"DALLAS: THE COMPLETE
THIRTEENTH SEASON"
DVD Review
by Kevin Carr


    MOVIE: **1/2 (out of 5 stars)
    DVD EXPERIENCE: * (out of 5 stars)

    Not Rated
    Available on DVD April 13
    DallasOnDVD.com
    Studio: Warner Bros.

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WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Texas-sized prime-time drama continues with the thirteenth season of “Dallas.” Brining the show from the 80s into the 90s, this season sees J.R. Ewing scheming to keep a tell-all film from being released, discovering a son he didn’t know he had and dealing with yet another crumbling marriage. Meanwhile, Bobby Ewing tries to be the good guy to J.R.’s former lover while faced with the apparent return of his dead wife.

WHAT I LIKED
As a child of the 80s, there’s a lot of reverence I have for “Dallas.” The same can be said for “Falcon Crest,” “Knots Landing” and “Dynasty,” but there was something so iconic about “Dallas” that made it stand out from the other prime time soap operas.

Being the thirteenth season, it’s no big surprise that the show covered familiar territory. There’s plenty of double-crossing going on, and the Ewings are still at odds with Carter McKay. But the drama is there, and the back-stabbing is there. That’s what makes the show fun.

Plus, it doesn’t hurt to have J.R.’s young wife Calley to spice up the sizzle factor, along with stand-bys Sheree J. Wilson and Charlene Tilton (the latter of which has lost much of her screen time).

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
It’s no surprise to say that by the thirteenth season (which is really the twelfth broadcast season after a miniseries launched the show) that “Dallas” had long since jumped the shark. J.R. has gotten old, but fortunately they’re cycling younger women into the story.

The only other real problem with this series from such a late date is that by straddling decades into the 90s, we lose a bit of the 80s kitsch that made the earlier seasons so much fun to watch.

Finally, a word about the video transfer... this is a somewhat shoddy presentation. There’s scratches and dirt on the print, as well as video artifacting that showed no signs of clean-up or preservation. It’s not that “Dallas” belongs in the national archives, but DVD is such a nice format that it shows all the blemishes of the old Betacam masters.

DVD FEATURES
Like season twelve, this set has no special features.

WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Like season twelve, this set has no special features.

Watch this clip from "DALLAS: THE COMPLETE THIRTEENTH SEASON"





"NECROSIS"
DVD Review
by Kevin Carr


    MOVIE: *1/2 (out of 5 stars)
    DVD EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5 stars)

    Not Rated
    Studio: BrinkDVD

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WHAT IT’S ABOUT
A half-dozen friends take a short vacation in a secluded cabin. However, they apparently didn’t read the travel brochure thoroughly because it turns out they are vacationing at the site of the Donner Party Massacre. When a snowstorm cuts off their route home, they must face the apparent ghosts of the Donner Party coming to haunt – and possibly kill – them.

WHAT I LIKED
I like the concept of “Necrosis.” I really did. On the surface, it sounds like a version of “Cabin Fever” in the snow. The best parts of the film tend to the flashbacks to the Donner Party, which has a much more visceral and real feel to it than the characters of the film itself.

The movie does set the mood at times, and there is some violence in there for the gorehounds. Plus, we get a nice nude scene for any horny teenage boy who’s looking for that sort of thing. (Aw, who am I kidding... I’m looking for that sort of thing!)

There’s a nugget of a story here, but it’s softballed into the last act.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
While watching this, I told a friend that it was “Cabin Fever” without the flesh-eating bacteria. And there is really nothing else to the story to give it a spark. The characters are not well-constructed at all, and the movie hinges on a twist that cheats the viewer and ultimately doesn’t make a lot of sense.

“Cabin Fever” is a noble effort to achieve low-budget horror, but low-budget horror has never been that elusive. There are plenty of far superior films that have done so much more with a lot less. If only there had been more of a threat and a greater focus on the chills than the failed attempt at psychological horror, this could have been decent.

DVD FEATURES
The DVD includes a director’s commentary and a lengthy behind-the-scenes featurette that runs about a half hour, which includes extended interviews with the filmmakers.

WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Anyone who wants to watch former pop star Tiffany fight some evil in the snow.



"GENTLEMEN BRONCOS"
DVD Review
by Kevin Carr


    MOVIE: **** (out of 5 stars)
    BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: **1/2 (out of 5 stars)

    Rated PG-13
    Studio: Fox

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WHAT IT’S ABOUT
A teenager named Benjamin Purvis (Michael Angarano) is a would-be science fiction writer. He attends a writing workshop with his favorite author and submits his book for an award. Unfortunately, the author needs a new hit fast, and he plagiarizes Benjamin’s piece, only changing some small but key details. son.

WHAT I LIKED
I had been warned by dozens of film critics about this movie. It has been maligned in the press and on the internet for months. However, when I finally saw it, I found that I really enjoyed the film. There was something about the low-key nature of the humor that really struck a chord in me.

As a writer, I have met plenty of other aspiring writers. While some are quite talented, I have crossed paths with so many of the characters in this film – from the plagiarizer to the terrible artist who thinks his works are brilliant. Sure, writer/director Jared Hess mixes up the fantasy and sci-fi genres a bit, but there is a definite cross-over with those fans.

There’s a painful truth in this film, including how some people will just let others walk all over them. However, no matter how much Benjamin Purvis takes in abuse, he has his chance to fight back.

Finally, the scenes featuring the books coming to life, which stars Sam Rockwell as a cow-pie eating transvestite yeast warrior, are laugh-out-loud funny... at least to me. I may be one of the few that loved this movie, but it was a blast, and I don’t have any fear saying that.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
Yes, there are elements to this film that aren’t great. But I’m going to let the many other critics of this movie point those out. Just check out RottenTomatoes.com to find some bad reviews... then give the movie a chance anyway.

BLU-RAY FEATURES
The Blu-ray comes with a commentary, outtakes, a behind-the-scene video and a slate of deleted scenes.

WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Anyone who has known real-life versions of these characters... and you’re gonna have to see it to figure that out for yourself.



"BITCH SLAP"
DVD Review
by Kevin Carr


    MOVIE: **1/2 (out of 5 stars)
    BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5 stars)

    Unrated

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WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Produced as an homage to exploitation flicks, “Bitch Slap” features a group of gorgeous but deadly women in a dangerous game of jewel heists, assassins, guns and explosions. A stripper, a drug dealer and a businesswoman find themselves trying to retrieve stolen jewels from a gangster only to be caught up in a web of lies and betrayal.

WHAT I LIKED
With a name like “Bitch Slap,” you can’t take things too seriously. Like “Hell Ride” from a few years ago, this is an homage to the exploitation genre. The girls are hot, and they look fantastic in their skimpy outfits. For most red-blooded American males who enjoy watching hot chicks kick ass, this is a fun film to watch.

The production value of the movie looks pretty impressive for its budget. The colors are rich, and the money shots are all in the explosions. Don’t worry too much about the story here... just enjoy the spectacle.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
I don’t mean to sound like a pig or anything, but something else I expected from a film titled “Bitch Slap” was a healthy dose of T&A. While there’s plenty of that stuff in there, most of it is covered. And that’s a real shame, especially considering the giant “UNRATED” scrawled across the box.

Look, it’s not like these women are A-list actors in line for an Oscar next year. It’s an homage to the exploitation genre that doesn’t pay full homage to the exploitation genre. Let one of the Aussie chicks from the 70s in a movie like “Not Quite Hollywood” tell the director that she didn’t want to show her boobs, and you’ll see someone get fired. To make matters worse in this regard, at least one of the actresses in this film was completely naked in his scenes from the “Friday the 13th” remake... so what gives?

When the characters are one-dimensional and you’re hoping for the horny teenage boy market, you’ve gotta show more skin to get a good review here.

DVD FEATURES
The DVD includes audio commentaries with the filmmakers and cast. There’s also a behind-the-scenes featurette called “Building a Better B-Movie.” See above for how successful they were in making this B-movie “better.”

WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Horny teenage boys... but really only those that can’t rent an R-rated movie or search the internet for porn.




    

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