Red Rocket appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Shot mainly on 16mm, Rocket suffered from the stock’s limitations.
Many of the concerns stemmed from iffy definition. Close-ups looked good, and most wider exteriors showed decent detail. However, these elements lacked great delineation and could veer toward the mushy side.
I noticed no issues with jagged edges or shimmering, and edge haloes failed to manifest themselves. Print flaws became a moderate issue, though, as periodic specks appeared.
In terms of colors, Rocket often opted for a mix of teal and amber/orange, though more natural tones popped up as well. These tended to look heavy and overdone, but they also seemed peppy at times.
Blacks were reasonably deep and dense, while shadows were acceptable. They could be a little murky, but that wasn’t a serious issue. Given lowered expectations that related to 16mm, this seemed like an adequate presentation.
Better results came from the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, as it used the spectrum in a fairly involving manner. Most of the material revolved around environmental information, with occasional snatches of music as well.
Though the film lacked ambition, it still featured appealing activity around the spectrum. Nothing dazzled but the soundscape opened up pretty well.
Audio quality worked fine. Dialogue felt reasonably natural and concise, without edginess or other issues.
Music showed nice range and impact, as the various songs and score packed a good sense of dynamics. Effects appeared accurate and tight. This turned into a fairly satisfying soundtrack for a character tale.
Two audio commentaries appear here, and the first comes from writer/director Sean Baker, cinematographer Drew Daniels and actor Simon Rex. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific view of inspirations and influences, cast and performances, sets and locations, music, editing, photography, effects, issues related to low budget and COVID and related topics.
Expect a solid commentary here, as the three participants offer an engaging view of the production. The track moves at a nice pace and covers an appropriate range of subjects in a comprehensive manner.
For the second commentary, we get a solo track from film critic Kat Ellinger. She presents a running, screen-specific discussion of some production elements but she mainly focuses on influences, context and interpretation.
In general, Ellinger offers some useful views of the film, though I disagree on some points such as her view of what “White Male Privilege” means or what led to Donald Trump’s appeal in 2016. Nonetheless, we get a largely involving take on the project.
Making of Red Rocket runs 12 minutes, 15 seconds and includes notes from Baker, Rex, and actors Bree Elrod and Suzanna Son.
“Making” looks at story/characters, cast and performances, the impact of COVID on the production, Baker’s work on the set, locations, and the low budget nature of the shoot. Inevitably, some of this repeats from the commentaries, but “Making” nonetheless offers a decent overview.
Under Also from A24, we find ads for C'mon C'mon, The Green Knight, Zola and The Florida Project. No trailer for Rocket appears here.
As a quirky character comedy, Red Rocket occasionally spurts to life. Unfortunately, too much of the movie lacks purpose and feels self-indulgent. The Blu-ray comes with acceptable picture and audio as well as some useful commentaries. Though not a bad movie, Rocket sputters too much of the time.