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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Shadow Boxers
Shadow Boxers
Image // Unrated // March 4, 2003
List Price: $19.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Ron J. Epstein | posted April 4, 2003 | E-mail the Author
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The Feature:
"Shadow Boxers" is a documentary about women's professional boxing. No, not the stuff you see on Fox every so often called "Celebrity Boxing", but rather, the real thing. The heart of the movie is focuses on boxer Lucia Rijker, and her quest to capture glory.

Immediately, I found myself comparing "Shadow Boxers" to the wrestling documentary, "Beyond the Mat." Both deal with controversial sports and athletes that don't seem to garner the same amount of respect that men's boxing, football, and baseball seem to do. The beauty about both movies is, that after you're done watching them, you come out with a new found respect for a sport that you otherwise wouldn't think twice about.

The movie blends training sessions, fight footage, and interviews with boxers and trainers almost seamlessly. It plays out more like an HBO "America Undercover" documentary than anything else. Regardless, this is a movie about women fighting for respect; trying to break the gender barriers that keep women's boxing as a novelty act. Is it a good documentary on women's boxing? Most definitely.

Video:
Image presents "Shadow Boxers" in Widescreen 1.66:1 (some scenes are in color, others are in black-and-white). Shot on an extremely low budget, the picture looks it. Sunlight looks harsh, the print has dirt and grain, and flesh tones look a little off; but that's the charm to video presentation. It "looks" like a documentary, which is exactly what Director Katya Bankowsky was striving for.

Audio:
The audio is presented here in Dolby Surround 2.0.Once again, small budget. Fight scenes sound decent on my system, but nothing like "Rocky." Dialogue is clear, and there are no audio dropouts to report.

Menus:
An interactive DVD menu offers the choices of "Feature Start", "Scene Selections, and "Extra Features."

Extras:
A behind the scenes featurette with the director. There is some good insight from Katya Bankowsky, as she really enjoyed putting the film together.

Final Thoughts:
Well, it's a good documentary on women's boxing. Unfortunately, this release is very light in the extras department, and I don't know if it has much replay-ability after the first viewing. I'll play it safe, and recommend a rental first.

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