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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Drama > Bikers > Motocycles > Hell Ride (Genius Blu-ray + DVD-Video)

Hell Ride (Genius Blu-ray + DVD-Video)


Picture: B+/B ††††Sound: B+/B ††††Extras: B †††Film: B-



After working together on Quentin Tarantinoís second installment of Kill Bill, actors Larry Bishop and Michael Madsen talked about making a biker flick, the end result would be 2008ís feature film Hell Ride, which Bishop would co-star and direct, plus he would pull together an all-star cast featuring Madsen, Eric Balfour, and Vinnie Jones, plus David Carradine and Dennis Hopper.Tarantino would help see the project through and this attributes to the very Tarantino-esque or perhaps Tarantino-light venture that this would become.Bishop delivers an action-packed film with lots of bikes, women, and violence, but fails to deliver the memorable and often imitated style that is Quentin Tarantino.


In some respects the film tries to be something similar to what Death Proof and Planet Terror (the Grindhouse double feature from Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, for which we await Blu-ray editions), but ends up far more clichťd in the end.


In Hell Ride, we catch up with a motorcycle gang who is set to avenge the death of one of the memberís mothers from back when he was a child.Years later he finds his way into the rival biker gang, makes friends, and seeks to hunt down the vicious killers who turned him into an orphan.The result is a bloody trail of violence with a few twists and turns along the way.


Needless to say, the selling point here is that itís a biker film and will ultimately find a solid fan base, for this Blu-ray and DVD release Dimension films went all out to deliver the goods.The film is presented in a stylized 2.35 X 1 scope transfer that looks solid and sharp.The Blu-ray is a 1080p high definition presentation that showcases more of cinematographer Scott Kevanís desired look of the film with deep rich colors that are super saturated.The anamorphically enhanced DVD has a difficult time with this as the resolution is limited and cannot reproduce the range of color depth with near the accuracy; in contrast the Blu-ray is able to render those colors with great detail and fidelity that will immediately eliminate the DVD from competition here.


Also impressive is the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix present on the Blu-ray that showcases again the best of Blu-ray with warmth, depth, and overall clarity that the DVDís Dolby Digital 5.1 mix never comes close to.The lossless TrueHD mix Ďfeelsí lively and life-like with lots of surround usage and plenty of action-packed moments to give your entire system a full workout.There are also some playful sound effects that come and go throughout the soundfield that are equally impressive along with a soundtrack that pumps for the majority of the films length.There are, like with so many of Tarantinoís works, many musical cues that are references to other films, for instance a gold digging-like scene that harkens back to The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly with a musical score that most will immediately recognize.All in all the mix is playful, fun, and energetic, but the Dolby mix on the DVD canít muster enough strength with its limited compression to feel like the real deal.


There are a sufficient amount of extras here as well including a commentary track by Bishop and Kevan, plus a making-of featurette and three smaller portions that detail the women, the men, and the bikes of the film.Michael Madsen also did a video diary for the film that is not to be missed and the films theatrical trailer is also included.


If you are in the mood for a Tarantino film, but donít mind the diet version, then Hell Ride is your ticket!



-†† Nate Goss


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