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Andrew Thomas Hunt
Julian Richings, Michelle Argyris, Emily Alatalo
David Murdoch, Svet Rouskov

While travelling on their first American tour, an all-girl punk band is drugged and kidnapped.
Rated NR.

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English DTS-HD HR 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 91 min.
Price: $28.96
Release Date: 6/1/2021

• Audio Commentary with Director Andrew Thomas Hunt and Actors Michelle Argyris and Emily Alatalo
• “Interview with the Cast” Featurette
• “Behind the Scenes” Featurette
• “In the Shop” Featurette
• Q&A
• Fight Training Videos
• Photo Gallery
• Previews


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Spare Parts [Blu-Ray] (2020)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 11, 2021)

A new take on the drive-in “grindhouse” style – and somewhat reminiscent of 2007’s Planet Terror mixed with 2015’s Mad Max Fury Road - 2020’s Spare Parts mixes fantasy and horror.

On a low-rent tour, all-female rock band Ms. 45 plays a rowdy, remote bar. After the show, a seemingly psychotic “fan” (Jason Rouse) drives them off the road, and they end up lured into a trap.

There the musicians find themselves drugged and physically altered. With their limbs replaced by various kinds of weapons, the women need to fight in a bizarre gladiatorial competition if they hope to regain their freedom.

No one expects a flick like Parts to offer an especially plot-heavy or character-intensive affair. As anticipated, the film dollops out some general information but the emphasis remains on wild action and warped shenanigans.

I don’t mind that for this sort of movie. As long as Parts delivers whacked-out fights, that seems like enough.

Unfortunately, Parts feels too half-baked to deliver the goods. While it comes with a premise that can entertain, the end result lacks the energy or cleverness it requires.

As noted, Parts doesn’t go much of anywhere in terms of story or characters, but that doesn’t mean it provides wall-to-wall action. Actually, it tends to meander quite a lot, so we get narrative-ish components much of the time, occasionally buttressed with violence.

This structure doesn’t succeed. We don’t invest enough in the various roles to care about them, and because the tale lacks narrative depth, the scenes without fights tend to bore.

That said, the action sequences don’t seem all that thrilling either. While Parts tosses out a fair amount of battles and gore, the film depicts these segments in a choppy manner that doesn’t allow the fights to stick.

All of this leaves Parts as a movie with promise that fails to achieve its goals. Though it boasts the bones of a quality action flick, the final product never comes together.

The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio C+/ Bonus B-

Spare Parts appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The transfer presented the film in a reasonably appealing manner.

Sharpness looked mostly good. Interiors tended to lack great delineation, but not to a substantial degree. The majority of the flick showed fine clarity and accuracy.

Jaggies and shimmering failed to distract, and edge haloes remained absent. The movie also lacked any source flaws and was consistently clean.

In terms of colors, the movie featured a palette that often emphasized a green tint. It also through in the usual orange and teal as well as some strong reds and purples. The hues could feel a bit heavy but they were fine for this story’s goals.

Blacks were pretty deep, and shadows were well-depicted. The image offered a “B” presentation.

As for the movie’s DTS-HD HR 5.1 soundtrack, it tended to seem a bit too aggressive and a little “off” in terms of localization. This meant the various elements lacked appropriate balance, especially in terms of surround usage.

In the front, the material seemed well-placed, but too many effects popped up in the rear when they didn’t belong there. This didn’t become a terrible issue, but it made the soundscape feel clumsy at times.

Audio quality pleased. Speech was concise and natural, while effects remained accurate and full-bodied.

Music was vibrant and dynamic. With superior localization, this would’ve been a good track, but the lack of balance made it a “C+”, as the overuse of certain channels created some distractions.

A few extras fill out the disc, and we get an audio commentry from director Andrew Thomas Hunt and actors Michelle Argyris and Emily Alatalo. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story and characters, cast and performances, music, effects and stunts, sets and locations, and related domains.

Due to a screw-up, Hunt, Argyris and Alatalo needed to record this commentary twice. Apparently actor Jason Rouse also appeared on the original track but he couldn’t stay for the second session.

Whether or not Rouse would’ve added much to the discussion will remain unknown. As this commentary stands, however, it becomes a decent but not especially memorable chat.

Hunt and the actors give us a decent number of thoughts about the production and the shoot, but I can’t claim any of this even becomes particularly compelling. We find a fair amount of praise as well, factors that turn this into a listenable but average commentary.

One remark from Hunt demands attention, though. When he discusses the movie's rushed production schedule, he alludes to how Stanley Kubrick would shoot for many months and get dozens of takes.

Hunt states that with that much time, anyone could make a great movie, but the creation of a solid flick under severe time and monetary limitations requires real talent. Maybe Hunt doesn't mean what he implies, but it sure sounds like he thinks Kubrick wasn't anything special and he's more talented!

Some featurettes follow, and Interview with the Cast runs 11 minutes, 31 seconds. It includes notes from Argyris, Alatalo, and Rouse.

The actors discuss their characters and story elements as well as aspects of their performances and experiences during the shoot. They provide a smattering of decent thoughts but don’t make this an especially insightful program.

Behind the Scenes goes for 12 minutes, six seconds and involves footage of the special effects at work. We get no commentary and instead watch the production from a few vantage points. While some added notes would be nice, this still turns into a cool way to examine the methods used to bring the movie’s gore to the screen.

Next comes In the Shop, a five-minute, eight-second piece that functions in the same vein as the last featurette. This means another reasonably engaging look at the effects work, though again, some interviews/narration would make it more useful.

From “CineFest Sudbury”, a Q&A goes for 16 minutes, three seconds and offers an online chat with Hunt and Alatalo. Conducted by Cinefest Sudbury managing director Patrick O’Hearn, they discuss the movie’s pace and schedule, various aspects of the production, and their future plans.

Unsurprisingly, we get a fair amount of happy talk here, as the discussion largely exists to promote the film. They give us a mix of moderately informative comments overall, with the best parts related to the challenges of shooting during the COVID pandemic.

Fight Training Videos fill 12 minutes, seven seconds and shows a mix of choreography tests for the stunts. This becomes a fun reel.

Lastly, a Photo Gallery presents 14 shots from the set. While I appreciate the high quality of their reproduction, we find too few pictures to add much.

The disc opens with ads for The Furies, Monster Party and The Barge People. No trailer for Parts appears here.

As a tongue-in-cheek action flick, Spare Parts comes with the potential to offer a fun experience. However, it only occasionally succeeds, as most of the movie seems oddly flat and uninspired. The Blu-ray brings good picture, erratic audio and a fairly decent set of supplements. Maybe Spare Parts 2 will allow the material to better prosper.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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