The Excellent ‘Kon-Tiki’ Floats onto DVD

Last year, Life of Pi fascinated audiences with its depiction of the ocean and nature, all under the umbrella of impressive visual effects. Largely overlooked by American audiences was Kon-Tiki, a Norwegian adventure drama that is better acted, more interesting and more beautiful. Kon-Tiki is now on DVD.

Read my original Kon-Tiki movie review here, or continue reading for my review of the DVD bonus features.

The two-disc DVD comes with only two bonus features, or three if you count the two versions of the film included on the discs.

For whatever reason, Kon-Tiki was filmed twice –in its native Norwegian, and again in English. The movie was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Picture, but since us Americans don’t like reading subtitles, the actors did every scene twice. Too bad the move didn’t translate into significant financial results.

The DVD set includes both versions of the movie.

There is also a visual effects featurette, which is worth watching. Approximately eight minutes long, the silent featurette compares what was filmed in the real world to what is shown in the final product, and the various stages in between. It’s pretty fascinating to see what was created on a computer, especially given the small $16 million budget and fantastic visuals.

It’s for this reason that directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg were presumably hired to make Pirates of the Caribbean 5.

On a less impressive note, there is “Kon-Tiki: The Incredible True Story,” a sort-of making-of featurette that primarily serves as a promotional piece for the movie. While there are a few tidbits of worthwhile knowledge to be found, the ten-minute piece doesn’t offer much value.

Still, despite the lack of strong DVD bonus features, Kon-Tiki alone is worth the price. It may not be one of the most well known movie from 2012, but it is one of the best of the year.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Adventure Movies, Drama Movies, DVD Releases, Foreign Films