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DVD Reviews: A Car Wreck of a Film and the Walking Dead Try to Act

Streets of Legend DVD
Doom DVD

Wow, where to begin with Streets of Legend. The tagline really tells you anything you need to know: a saga of love, set among the romantic illegal street-racing “scene” of Los Angeles. Yes, anything that’s called a “scene” is likely to be incredibly self-indulgent, irritating, and annoyingly self-referential, and this, boy howdy, does all three in spades. Alas, it does little else in spades. Except maybe suck. Something about male posturing, some girls wearing oddly little for non-hookers, and something else about … whatever. I mean, really, who cares? It’s street-racing with lots of flashing neon and some horrible actors, all with a veneer of “wow, this is supposed to be exciting and illegal and wicked and stuff!” mixed with “Latino pride,” when really you just want to give the girls a robe and send the boys off to the Queer Eye crew to learn at least a little something about not looking like an idiot. You want Latino goodness? Try something with a plot (and some action) like Carlito’s Way or just a still shot of Eduardo Verástegui. You want action? Try Shoot ‘Em Up, The Professional, or anything starring Jason Statham.

If you thought Gone in 60 Seconds was the best movie EVAR, but thought it needed more T&A, a less coherent plot, and a shallower philosophical base, and the third Highlander movie is the yardstick by which you judge all good cinema, then this might be for you. If, on the other hand, you actually like movies with a plot to go with those explosions, then you’re better off with Live Free or Die Hard. Seriously. This thing won the award for “Best Cinematography” at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival, which makes me fear for the future. Apparently, all you need to win an award is to grossly overuse the “cutting edge” (read: cliché) fast-cut method, manage to keep the speakers in the frame, and occasionally turn your camera sideways.

Then, we have Doom. If you don’t know the basic premise, we can’t help you. Fans of the game were simultaneously pleased and horrified when the film version was announced, and it looks like at least that latter emotion was justified. While other reviews may point out that this might be the best video game tie-in ever made, we’d like to remind you that “the best shite” is still, well, shite: “Wow, it’s even better than Tomb Raider! I only gouged out ONE of my eyes!” Sure, it has its moments…if you’ve had a rotten week at work and want to pretend that The Rock is gunning down your coworkers, then fine. Watch about the last twenty minutes, and you might get your money’s worth. But even so, you might be better off with something that’s just as violent, but actually shot well, and cast with actors, instead of, apparently, apprentice woodworkers or something who aren’t quite sure what a “mark” is and definitely don’t know what a SAG card is for. Poor, poor Rock: dear heart, get an agent who doesn’t hate you. And a scriptwriter with an IQ over, say, 90.

At least the special effects were, well, fair, and the special features list is even quite hefty. Among other things, we get a cool look at what action stars go through during their training, as well as a creature makeup featurette that should interest anyone who knows who Kevyn Aucoin is. Someday Hollywood will realize that a big gun, some nudity, and a handful of aliens/zombies/ninjas/whatever aren’t really all you need to make a good movie, even a good mindless action movie.

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