Archive for the ‘DVD Review’ Category

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DVD Review : UFC Ultimate Fight Collection 2011 Edition

December 4, 2011

DVD Package Reviewed by Steven Wilson

The Ultimate gift for the Ultimate Fighting Championship fan in your life is hitting DVD shelves this Tuesday December 6th, and it comes in the form of a 20 disc DVD set highlighting what was one of if not the greatest 12 month period of action in UFC’s history.

This brand new release, not to be confused with the 2009 10 Disc Ultimate 100 Greatest Fights set that hit shelves in conjunction with the promotion for UFC 100 , covers UFC 116 through UFC 131, as well as UFC Fight Night 22 through 24, and UFC Live 2 through 4. It packs all of this in along with a unique set of DVD extras over a whopping 20 disc set, with  over 52 hours of UFC action.

For the most part, each disc of the set covers a specific event, for example Disc 1 is UFC 116, and Disc 2 is UFC 117. Instead of presenting each event as it aired or as it was released on DVD, the UFC production team swaps in some cool fight buildup videos that includes footage from the fight week building to the event, or exclusive behind the scenes footage before a specific fight takes place.

Another interesting addition to this DVD set is the extras included on the 20th DVD which includes features on the best of Joe Rogan 1 on 1, the best of UFC Unguarded and the best of UFC Fight School.

The packaging on this set is impressive as since this DVD tells the story of the UFC during this 1 year period of time, what better way to express this than a storybook style package which pulls out of the DVD set outer box and allows you to flip through the pages, each of which contains 2 discs.

Some small negatives to mention about this release are the fact that the DVD’s were not put in the package in chronological order, instead they are presented PPV wise, of UFC 116 through 131, followed by the fight nights and Live events, so if the viewer does not realize to watch a certain fight night before a certain PPV they may hear the commentators talking about a fight they havent watched yet. The other negative is that some fights were cut for time to keep this at a 20 disc set. Of the 215 fights presented on the events in question, 170 of them are included in this set. Some of the fights cut were simple prelim fights, while others were a bit more suprising, nonetheless, if your not an absolute completionist, then this is still an absolutely awesome release. Even with a few prelims here and there missing, the set makes up for it with a great slew of bonuses and never before seen behind the scenes footage, 10 plus hours of previously unreleased footage that is, and this makes it an absolute must buy.

Currently on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca for 99.99$, this set is well worth the cash, and would be much appreciated by any MMA fan on your list! I know I would love to find it under my tree on christmas morning, so if your searching for that perfect gift for the MMA fan in your life, you need not look any further.

The UFC Ultimate Fight Collection 2011 Edition from Anchor Bay Entertainment hits retail shelves Tuesday December 6th, For more info check out ufcstore.com or Anchor Bay’s website via http://www.anchorbayentertainment.com/detail.aspx?projectID=d25f15c2-b426-4e96-c5b6-f8256421ce08

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MMA DVD Review : UFC Ultimate Knockouts 9

November 6, 2011

DVD Reviewed by Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com

With the holiday shopping season right around the corner, its time to start looking at the latest releases that can appeal to the MMA fan on your list, and the first of such releases is the latest in the UFC Ultimate Knockouts DVD & Blu Ray series, this installment being Volume 9, hitting shelves on November 8th.

Much like the other releases in this series, the DVD checks in with a 93 minute run time and features the latest in high profile knockouts from UFC battles that took place over the past year.

As the tag line on the DVD`s back cover says, nothing puts an exclamation mark on a fight like a great knockout, especially when your least expecting it. This was the case in Anderson Silva vs Vitor Belfot fight from UFC 126, It was the crane kick to the head heard around the world which would later spawn Lyoto Machida`s similar finish on Randy Couture at UFC 129. To say the least I have always been a big fan of the knockout, and honestly regardless of the type of UFC fan you are who doesnt like a good knockout every once in a while?

The release features action from 30+ fights that ended in a Knockout or Technical Knockout. Some fights are show in full, while others are joined in progress shortly before the “big bang” so to speak. These bouts include the afformentioned Anderson Silva/Vitor Belfort fight, as well as the Lyoto Machida/Randy Couture fight, also featured are the heavyweight title bout between Brock Lesnar & Cain Velazquez from UFC 121, the very short Matt Hughes BJ Penn UFC 123 fight, Dan Hardy vs Carlos Condit from UFC 120, Chuck Liddel vs Rich Franklin from UFC 115, and Shogun Rua vs Jon Bones Jones from UFC 128

Extras are slim on this release, limited to only a Total TKO’s featurette. However considering the DVD’s main subject there is little more you can expect out of a 1 disc release such as this one. That being said, UFC producers still try and go all out with another one of their awesomely produced highlights packages.

For the big fans of the KO out there, this series continues to provide exactly what your looking for. It may not be content heavy release, but could always be good for a quick afternoon watch with your fellow UFC fans, and for the UFC fan on your holiday shopping list, its an affordable gift that should be much appreciated.

UFC Ultimate Knockouts 9 will be released on DVD and Blu Ray November 8th via Anchor Bay Entertainment. You can order your copy via quality online retailers such as Amazon for as little as 21.98$ for the DVD version

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DVD/Blu Ray Review : UFC – Ultimate Royce Gracie

April 27, 2011

Reviewed by Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com

When writing the book on the history of Mixed Martial Arts in North America, one must begin with a chapter on Brazilian jiu jitsu, and one must begin with a look at the pioneer of that discipline in the US, the legendary Royce Gracie. The UFC aims to write that chapter with its latest DVD release “Ultimate Royce Gracie”

This in depth DVD documentary comes in a special book like packaging that includes 12 pages of images from Royce’s career as well as a biography. It is quite impressive to look at and is a much appreciated added touch to what is a well produced 2 Disc DVD documentary.

Disc 1 begins with the 90 minute documentary which aired on Spike TV focusing on the evolution of the Gracie Jiu Jitsu discipline from its roots in Brazil to its expansion to the US, and ultimate explosion thanks to the success of Royce Gracie at the first ever UFC event in the early 90’s.

What begins with a spotlight on Gracie jiu jitsu quickly becomes the history of the UFC as we hear the story of how UFC 1 came about and the stories behind the battles of UFC 1 through 5 and while this is the Ultimate Royce Gracie, it could easily be entitled, The History of the UFC Part 1.

Participants in the documentary include Royce himself, UFC announcer Joe Rogan, and numerous participants from UFC 1 through 5 such as Dan Severn, Art Jimmerson, and Jason De Lucia.

A wide array of bonus features is offered up on the 2 disc set. First up is every Royce Gracie fight from UFC 1 through 5 in their entirety. While on Disc 2 we get the UFC Hall of Fame induction ceremony for Gracie as well as his 3 fights in full from the Pride events in 2000 & 2003. The bonus features conclude with Gracie’s last fight in the UFC which took place at UFC 60 against Matt Hughes.

In closing, the UFC did Royce Gracie right with this DVD package. I highly recommend picking this one up for your collection, not only is it very well produced, but its highly informative and comes in one of the coolest DVD packaging ive seen to date for any MMA DVD. If you’ve seen the Spike special, you know more or less of what to expect, for those who didn’t you wont be disappointed.

UFC’s Ultimate Royce Gracie will be available on DVD and Blu Ray on May 10th from Anchor Bay Entertainment with a SRP of $24.98 for the DVD and $34.99 for the Blu Ray. For more info check out ufcstore.com or your local UFC DVD Retailer.

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DVD Review : Knockout starring Stone Cold Steve Austin

April 19, 2011

Reviewed by : Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com

Stone Cold Steve Austin has been back in the squard circle rather frequently thus far in 2011. Currently hosting the reincarnation of the Tough Enough reality show series, and coming off of his guest referee spot at Wrestlemania, now Austin is stepping into the boxing ring for his latest acting gig, a straight to DVD release entitled “Knockout”

In the film Austin plays a former pro boxer turned school janitor named Dan Barnes. The film begins with the lead character, Matthew Miller (played by Daniel Magder) on his way to his first day at his new public school in a new city. Having spent years in private school, Miller arrives in a suit and finds it hard to fit in, attracting the attention of the resident school bullies, most notably, the school’s boxing champ Hector Torres. Miller, meanwhile, has had an interest in boxing for years as his grandfather was once a successful boxer, but never had he thought about participating in the sport as his somewhat overprotective mother has held him close through the years following a battle with leukemia as a child. Cue Stone Cold’s character, who as the school janitor steps in during a bullying incident between Matthew and the afformentioned Torres. With the encouragement and tutelage of Austin’s character, Matthew trains and gets his chance to face Torres in the annual box off for a chance to make the school boxing team.

About 30 minutes into the film I found it hard to kick the feeling that I had seen this film before, then it dawned on me, this is WWE Films “Legendary” but with boxing instead of amateur wrestling and Steve Austin instead of John Cena. The surrounding story might be slightly different, but at its core they are identical movies. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing depends on what you personally thought of Legendary.  For those you didn’t see it, what this basically boils down to is your typical inspirational family drama with a happy ending.

Like many of the straight to DVD films Austin has done since leaving WWE films, he is given a tailor made character to play so that it accentuates his acting positives and hides the negatives.

Ive always been a big fan of Austin’s and because of this I did enjoy the film. Although I found the fact that Knockout is very similar to Legendary to be somewhat amusing considering that Austin had chosen to depart WWE films many years ago to chase his own career path, but has ended up doing the exact same films under various different banners. Then again he probably would not of gotten his spot in The Expendables without being independent, but I digress.

The DVD version of Knockout offers little in terms of DVD extras. A digital copy option is included as well as the film’s trailer, but nothing in terms of behind the scenes footage or featurettes. Ultimately I would call this a “Rent It”, but if you’re a big fan of Austin adding it to your collection wont hurt.

Knockout starring Stone Cold Steve Austin hits the streets on DVD and Blu Ray, April 26th with the suggested retail price of $29.99, It will also be available via Video on Demand, For more information check out Phase 4 Films official webpage for the film via http://phase4films.com/detail.aspx?projectId=295806ed-6e2b-422f-bedf-37dc9a13bd1c

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DVD Review : TNA Hardcore Justice

November 9, 2010

Reviewed by : Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com

Closure is a great thing to have. It’s a statement that rings true with everyone. When it comes to ECW, fans and wrestlers thought that 2005 and 2006 was going to be their closure, but as we would see from 2006 to 2009, closure was never achieved, instead it was a revival in order to murder a legacy once again, so when TNA announce they would be holding Hardcore Justice earlier this year, the question was whether or not this would be the closure so many were looking for. In the end, the guys may have been a bit older, a bit slower, and restricted by some legal worries but in the end they said they achieved their closure, and now you can decide whether or not you have your closure as TNA has released a special 2 Disc DVD set of Hardcore Justice.

Tommy Dreamer is quoted on the back cover of this DVD as saying “ This is it for an event like this, and it’s the perfect send off we never thought we’d receive” and while the reviews for the event were mixed amongst fans and critics, if Tommy’s statement is the truth then it’s hard for me to criticize some of the negatives of this event because what I may have found horrible, they used as their closure, and im glad they seemingly got it.  One thing’s for sure, this event was nostalgic, which nowadays garners much attention and appreciation and thus this does become a memorable event of 2010.

The first disc contains the event as a whole including what became a memorable main event not only because of the circumstances leading up to it, but what ended up happening. Jerry Lynn was scheduled to face Rob Van Dam in the main event but suffered an injury leading up to the show and was forced to pull out, RVD would choose to face Sabu. Over the years Sabu has done everything to his body that you can think of and in recent years has been paying the price as his body broke down and limited him in the ring. Despite this he and Rob Van Dam pull off a classic (all things considered that is) main event matchup and if this were to be the final “ECW” type of event that was the proper way to send it off into the sunset.

The event also featured the final chapter in a long lived ECW feud between Tommy Dreamer and Raven, as well as an Old School Philadeplhia street fight between Team 3d and the team of Axl Rotten &Balls Mahoney, while this tag match was sloppy as hell (Team 3D’s words in fact) it was certainly nostalgic, and a post match appearance by the gangstas was a nice surprise as I would not of expected New Jack to be allowed into the state of Flordia again following incidents in prior years, not to mention heat he had with Team 3D. All in all there was some good stuff and some bad stuff, also a very weird choice of lighting for the show, I wouldn’t necessarily consider this closure for myself as a fan of the extreme genre, but it was certainly better than “WWEcw” from 06 to 09.

The second disc is what makes this DVD worth the purchase as its 90 minutes of bonus features not seen on TV or PPV. This includes a 30 minute post show Q&A session with Mick Foley and Tommy Dreamer , a 30 Minute documentary featuring interviews with the stars of the show before during and after the event talking about what the show meant to them, as well as 20 minutes of interviews not used in the afformentioned documentary. It wraps up with a music video and old school photo gallery all of which is a nice nostalgic touch.

For the current Black Friday Sale price on ShopTNA’s website of 12.99, this is worth the purchase, especially for the second disc.

Hardcore Justice is now available on DVD from TNA Home Video. For more info or to order your own copy check out ShopTNA.com

 

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DVD Review : Hunt To Kill starring Stone Cold Steve Austin

October 29, 2010

Reviewed by Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com

Coming off his role in the box office smash hit The Expendables, Steve Austin is looking to continue his transition into the acting world with the straight to DVD release of the action thriller “Hunt to Kill”

This is the 3rd straight to DVD release which stars Austin in the leading role, the prior two being Damage and The Stranger, and much like the previous releases, this film takes a familiar route to an enjoyable yet somewhat “by the book” film.

Austin plays the role of US border patrol agent Jim Rhodes who is not only trying to get over the loss of his murdered partner but is also trying to raise his teenage daughter as a single father, which as you may guess  with any girl of that age, is rebellious to the bone. This ends up getting both her and her father in some major trouble as Austin’s daughter is taken hostage by a group of criminals and when Austin’s character walks in on the kidnapping, he is forced into assisting the group in hunting down one of their former colleagues who is hiding out from them in the mountainous woods of Montana, a place that Austin knows very well having worked there on a daily basis.

As they embark on the hunt through the mountains, the movie begins to follow the typical storyline  playout of the bad guys turning on eachother, and Austin’s character taking advantage of this to begin outsmarting them in a survival of the baddest type of situation.

I couldn’t help but have a bit of a déjà vu feeling while watching the movie, That being said it is far from being a bad movie, in fact I enjoyed it very much as would any other Austin fan or fan of the action thriller genre. The timing and playout of the story is well done, and the climax is fast paced enough to keep you on the edge of your seat, but it was hard to kick the fact that I felt I had seen this before.  Perhaps that’s the downfall of some movies in this day and age, where everything has been done before and even slight twists on the outline of what a thriller is supposed to be, still comes off as by the book.

Austin does play his role perfectly, perhaps because it’s designed for him as who wouldn’t portray Austin as a rugged, tough as nails guy who can kick your butt, but also the lead villain played by Gil Bellows serves as a bad guy whose performance compliments Austin’s role greatly.

DVD Bonus features for the standard DVD release of Hunt to Kill include audio commentary with Director Keoni Waxman and actor Michael Eklund, as well as a behind the scenes of Hunt To Kill featurette.

Having been a fan of Austin for many years, im glad to see that his acting career is coming along nicely, not every retired wrestling star gets this chance in the movie mainstream and starts to succeed, Austin is quickly establishing his own movie career, which may not get to the level The Rock has, but will certainly be a respectable one.

Hun to Kill is out on DVD and Blu Ray November 9th from Anchor Bay Entertainment, For more information check out www.hunttokill-themovie.com or Anchor Bay’s page for the film at  http://www.anchorbayentertainment.com/details.asp?projectId=%7B417E187A-97F4-49F6-9004-9DA300885997%7D

 

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DVD Review : “Woodshop” starring Jesse The Body Ventura

September 9, 2010

Reviewed by Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com

Jesse Ventura has had quite the adventurous life. In the early 70’s he was a Navy Seal, In The Mid 70’s and over the  2 decades that would follow, he would make a name for himself in the world of professional wrestling as ”The Body”. It’s without a doubt that his time in pro wrestling opened up many avenues for him, one obviously being the political route which saw him serve as a mayor and later governor in Minnesota, but like many wrestlers before and after him, it opened up doors in the acting world.  Over the years Ventura has had roles in Predator, Zorro, and Demolition Man, but now in 2010 he is featured in a much smaller scale film entitled “ Woodshop” which is now available on DVD from  42 Productions.

This independent production is a teenage “dramedy” set in a high school woodshop class. The film plays out over a single Saturday at the high school shop class where class valedictorian Chris Johnson is sent to serve out a detention for having accidently concocted a mini rocket in chemistry class. Little did Chris expect to have to face quite the number of obstacles to survive the day. Amongst his fellow Woodshopers are all your typical high school characters, the best friend, the bully, the tomboy, and the stoner with a hidden genius.

Ventura plays the role of Mr. Madson, an ex army ranger who now teaches woodshop at the local high school. Longtime fans of Jesse will be reminded of his days as The Body as his character is reminiscent of his days in the wrestling world. To be honest, Ventura is the bright spot of this film, his performance is quite enjoyable.

It’s no major spoiler to say that the premise of the film is dealing with a high school bully. Director Pete Coggan deserves credit for doing a decent job of capturing the teenage character type of this day and age, although its done in a slightly cheesy and typical type of way in that the characters traits are spot on but the play out of the story is slightly off, but then again this is the movie world so I guess you have to expect such a thing.

With a low budget film comes the potential for some low quality production, In the case of Woodshop, the audio quality is what suffers. Eventhough the majority of the film is set in what is a fairly empty school, and fairly empty shop class, where in real life the audio would come off the way it does, echoy and hard to understand, this however is a film, and unfortunately its sometimes hard to understand what the characters are saying due to the poor audio quality. I sometimes had to refer to the subtitles to make sure who said what. Meanwhile I found the video quality to be more than acceptable as in this day and age with high quality cameras coming down in price its hard not to get some decent looking footage.

The IMDB page for Woodshop lists the Tag Line as “ It’s easy to convince yourself that life is a collection of unhappy memories where no good deed goes unpunished… It’s not” And although that tag line is no where to be see on the DVD cover, it is the basic message this film tries to get across. If you’re a big Jesse Ventura fan, or for that matter a fan of independent film, Woodshop is worth a look, Im not sure that many indy films hit the rental shelves anymore, but if this does I’d call this a Rent It.

Woodshop is now available on DVD from  42 Productions, You can pick up your own copy at local retailers or via online retailers such as Amazon. For more information check out www.woodshopmovie.com , and to read my previous DVD Reviews check out http://www.wrestlingdvdreviews.vze.com