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DVD Roundup – 4 New Indie Titles (DVD Reviews)

DVD roundup

With so many DVD titles hitting the marketplace it’s tough to know what’s hot and not in the bargain bin.  So this week I’m checking out a gaggle of various DVD fare to provide some short movie review skinny for your convenience.  (Only one DVD title here has special features – this is more about movie mayhem purity!)  From MMA brawls to tough and sassy supergals, check out the DVD Roundup reviews of Never Back Down: No Surrender, Electra Woman & Dyna Girl, The Levenger Tapes and 600 Miles below!  (Tech specs are at the end for those who demand it!)

Never Back Down: No Surrender

NEVER BACK DOWN: NO SURRENDER
(Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

Even though Never Back Down: No Surrender has bits and pieces of many action dramas that came before, what’s inside still works.  Tough guy (and Black Dynamite icon himself) Michael Jai White not only helms this MMA outing but also decently directs and the result is a film that’s part Rocky (there’s even an 80’s training montage sequence!), part The Karate Kid (White trains two young bucks with fighting aspirations!) with a pinch of Bloodsport thrown in for good measure – all with a B-movie flare.  But as far as the fights go White is definitely up to the challenge, looking more cut, ripped and badass than ever before. So in terms of the mano-a-mano matches, Never Back Down: No Surrender decently delivers the cinematic smackdown fans demand.

Electra Woman & Dyna Girl

ELECTRA WOMAN & DYNA GIRL
(Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

Cute and quirky, Electra Woman & Dyna Girl (originally a 70’s TV series) takes a ho-hum familiar fish out of water story (two small town ‘supergirls’ sign with a hero agency in LA to go big time!) and still provides an entertaining movie filled with quick quips, cool outfits and some tough gal ass kicking.  It’s a flick that’s seriously elevated from being Sunday fluff fare by the cool comedic crime-fighting chemistry between YouTube leads Grace Helbig and Hannah Hart as the dynamic duo – guess the right partner can indeed make the movie difference.

(Best Feature: The actually hilarious short featurette entitled ‘Electra Car for Sale’ is the best of the bunch with a real old school SCTV wry humor feel – funny stuff.)

The Levenger Tapes

THE LEVENGER TAPES
(Lionsgate Home Entertainment)

The Levenger Tapes starts out decent enough with Chris “Patti Rocks” Mulkey and his team of detectives having to scour a series of video tapes to find out what happened to some missing college kids.  Problem is when the tapes they must inspect unspool it’s the same unscary found footage schlock we’ve seen a hundred times.  (What’s that noise?!)  I applaud the skillful weaving of real-time investigating with video footage of past events, but there’s simply no denying that the quality of one side of this story is seriously suspect.

600 Miles

600 MILES
(Lionsgate Home Entertainment)

The interesting premise of this indie outing (a young naïve Mexican gunrunner and an US ATF agent he kidnaps end up having to count on each other to survive) quickly goes south by not having enough savory story moves to keep the audience interested. Meaning the myriad of long pauses and scenes that are stagnate here feel less like a stylistic choice and more like low-budget killing time to get the movie to a much desired feature length decision.  What’s most disappointing is the US agent is played by the great Tim Roth who has eons of experience in making good talking head pictures.  Long and lifeless, 600 Miles feels like 600 years.

Never Back Down: No Surrender

Video

Encoding: MPEG-2 NTSC

Resolution: 480i

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Audio

Audio Formats(s): English, French (PAR), Japanese, Thai 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English, English SDH, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), French, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai

Extras

Previews (SD, 10:05)

Electra Woman & Dyna Girl

Video

Encoding: MPEG-2 NTSC

Resolution: 480i

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Audio

Audio Formats(s): English 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English, English SDH, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), French, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai

Extras

Audio Commentary With Grace Helbig & Hannah Hart

Making of Electra Woman & Dyna Girl (SD, 5:16)

Inside Creative Masked Management (SD, 3:13)

Electra Car for Sale (SD, 1:46)

Making the Movie Poster (SD, 2:35)

CMM: The Superhero Agency (SD, :33)

Dan Dixon: CMM Super Agent (SD, :21)

Megaline: The Source of Celebrity News (SD, :28)

Everybody Loves Plant Man (SD, :27)

There’s No Sidekick Here (SD, :20)

Grace & Hannah at San Diego Comic-Con (SD, 12:27)

Previews (SD, 2:02)

600 Miles

Video

Encoding: MPEG-2 NTSC

Resolution: 480i

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Audio

Audio Formats(s): English/Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English, Spanish

Extras

Trailers (SD, 2:27)

Digital Copy

The Levenger Tapes

Video

Encoding: MPEG-2 NTSC

Resolution: 480i

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Audio

Audio Formats(s): English 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English, Spanish

Extras

Previews (SD, 1:23)

Digital Copy

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I'm a passionate and opinionated film critic/movie journalist with over 20 years of experience in writing about film - now exclusively for WhySoBlu.com. Previous sites include Starpulse.com, before that as Senior Entertainment Editor for The213.net and 213 Magazine, as well as a staff writer for JoBlo.com. My other love is doing cool events for the regular guy with my company Flicks For Fans alongside my friend and partner James "Jimmy O" Oster. Check us out at www.Facebook.com/FlicksForFans.

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