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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Undisputed
Undisputed
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment // R // November 26, 2002
List Price: $29.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Ron J. Epstein | posted November 25, 2002 | E-mail the Author
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The Feature:
Welcome to Sweetwater Prison. Located in the Mohave Desert, Sweetwater is the home to an organized boxing program in which the convicts battle each other within the confines of a steel cage. As ridiculous as this idea sounds, it is not uncommon for prisons to hold organized fights; they're just not done in this fashion (steel cage?).

Meet Monroe Hutchen (Wesley Snipes). The movie starts off with Monroe soundly beating the prison's very own 'Great White Hope' to retain the Sweetwater Heavyweight Title. Next, meet James "Iceman" Chambers (Ving Rhames), the World Heavyweight champion of the world. Inspired by Mike Tyson's past indiscretions, the Iceman has been convicted of rape, stripped of his heavyweight title, and sent to Sweetwater Prison. You can only imagine where this is going, right?

One thing this movie does extremely well is to inform the viewer of the crimes certain characters have committed with captions on the screen. For instance, we are introduced to a new character, and his name, crime, etc. flash on the screen. In addition, all flashbacks are shown in black-and-white, making it even easier to follow.

Back to the movie. Things are said between Monroe and Iceman, they butt heads, and the next thing you know, they're scheduled to fight each other for the Sweetwater Heavyweight Championship. Emmanuel "Mendy" Ripstein (Peter Falk) plays an aging Mafioso who plays a major part in organizing the fight, even getting the Vegas Sports book involved. Both fighter's negotiate their respective 'payoffs', and start their training regiment (which leads me to believe there is way too much freedom within Sweetwater Maximum Security Prison).

The big day comes, and they do battle. I don't want to give away the ending of the movie, but I found it incredibly difficult to empathize with any particular character in the film. I mean they're all convicted murders, rapists, etc. But hey, I'm just a reviewer, not a screenwriter.

Video:
The DVD is presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1. The picture is near flawless, with an occasional artifact here and there. Because the majority of the film is spent inside the prison walls, the colors are intended to be drab and less understated, which is the way it should be. Overall, I've seen much better, and much worse.

Audio:
The audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. Everything sounds crisp and clean, especially during the fight scenes. You can almost feel the punches and the crowd going crazy. No other language tracks are available on this DVD, only English.

Menus:
Completely static, and boring images from the movie. Easy to navigate, but would it have killed them to make them the least bit interesting?

Extras:
Undisputed is definitely the undisputed champion of bare boned DVDs. The only extras on the disc are 'conversations' with Ving Rhames and Wesley Snipes about the movie. Ving Rhames discusses how life-like the movie is, and even compares his character to Mike Tyson. Overall, his three minutes of talking to the camera comes off as very boring. Wesley Snipes, on the other hand, is slightly more entertaining, as he talks about the joys of knocking someone out. Wesley only gets five minutes, however. Unless it's an easter egg, I couldn't find the trailer for this movie on the DVD. I did, however, find trailers to other movies, including Swingers, and Gangs of New York.

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