Blu-ray Review “Kon-Tiki”

kon-tikiActors: Pål Sverre Hagen, Anders Baasmo Christiansen, Tobias Santelmann, Gustaf Skarsgård, Jakob Oftebro
Directors: Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Release Date: August 27, 2013
Run Time: 96 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

I heard about “Kon-Tiki” came to my attention during the Oscars earlier this year. It was nominated for the 2013 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Feature Film (Norwegian). I am also a sucker for a good film at sea and this really seemed exciting and entertaining. I have to say I was blown away and this film no question should have deserved the award. Due the success of this film, the Norwegian directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg’s next project is going to be the fifth “Pirates of the Caribbean”, so they hit it big already. The film is extremely visual and packs some of the best special effects, I have I seen recently in a non-big budget film. Highly Recommended.

Official Premise: Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl (Pal Sverre Hagen) crossed the Pacific ocean in a balsa wood raft in 1947, together with five men, to prove that South Americans already back in pre-Columbian times could have crossed the sea and settle on Polynesian islands. After gathering financing for the trip with loans and donations, they set off on an epic 101 day-long journey across 8,000 kilometers, all while the world was watching. Kon-Tiki tells about the origin of Heyerdahl’s idea and the events surrounding the group’s voyage. Earlier this year, Kon-Tiki was selected to represent Norway in the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 85th Academy Awards.

It recently came to my attention that the US theatrical cut was in fact edited from 119 minutes to 96 minutes. So this a little bit disappointing that we do not get the extended cut, especially since this version was the one that was nominated for the Academy Award as Best Foreign Feature Film. Anchor Bay did gives this film some love delivering the film as a Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack. They both also come with the original Norwegian language track, as well as an English dub. No question, I prefer the original. The 1080p is crystal clear and plays well off the films amazing CGI effects and gorgeous cinematography.

I have to have the special features may not be much but they are still worth checking out, especially for the “Visual Effects Featurette”, which runs just under 10 minutes. Great detail before and after CGI effects focused on the Great White scene. I originally watched this online and I knew I immediately had to see this film just based on this one featurette. “Kon-Tiki: The Incredible True Story” is a 25 minute extra focusing on the actual expedition that Thor Heyerdahl made in 1947 and its legacy. I would have loved to see a commentary track included by our directors taking about making this visual masterpiece.

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