The Rock Collection
Universal // Unrated // $69.98 // February 10, 2009
Review by Adam Tyner | posted February 14, 2009
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As Universal's
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been plowing through that stack of a couple hundred HD DVDs and slowly bringing them over to Blu-ray, I guess they noticed they had three flicks starring The Rock in there, so...enter "The Rock Collection". There's no elaborate, magnetic-sealed holographic box this time around, though: this is just three Blu-ray cases with a paper ring around 'em. Oh well. The movies, though...?

Doom! Spinning off from the legendary first person shooter, The Rock stars as a space marine off on a Martian bughunt. Um, if you've ever kept your fingers crossed and wished really, really hard that you'd get to hear The Rock say "Big. Fuckin'. Gun. Awwwwww shit!", then yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. The flick's budget is lean enough that it can't pile entire armies of imps on-screen to square off against a half-battalion of soldiers. Even managing to shove one badnik in front of the camera is kind of an epochal event in Doom, and it's so underlit that you might not be able to tell anyway. It's the worst movie in this set bar none, but if you want to read more...I'm here to serve.

The Scorpion King! Try to picture a screenwriter in a pair of mustard-stained sweat pants, and he has Army of Darkness, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and The Mummy Returns in the disc changer, not a single word typed into Final Draft, and a deadline looming for next Thursday. Whatever he'd churn out would look an awful lot like this deliriously campy, over-the-top action-comedy. The story's pretty much the standard issue Journey/Vengeance/Romance routine, but The Scorpion King's really only angling to be overcaffeinated fun, so...sure, mission accomplished. I'm a fan.

Ditto for The Rundown!
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The Rock stars as Beck, a wannabe restauranteur who's offered a shot at opening his own little bistro if he can drag a mob boss' weasely bastard of a son (Seann William Scott) back home. He grabs Travis down in Brazil really quickly, but...oops. Rebels. Enslaved gold miners. Ancient treasures. It's a whole thing.

Between 'em, you're looking at three audio commentaries, one U-Control feature, around fifteen minutes of deleted scenes, and just shy of two hours of featurettes. The technical specs are virtually identical across the board -- scope VC-1 encodes backed by 24-bit DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks -- with The Scorpion King looking and The Rundown sounding a heckuva lot better than the rest. Visually, none of these Blu-ray discs get the nod as reference quality, but they're more of enough of a step-up over the DVDs to warrant an upgrade if you're enough of a fan.

There's at least a little bit of a discount to try to sweeten this deal, though. This three-disc collection is going for $46.99 at Amazon as I write this, and picking up these movies individually would pack a sticker price of $57.97. Then again, I'm not sure if it really counts as much of a discount if you're forced to shell out anything to buy a copy of Doom. That keeps this set really only for The Rock's most unwaveringly loyal fans -- the ones who'll watch him in anything (even Be Cool, he types with a shudder). Cramming this write-up down to just a few words...? The Scorpion King and The Rundown are a ridiculous amount of fun, so just rent or buy those individually instead.


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