When the title of a movie is “Death Race” and it’s about drivers trying to inflict maximum bodily harm on everyone – and everything – around them, fluff like characterization, plot, and theme should rightfully be on the side lines or, better yet, as roadkill.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment brings all that explosive glory from the big screen to the little 50 inch HDTV. Main badass Jensen Ames/Frankenstein, played by real-world “I’m an action god” Jason Statham; his Ford Mustang Fastback; and navigator Case take on the best/worst drivers in future America’s answer to extreme reality shows. Yeah, the movie’s a remake of Death Race 2000, which starred ultra-cool “Kill Bill” David Carradine, but jacked up – and how! – with today’s techno whiz bang stuff. Incidentally, when’s Natalie Martinez, who plays the delectable Case, gonna be on Maxim or, preferably, Playboy?
Anyway, if you want more recap, go Google or Wikipedia yourself. Death Race DVD, which comes in both the regular version (which we saw) and Blu-Ray (which you should get), contains both the theatrical release and the longer and, in our opinion, better unrated version.
Bonus features are different on each disc. Both show how the movie was made, from production work to interviews with Statham. Incidentally, he should have been the new James Bond, not “don’t I look like an underwear model in my blue speedo?" Daniel Craig. We're just saying.
"Behind the Wheel" is, to us, the best feature of both discs. There, the secrets of the spectacular car stunts with their human castmates are unveiled. (Yeah, we’re biased. Long live the Machine!)
We couldn’t believe what was on the Blu-Ray. First, there was the “Tech Specs” selection. Besides spec (get it?) details on the hot Ford Mustang, we got the lowdown on the other vehicles; their drivers; crew; and, of course, Case (who's even hotter).
“U Control” and “Picture In Picture” allowed us to simultaneously watch the movie and see how it was made. Sweet. But the best part occurred once we connected our disc to the Internet. We could, using “BD-Live”, create our own races and share them with other Blu-Ray friends (whether they liked it or not). We could:
- Create our own races via our own audio, video, and even text info with “My Movie Commentary.”
- Dub a pivotal race scene in the movie as the announcer. Even better, submit your dub to a contest where Director Paul W.S. Anderson will select the winners. Woohoo! Time to polish up that Oscar nomination.
UPDATE: We’ve just received word that they’ve extended the deadline of the competition to February 1st.
- Create a montage of scenes and share our Oscar-worthy efforts through “My Scene Sharing”, then watch the movie in sync (even with friends in Bora Bora) and trade messages while watching via “My Chat.” Note that both standard and Blu-Ray versions have commentary from director Anderson and producer Bolt.
Other stuff includes avatars and trailers.
So what’s the lowdown on the Death Race DVD? We liked it, if you hadn’t guessed by now. We’re fans of cartoony violence, exploding cars, and hot race navigators like Case. Mmmm. Case. Seeing how it's all done made us appreciate the movie even more.
So, you “Fast & Furious” wannabes, get away from your riced Honda Civics or, god forbid, Scion xAs, and buy the movie. We’ll be waiting for you wusses at Terminal Island.
For more information, you can click here to go to the official Death Race movie site.