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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Politics > History > Oppression > Surfing > Civil War > Reality TV > Shipping > Presidency > God Went Surfing With The Devil (2011/Cinema Libre DVD) + IRT Deadliest Roads – Season One (2010/A&E/History Blu-ray Set) + Reagan (2011/A&E/History Channel DVD)

God Went Surfing With The Devil (2011/Cinema Libre DVD) + IRT Deadliest Roads – Season One (2010/A&E/History Blu-ray Set) + Reagan (2011/A&E/History Channel DVD)


Picture: C/B-/C     Sound: C+/B-/C+     Extras: C+/C-/D     Main Programs: B-/C/C+



And now for some documentary releases that offer mixed results…


The oddly titled God Went Surfing With The Devil (2011) might sound like a Point Break rip-off, but is an interesting work about documentary makers trying to surf in the Gaza Strip where youth living there would love to surf if they could only get a surfboard.  The problem is trying to get anything there due to security restrictions and the boards are not humanitarian items.  Director Alexander Klein is also part of the action and we see what Israel has been going through since it stepped up restriction in 2006.  Are they overdoing it?  Is it enough?  Will anybody get to surf?


There are the usual nice people along the way, as well as places we have never seen before and corruption.  It also shows us how easy peace would be in the region if a new peace accord could finally get worked out and the political will existed.  With developments happening as we post this coverage, we’ll see how this works out.


Extras include the Original Ending, Production Photo Journal with Audio Commentary and a making of featurette.


Then there is another “will I die driving a truck for a living” reality TV show from A&E and The History Channel called IRT Deadliest Roads.  This Season One set on Blu-ray follows the formula and we learn just how fragile product from Tata Motors in India is.  As I watched, I kept thinking of Clouzot’s 1953 classic Wages Of Fear (now on Blu-ray in a great transfer) but this show is more about would-be shocks and how bad it is to drive in places where there are less rules, people are too bold for their own good and a little of this can go a long way.  Maybe this would be good for a few shows, but a whole season of 12 shows?  Even the only extra is more footage, so you get the idea.


Finally we get a new look at the political career of Ronald Reagan in Reagan (2011) issued upon the 100th Anniversary of the late actor/president’s birth and for a 90-minutes exercise, it glosses over some key parts of the history and sometimes paints a naïve picture of his political life, but the rare footage underseen of how he got to power, survived, thrived and became a hero to some and disaster to others is here.  It is not overdone, but maybe underdone.  It is worth a look, but has no extras.  If you are not a fan of the man, you might not like it, but to its credit is not the fluff piece of propaganda we have seen from many an independent outlet who act as if the country was founded in 1980.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on both DVD are soft and have their own kind of flaws, with Surfing offering many spots of motion blur, while Reagan takes many analog video clips and tries to make them widescreen.  This looks bad and worse with the anamorphic feature.  Both also have Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound that can be limited and include audio dropouts and become monophonic in parts.  The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image on Roads also has flaws and motion blur, but the image has better color and consistency than the DVDs.  The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 2.0 Stereo may have its location audio issues, but is warmer and more consistent than the DVDs and most such releases from A&E/History on DVD.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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