that's a crocodile joke by the way.)

If this was useful or helpful please mark it as so.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 19 October 2009
From the director of Wolf Creek - Greg Mclean, comes a crocodile on the loose thriller, and I say thriller as, whilst some moments are exciting and tense, genuine scares and gore for that matter, are lacking.

Michael Vartan (TV'S Alias) stars as a travel journalist who goes on a river boat trip with a small group of fellow tourists and end up in the crocs territory. The croc attacks them and leaves them stranded on a small island with tidal water rising, as night falls.

The cast are good in there roles and the script is quite believable (albeit one of the cast who manages to survive a lethal attack is stretching plausibility, but as its quite late on, if your invested in the story telling you'll probably let it go).

The real achievements of this film are quite like Mcleans previous work Wolf Creek, in that it's photography and visual style is excellent, along with a very good score.

Choosing not to show lots of the creature (A mixture of CGI and mechanical)until the end will draw comparisons with Jaws, and whilst this film is no where near as terrifying or thrilling as that classic, it is a well made creature feature that ranks amongst the best made in recent years.
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