Death Race 3: Inferno (Two-Disc Combo Pack: Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet)
Repentant convict Carl Lucas (Luke Goss), aka Frankenstein, is a legendary driver in the brutal prison blood sport known as Death Race. Only one victory away from winning freedom, Lucas is plunged into his most vicious competition yet: the first-ever desert Death Race. Through South Africa’s infernal Kalahari Desert, Lucas is pitted against his most ruthless adversaries and powerful forces at work behind the scenes to ensure his defeat. Also starring Danny Trejo and Ving Rhames, Death Race 3; Inferno is an insane, action-packed thrill ride. – (C) Universal
Director Roel Reine slathers on the grit and grime while shooting in hyper-glossed digital video, and Universal's 1080p/AVC-encoded transfer is the primary benefactor. It doesn't quite work as far as the film is concerned, but as high definition presentations go, it does its part. Hot contrast, sun-bleached desert crush, grungy black levels and dusty, oft-times dull, bloodless colors take a stylistic toll on the integrity of the image. Otherwise, primaries, particularly reds, pack decent punch, and the fine detail is remarkable. Fine textures are crisp and well resolved too, and edges are clean and precisely defined. As to the encoding, I noticed minor shimmering (likely the result of the cameras used to capture roadside vehicle stunts and explosions), but nothing that should give anyone serious pause. No, Death Race 3 isn't very pretty but its Blu-ray video presentation delivers.
Death Race 3: Inferno is certainly loud. Its sound design lacks finesse, that much is clear, and its DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track follows suit. Even so, Universal's lossless mix can't really be faulted. Dialogue is clear, intelligible and passably prioritized, even when fireballs, rending metal, screaming drivers, crunching sand and the film's soundtrack are pouring out of every channel. The rear speakers aren't just active; they assault the listener, neck-snapping directional effects and all. LFE output is punchy and potent, with floor-shaking booms, throaty engine roars, powerful explosions and deafening crashes. Again, though, ferocity and raw aggression trumps nuance and prowess, and the experience suffers every time the urge to adjust your receiver volume hits. As fierce and functional action tracks go, especially those that accompany low budget direct-to-video releases, Inferno's lossless mix hits hard and often, and doesn't relent.
This is going to be one of my shortest reviews to date. This movie reaffirms for me that if there’s money to be thrown away, this is what happens. Universal was wrong for spending even a dollar on making this crap. I mean for as good as Jason Statham was in the original, it’s a shame that his name is tied to this “franchise”. Bad acting, bad stunts and an even worse storyline, this so-called “movie” is not worth the disc it was encoded on. It’s an hour and 45 minutes of your life you will never get back. Avoid at all costs!!
Posted by Ryan Gibbs, February 25, 2013 7:12 AM