Hell Ride (Genius Blu-ray + DVD-Video)
B+/B Sound: B+/B Extras: B Film:
working together on Quentin Tarantino’s second installment of Kill Bill, actors Larry Bishop and
Michael Madsen talked about making a biker flick, the end result would be
2008’s 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
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 clichéd in the end.
In Hell Ride, we catch up with a
motorcycle gang who is set to avenge the death of one of the member’s 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.
to say, the selling point here is that it’s 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 Kevan’s
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.
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
DVD’s Dolby Digital 5.1 mix never comes close to. The lossless TrueHD mix ‘feels’ 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 Tarantino’s 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 can’t muster enough strength with its
limited compression to feel like the real deal.
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
are in the mood for a Tarantino film, but don’t mind the diet version, then Hell Ride is your ticket!
- Nate Goss