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MOVIE INFO

Director:
Austin Chick
Cast:
Danielle Panabaker, Nicole LaLiberte, Liam Aiken, Michael Stahl-David, Andrew Howard
Writing Credits:
Austin Chick

Tagline:
Bad Girls Don't Cry. They Get Even.

Synopsis:
In the tradition of I Spit on Your Grave, Girls Against Boys, centers around two female bartenders who go on a brutal and twisted killing spree to exact revenge against the men who wronged them. But will they cross the line and lose themselves to the thrill and power of violence in this captivating and psychologically terrifying horror film.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$6.111 thousand on 2 screens.
Domestic Gross
$6.111 thousand.

MPAA:
Rated R

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio:
English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 93 min.
Price: $24.99
Release Date: 2/26/2013

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Austin Chick and Actor Danielle Panabaker
• Previews


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EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Girls Against Boys [Blu-Ray] (2012)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 21, 2013)

With a title like Girls Against Boys, a movie can go in a number of different directions. Bawdy college comedy? Perky Disney Channel series? Quirky action movie?

In this case, none of the above, as Boys offers a violent revenge drama. College student Shae (Danielle Panabaker) dates much older Terry (Andrew Howard) and plans to trek with him for a weekend in the Hamptons. However, he cancels this because he breaks up with her to reconcile with his family – a wife and kid he never revealed to Shae.

After her shift as a bartender, Shae breaks down, and new co-worker Lu (Nicole LaLiberte) tries to console her. To perk up Shae’s spirits, they hit a club after work, and initially this seems to help. Shae and Lu go back to an apartment shared by a couple of guys, and Shae appears to connect with Simon (Michael Stahl-David).

When Shae has second thoughts about the course of the evening, she decides to head home, and Simon escorts her. When she spurns his advances, “nice guy” Simon gets violent and rapes Shae.

Shae tries to turn to others for help but finds little assistance, and matters get worse when she approaches Terry; he assumes she just wants some action, and his ham-fisted attempts to “romance” her just make things worse.

Eventually Shae and Lu report Simon’s crime to the police, but this doesn’t go well for her. The cops offer little assistance, so Lu suggests that they take the law into their own hands. Shae seems reluctant to do this, but Lu – who seems hell bent on revenge against all men – convinces her to take this course of action. We follow their quest and the body count that ensues as well as the evolution of their relationship.

Cross Thelma and Louise with Straw Dogs plus a little Fatal Attraction and you get Girls Against Boys. In terms of tone, that comes as a surprise, for I expected something much campier from Boys. Based on the press materials I saw, I got the impression it’d be more of a rowdy “B”-movie ala Bitch Slap.

The expected giddy romp never emerges, as Boys remains surprisingly low-key. I appreciate that side of the film, but I find the derivative nature of the film to be somewhat off-putting. Boys really wears its influences on its sleeve, and it lacks much consistency. It never seems quite sure what kind of movie it wants to be, and that uncertainty undermines it, especially during its third act.

Prior to that, it has its moments. Actually, the first two acts are reasonably good. They can move a little slowly, but they create a creepy tone and pay off well when Lu’s inner psycho emerges. She’s a scary character and LaLiberte plays her well.

Indeed, LaLiberte becomes the best thing about Boys. She delivers a chilling performance as the obsessed psycho femme fatale and adds genuine spark to the film.

Unfortunately, Panabaker proves to be less memorable. She displays little expressiveness as Shae and can’t produce any inner life, either. A veteran of horror films, Panabaker seems okay when required to do little more than scream and run, but when asked to play a more dimensional role, she feels flat. She possesses two expressions, and neither one seems believable.

I guess two-thirds of a pretty interesting movie beats one-third or no-third, but I must admit the final act of Boys disappoints. For its initial hour or so, it manages a creepy, involving little psycho flick, but then it peters out and loses its path. I still think there’s enough meat here to merit a viewing, but I wish it’d found a better way to finish – and brought us a more talented lead actress.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus C-

Girls Against Boys appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. Though not stellar, the image was more than satisfactory.

Sharpness was very good, as the film appeared well-defined and concise. No obvious instances of softness marred the presentation. No problems with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge enhancement remained absent. In terms of print issues, no concerns materialized.

Like most modern thrillers, Boys went with a stylized palette. Much of the flick stayed with a pretty desaturated set of tones; a few brighter colors popped up, which made sense given the movie’s dark atmosphere. Within those constraints, the hues were appropriate and well-rendered. Blacks seemed dark and tight, but shadows were a bit more erratic; some low-light shots came across as a bit dense, though most gave us good delineation. All of this made the image a solid “B+”.

I also felt pleased with the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack of Boys. The soundfield mostly came to life during a few light action sequences, as those provided fairly good material from the side and rear speakers. Otherwise this was a mix heavy on atmosphere. Those elements created a nice sense of place and added impact to the material.

Audio quality satisfied. Speech sounded crisp and distinctive, and music appeared robust and full. Effects were accurate and dynamic. Low-end response showed good thump and richness. Nothing here dazzled, but the audio merited a “B”.

Only one bonus feature shows up here: an audio commentary from writer/director Austin Chick and actor Danielle Panabaker. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/character areas, sets and locations, music, editing and deleted scenes, cast and performances, and some effects.

While not devoid of informational value, the commentary seems awfully sluggish much of the time. Chick and Panabaker occasionally deliver useful material, but these nuggets don’t emerge as frequently as I’d like. That makes this a mediocre discussion at best.

The disc opens with an ad for Border Run. No trailer for Boys appears here.

Much of Girls Against Boys works pretty well, as its first two acts provide a generally creepy and effective revenge tale. Unfortunately, its final third meanders, and a lackluster performance from its lead doesn’t help. The Blu-ray brings us good picture and audio along with a forgettable commentary. Nothing about the Blu-ray dazzles, and the movie remains a little too spotty to gain a strong recommendation.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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