The Seven Five DVD Review

     Actors: Michael Dowd, Ken Eurell
  • Director: Tiller Russell
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1
  • Rated: R
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: September 15, 2015
  • Run Time: 104 minutes



            Documentaries have a bad reputation for being boring, and there are times that sitting through films filled with talking-head interviews that I have found reason to agree. Then there are the non-fiction films so captivating that it only feels like a matter of time before some wise filmmaker adapts the narrative into a screenplay. The Seven Five has enough excitement to match a Martin Scorsese crime film, somehow enhanced by the larger-than-life personalities of the actual men involved in the scandal. If Scorsese can make white collar crime seem exciting in The Wolf of Wall Street, the story of crooked New York City police officer Michael Dowd would be a walk in the park, although I can’t imagine many actors able to be as captivating as the man himself.


    Blind Chance Blu-ray Review

         Actors: Boguslaw Linda
  • Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Polish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion Collection (Direct)
  • Release Date: September 15, 2015
  • Run Time: 123 minutes

  •         Everything has meaning in a Krzysztof Kieślowski film, making repeat viewings a near necessity. Even with dozens of viewings, much of Kieślowski’s work is increasingly rewarding due to his ability to layer the films with carefully constructed themes and ideas. As well orchestrated as these narrative films are, it might be difficult to believe that Kieślowski began in documentary filmmaking, though he clearly carried over a social and political consciousness from this early work. Blind Chance is one of Kieślowski’s early narrative films, despite its release being delayed six years due to some of the content. Not only was he daring in the socio-political commentary made about communist Poland, Kieślowski’s experiments in storytelling were ahead of the times even when Blind Chance was eventually released in 1987.


    Furious 7 Blu-ray Review

         Actors: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson
  • Director: James Wan
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Ultraviolet, Color, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (DTS 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (DTS 5.1)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • Release Date: September 15, 2015
  • Digital Copy Expiration Date: May 2, 2016
  • Run Time: 140 minutes

  •         It is something of a cinematic miracle that such a successful action franchise was built from the mildly amusing racing film from 2001. What began as a blatant Point Break rip-off could have easily died with its awful sequel, and it nearly did when major cast members started removing themselves from the franchise. Vin Diesel excused himself from the first sequel, replaced by a nonsensical backstory to provide Paul Walker’s character with a new sidekick (Tyrese Gibson), and then the entire cast was scrapped along with the undercover cop narrative in favor of a more direct racing film in Tokyo. When this film was a surprise success, suddenly the old cast returned to revive some of the old dynamics, but by the fifth film in the series it was no longer about racing or undercover cops. The franchise started added characters rather than losing them and the cars were used for carrying out action-heavy heists rather than drag racing.


    Redeemer Blu-ray Review

         Actors: Marko Zaror, Noah Segan
  • Director: Ernesto Díaz Espinoza
  • Format: Blu-ray, Widescreen
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Dark Sky Films
  • Release Date: September 1, 2015
  • Run Time: 90 minutes


            I can see all of the influences that inspired Redeemer, but even the imitation of well-made action movies isn’t enough to create something worthwhile and original. Fans of brutal and bloody action choreography may enjoy moments of the spectacle, but the amount of time spent on the filmmaking process isn’t equally distributed beyond these sequences of violence. Nearly every other aspect of storytelling is sacrificed in favor of creativity in the deaths and the showcasing of lead actor Marko Zaror’s martial arts abilities.