The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Sony Picture - 1993
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 114 Minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English/French Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French
Starring: Sean Astin, Ned Beatty, Jon Favreau, Charles S. Dutton, Robert Prosky, Lili Taylor
Directed by: David Anspaugh
Music by: Jerry Goldsmith
Written by: Angelo Pizzo
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: September 9, 2008
"An inspiring and moving true story about courage and determination"
All his life, people have told Rudy he's not good enough, not smart enough, not big enough. But nothing can stop his impossible dream of playing football for Notre Dame. From the time he's a young boy, Rudy (Sean Astin) is determined to join the Fighting Irish. But his blue collar family only laughs at his ambitions - they know Rudy will follow his father and brothers to the local steel mill. And, for four long years after high school, he does just that. But some dreams won't die, as Rudy proves when he goes to heroic, occasionally hilarious, lengths to win admission to Notre Dame. Once there, he becomes a walk-on player, serving as little more than a human tackling dummy against the starting players. Bloodied but unbeaten, Rudy wins the respect of legendary coach Ara Parseghian and the other Irish players, who give him one shot at gridiron glory. An incredible true story from the creators of Hoosiers, RUDY is an unforgettable testament to the power of dreams and the triumph of the common man.
The true story of Daniel E. ‘Rudy’ Ruettiger is an incredible one. Prior to the release of this film I was not familiar with him and seeing it for the first time invoked feelings of respect, empathy, and inspiration. Each time that I have watched it those same feelings re-surface and this viewing was no exception. This is a guy who had to look to others outside of his family for encouragement and support. As a high school student he suffered from dyslexia which wasn’t something that was identified by his teachers from grade school through high school. On top of that he was a daydreamer who lacked focus when it came to his studies. This along with things at home led to frustration for Rudy. He channeled his frustrations into playing football in high school and found a mentor in his high school coach. His dream of playing football at the university of Notre Dame was one that came at an early age. For Rudy it was a dream that he would hold onto even though it may have been placed on the back burner for four years after high school graduation. It took the death of his best friend Pete to resurrect that dream and the realization that life is too short. It took unbelievable courage to pack up and leave behind the only life he knew head to South Bend and a college that he literally had no chance of getting into based upon his academic history.
The stars were aligned for Rudy though and thanks to some divine intervention he met the right people and after several attempts was accepted at Notre Dame. He tried out for the football team as a walk on. Have I mentioned the fact that he was only 5'7" tall? His only option was to make the team’s prep squad whose job is to prepare the starting squads by running other teams plays against them. This practically guarantees that you are going to get pounded on a daily basis. Rudy’s heart and determination won over one of the coaches during try outs and he made the team with the promise to play at the same level of intensity every day. Day in and out for two years Rudy worked tirelessly under those conditions never missing a practice. As a result he earned the respect of the coaches and players. I think he felt that he would be satisfied with that until his brother Frank raised doubts about his status as a member of the team because they never saw him on the sidelines during the games. This hurt Rudy and made him re-examine his feelings about his life back at home as well as what he had achieved at Notre Dame to that point. He felt it was necessary for him to prove to everyone that he was a member of the team and that doing so would validate his dream and every naysayer back home who said that it wasn’t possible.
He asked coach Parseghian if he would be allowed to dress and stand on the sidelines for one game the following season which would be his senior year. The coach agreed to it however at the conclusion of that season he left the team and was replaced by Coach Dan Devine. Devine has no prior knowledge of Rudy, his past accomplishments, or the promise. Rudy went the entire season without fulfillment of Coach Parseghian’s promise. It was the final game of the season and Rudy’s teammates stepped up and offered their places as starting members to Rudy. His family, several friends who were integral in his recent accomplishments and 60,000 fans turned out for the game. With 3 minutes remaining and the Irish way ahead Rudy got into the game. With only 15 seconds remaining he sacked the quarterback. The game ended and he was carried off of the field on the shoulders of his teammates. It doesn‘t get any better than that.
A great film that features an excellent performance by the underrated Sean Astin, and a beautiful music score by the great Jerry Goldsmith. ‘Nuff said.
The rating is for mild language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Rudy comes to Blu-ray disc from Sony featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 32 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 1.5 mbps.
Here is another catalog release title of a film that I have seen numerous times on DVD. Colors aren’t overly vivid and the period clothing doesn’t necessitate an extensive color palette. Like the DVD colors are rendered with ample saturation and appear tonally natural. Complexions are on the pasty side with rosy highlights and subtle variation. Images exhibited good detail and two dimensional quality on longer distant and panning camera shots. Close ups exhibited above average fine detail which made the texture of objects, clothing and hair stubble perceptible. Softening was an occasional issue but it very well may have been attributable to the photography. The video had an overly sharp appearance that tended to highlight grain. This made some scenes appear grainier than others which sometimes gave the video an uneven quality. Overall I didn’t feel it negatively impacted fidelity but thought it was worth mentioning. In looking at the DVD I was unable to make the same distinction which is probably because of its lower resolution. The audio presentation was on par with the video and was very respectable. Jerry Goldsmith’s magnificent music score was the highlight and sounded great. Everyone who has seen this film recognizes the theme to Rudy. The mix uses the entire system with definitive purpose as it sweeps through the sound field. Instruments are easily recognizable and clearly audible which can be attributed to lossless audio’s high fidelity. This isn’t an overly dynamic soundtrack but it sounds graceful with opulent detail and crystal clarity. There is some discrete surround activity but the majority of it is reserved for ambience. Low frequency detail is present and is used primarily to deliver the elements inherent in the orchestrated music. There are a few low frequency rumbles during the sequences at the steel mill but not much more than that. Dialogue was crystal clear with good intonation and variable texture among the cast. A comparison to the lossy Dolby Digital soundtrack on the DVD revealed a subtle improvement in imaging and clearer vocal reproduction on the TrueHD track. I didn’t detect any difference in dynamic impact or low frequency definition.
The bonus content is the same compliment that appears on the 2000 Special Edition DVD and features a 12 minute documentary on the real Rudy, a short making of feature and a 1 minute short where Sean Astin talks about the film and his impression of Rudy. The 12 minute piece on the real Daniel ‘Rudy’ Ruettiger is by far the best. It contains footage from the film and an interview with Rudy. The making of just skims through the production and the Sean Astin piece seems more like a promo. The disc is Blu-ray Disc Live enabled but access is not available yet. It should be good to go by releases day.
- Rudy: The real story
- Production featurette
- First down with Sean Astin
- (HD)Blu-ray Disc preview: Close encounters of the third kind
Rudy is a film that always seems to elicit emotion from me when I watch it. I love movies that are based on real people who defy the odds and there are not many stories like this one. I am glad to see that Sony has brought it to Blu-ray. Its audio and video quality don’t rank among the best Blu-ray discs available however it is clearly an upgrade over the previous standard definition DVD release and includes its bonus supplements. This is a welcomed addition to my collection. If you have never seen this great film I can suggest no better way for you to experience it than on high definition Blu-ray Disc. Recommended.
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