Romper Stomper 20th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Review - www.impulsegamer.com -
Romper Stomper 20th Anniversary Edition
Reviewed by
Simon Black
on
Romper Stomper 20th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Review. It’s disappointing that there isn’t any BD exclusive or newly-shot content such as the retrospectives that adorned the newly-released anniversary edition of Good Will Hunting, especially for those of us that already own the DVD. The only real selling point is the improvement in picture quality, but as mentioned a little grain never really hurt this picture anyway and if anything it looks a little odd in high-contrast HD. Still, it’s always nice to have the option of Blu...
Rating:
3.5

Feature 9.0
Video 9.0
Audio 9.0
Special Features 6.0
Total 7.0
Distributor: Reel
Running Time: 94 Minutes
Reviewer: Simon Black
Classification
: M15+

7.0


Romper Stomper 20th Anniversary Edition
 

‘We came to wreck everything, and ruin your life.  God sent us.’ 

In addition to introducing a 27-year-old Russell Crowe to the wider world, Geoffrey Wright’s 1992 feature debut caused a furore upon its initial release, polarising audiences and critics alike.  Nowhere was this better illustrated than on The Movie Show, with Margaret Pomeranz awarding the film five out of five stars and David Stratton famously refusing to review it at all, imperiously proclaiming that ‘the negatives should be burnt’ in light of Romper Stomper’s allegedly amoral glorification of violence and gang life.  

It certainly takes a peculiar reading of the film to find anything within that unthinkingly glorifies violence.  Wright, for his part, has defended the film as ‘profoundly moral’ and it is difficult not to conclude that the central thesis is that love redeems, while violence can only destroy.  A simple and oft-rehashed theme throughout human history, to be sure, but one that has rarely been told so brutally, bleakly and unflinchingly.  Romper Stomper is by no means an easy film to watch, but it is an important and groundbreaking work, particularly in the context of early 1990s Australian cinema. 

The story revolves around charismatic skinhead and gang leader Hando (Crowe), who rules his white trash fiefdom with an iron, tattooed fist.  Gabby (Jacqueline McKenzie), a drugged-up drifter escaping an abusive past floats into his orbit, attracting the attentions of Hando’s beloved second-in-command Davey (Daniel Pollock) in the process.  Parties, mindless bashings, collecting dole cheques, ruminations on Mein Kampf - it’s all in a day’s work for Hando and his ill-tempered ilk.   

This equilibrium is, however, soon interrupted.  As a war with the local Vietnamese population escalates out of control - culminating in what is very possibly the most exhilarating chase sequence ever committed to celluloid - it becomes time for what remains of Hando’s rag-tag bunch of neo-Nazi misfits to hit the road, hiding out and biding their time until the moment is ripe for revenge. 

Crowe is spectacular as the singularly intense gang leader obsessed with racial purity and upholding the mad creeds of a certain German dictator.  McKenzie likewise puts in a thrillingly compelling performance as Gabby, an abused doll-like waif desperately in search of a sense of belonging, and Pollock, who committed suicide shortly after shooting wrapped and never saw the finished film, is also hugely convincing as the tormented, lovelorn Davey.  Wright in fact wrings every ounce of gravity and humanity out of his hugely talented ensemble cast, and his gritty in-your-face cinematography provides the perfect complement to the frequently unsettling on-screen action. 

The end result is a scintillating, mesmerising and downright unforgettable film, certainly the finest that Wright has yet made and as far as this little reviewer is concerned very possibly the best Australian film of all time.

Audio & Video

Which brings us to the specifications.  The uniquely grainy original print has been buffed and polished to within an inch of its life for this new HD release, which is usually a good thing, but in the case of Romper Stomper with its bleached-out blue-grey colour palette I think the grittiness present on the original DVD releases was actually beneficial.  It was certainly suitable to the subject matter and milieu.  At any rate the end result comes across a little garish, more Romper Room than Romper Stomper, and possibly the first Blu-ray I’ve ever watched personally where I think I prefer the grit and artefacts present on the original transfer.  The aspect ratio is 16:9, as on the DVD, and the audio options are 5.1 surround or two-channel stereo, neither of which differs much from what was available in terms of sound quality on previous releases. 

Bonus Features

All the bonus features contained herein are taken straight from previous Region 4 DVD editions and are presented in standard definition, namely: 

- Geoffrey Wright’s Original Audio Commentary

- 1992 Interviews with Crowe, Wright, McKenzie and others

- Photoshoot Session (3 minutes)

- Theatrical Trailer

- A Short ‘Music Clip’ 

It’s disappointing that there isn’t any BD exclusive or newly-shot content such as the retrospectives that adorned the newly-released anniversary edition of Good Will Hunting, especially for those of us that already own the DVD.  The only real selling point is the improvement in picture quality, but as mentioned a little grain never really hurt this picture anyway and if anything it looks a little odd in high-contrast HD.  Still, it’s always nice to have the option of Blu...

Released 2 October 2012 






 
 



   Games
   PlayStation 4
   XBox One
   PlayStation 3
   XBox 360
   PC
   PS Vita
   Wii U
   Wii
   3DS
   DS
   PSP
   Apple
   Casual
   Android
   Classics

  Movies
   Movies & IMAX
   Blu-ray
   Action
   Anime
   Comedy
   Crime & Thrillers
   Documentaries
   Drama
   Family
   Horror
   Kids
   Lifestyle
   Music
   Romance
   Sci-fi
   Sport

   IT
   PC
   Apple
   Hardware

   Information & Fun
   News
   Interviews
   Articles

   Tara's G-Spot
   Loren's Level
   Comics
   Books
   Mind & Body
   Music
   Competitions
   Community
 








 
 




Impulse Gamer is your source for the
latest Reviews and News on Video Games,
Entertainment, Pop Culture, Hardware &
More!

 


© 2001 - 2013 Impulse Gamer
 

 

About Us | Contact Us