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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Redline - Illegal Street Racing
Redline - Illegal Street Racing
DVD International // R // October 7, 2003
List Price: $12.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by David Blair | posted November 19, 2003 | E-mail the Author
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Disclaimer: This reviewer does NOT endorse in any way, shape, or form the illegal act of street racing. All racing should be performed on a legally designated closed course with appropriate supervision. Street racing endangers the lives of the innocent as well as the participants, which is why it is, and should always remain illegal.

The Movie

Redline is brought to us by the Executive Producer of The Fast and the Furious, but seems more like it came straight from MTV rather than a high-level movie producer. Redline is touted to show us the "real" and "raw" street racing scene and indeed it does. But the disappointment is that the real street racing scene isn't nearly as glamorous as Hollywood would like us to believe. Sure, racers talk smack and race for cash, but they rarely race for pink slips and the side streets are never lined for miles with flashy imports sporting $20,000 worth of modifications.

In reality, street racing is much more casual. Most races transpire spontaneously from a meeting at a stoplight, or a flyby on the freeway. And nowadays everyone and their pet ferret carries a digital camera to immortalize the confrontation on the Internet. Yet somehow the producers of Redline failed to acquire any such evidence. Instead, all the race scenes are filmed from the starting line, so we really never get to see much of the "real" races at all. If Redline wanted to be truly "real," it should have shown us this casual side as well as the less popular organized functions. In this respect, Redline definitely dropped the ball.

Another disappointing aspect to Redline was the overabundant footage of half naked women strutting around wiggling what Mother Nature gave 'em. Granted, those interested in this DVD will WANT to see this kind of footage, but the nature of these scenes just slowed down the movie's already snail-like pace. Sure these women are beautiful, but you don't see topless models washing expensive imports at a late night illegal street racer's gathering.

But Redline is not a total waste. There are some very intense scenes, and ironically the best ones were filmed at sanctioned drag racing tracks. In addition you'll see burnouts galore, "crazy" cop busts (that really aren't that crazy), a drifting contest, and lots of street racing. However the two things I liked best were the individual car profiles and the music soundtrack. The car profiles are a few scenes where a specific modified import is showcased. During these shots you get to see what the car looks like, what has been done to it, and how much the modifications cost. The cars showcased are truly fast and furious. My only gripe is that more screen time should have been given to these cars.

But it's the soundtrack that makes this movie viewable. The songs truly reflect the atmosphere of the street racing scene. They motivate, as well instigate the actions that follow. It was nice to hear quality music in this DVD, as apposed to the hokey local artists that usually accompany such movies.

Redline has cool cars, beautiful women, and a lot of illegal racing, but the races aren't that exhilarating, and a large portion of the "real" street racing scene is missing. If you're new to street racing and are interested in seeing what it's like, Redline might be for you, but if you're a seasoned alum of such activities, chances are you have racing videos like these already on your hard drive at home that are much more entertaining to watch.


The DVD

Video:
Redline is presented in 4x3 full screen. The video quality is on the low side of crappy. Pixelation is the biggest culprit and will make the dissapointing to watch if you're viewing it on a large projection TV. Also, some of the racing footage happened to be taken by different types of digital cameras, so the resulting video quality is far from consistent. Thus, some scenes look far better than others. Another huge disappointment came from the black levels. This is a stab in the foot seeing how most of the illegal street races are shot in the dark. The dark scenes were almost completely washed out on my large screen front projection system.

In the end I've seen worse movies in terms of pixelation, but this is the worst example of poor black levels I've seen to date. It should look OK on a tube TV, but projection TV viewers should be aware of the below average video quality.

Audio:
Redline comes with a Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track. The audio is generally poor, but the great selection of music makes up for it. The music is entertaining and fits the mood of the footage perfectly. It's unfortunate the movie wasn't more entertaining to return the favor. Since this is a stereo track, speaker seperation isn't an issue here as most of the sound comes from the front left and right speakers.

Extras:
The sole extra feature included on this DVD is a 24-minute bonus footage featurette. This feature first introduces us to Noel (a.k.a Hector, from the Fast and the Furious) who challenges Lisa Kubo (World Champion Import Drag Racer) to a friendly (and legal) drag race. We also get to see more footage of street races, the drifting contest, and ton more of the Redline girls washing the same tricked out yellow MR2 Spyder. I swear that car's owner either feels very lucky, or is mad because the constant rubbing wore off the top clear coat of his expensive paint job.

Most of this extra footage is just extended scenes of what was in the movie, and is far from a "must-see."


Final Thoughts:
Redline may interest those uneducated to the street racing life, but those in "the know" will find this movie boring, and unexciting. The video quality is poor, and the continued shots of women washing cars got old quick. If you like fast cars then Redline's music soundtrack will most likely get more use than this DVD. Skip It

Warning - This movie has partial nudity, therefore some scenes are not appropriate for children.

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