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ROAD HOUSE

Review by Chastity Campbell

Stars: Patrick Swayze, Ben Gazzara, Kelly Lynch, Sam Elliot
Director: Rowdy Herrington
Audio:  Dolby Digital Surround
Video:  2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen & 1.33:1 Standard Fullscreen
Studio: MGM
Features: See Review
Length:  114 Minutes
Release Date:  February 4, 2003

“Calling me ‘sir’ is like putting an elevator in an outhouse. It don't belong!”

Film **

What actor saw the coming of Red Dawn, before meeting Julie Newmar and Dirty Dancing the night away?  Sounds like a Jeopardy question, doesn’t it, folks!  Well, that star would be none other than the Cooler himself, the man you’d expect to be bigger, Mr. Patrick Swayze.   

Swayze stars in this bar room beat ‘em up as a Cooler (Head Bouncer) named Dalton who’s hired to clean up a local watering hole in a little one horse town called the Double Deuce!   Dalton wants everyone to know how to play the game and play it his way so he shares, his three rules to success. Number one, never underestimate your opponent. Expect the unexpected.  Number two, take it outside, never start anything inside unless it’s absolutely necessary, and number three, be nice!  Aw, be nice…his mommy did teach him manners!

Inevitably some people get fired, and some people clean up their act and before long the Double Deuce is the place to be on Saturday night! 

The problems (aren’t there always problems) start when Brad Wesley, played by Ben Gazzara starts sniffing around.  Mr. Wesley owns most of the little town and what he says pretty much goes.   When Dalton fires the head bartender at the Double Deuce for stealing he doesn’t realize that he just poured himself a double shot of trouble.   Seems the bartender is tied to Mr. Wesley and they want him re-instated!  When negotiations for his re-employment fail, Dalton has to show them gracefully to the door.  Well, okay, he throws them through a plate glass window, but you get the idea!  

Road House, or WWF Smack Down as I’ve so lovingly began calling it, left a lot to be desired in the scripting department but delivered in a big way where the stunts and special effects were concerned.  Now mind you, this movie wasn’t on the same special effects level as a Star Wars or Lord Of The Rings ,but it takes a lot of preparation and effort to make anything blow up and they definitely had that in this movie!    The fight scenes were choreographed beautifully with just the right amount of bone crushing and blood to make it resemble a real-life night on the town! 

Now, you can’t have a movie like this without a beautiful lady to hang on the arm of the dashing hero.  So without further ado, Dr. Elizabeth Clay, welcome to Jerry Springer…I mean Road House!  Kelly Lynch has always been a female favorite of mine.  I loved her in Cocktail, and saw her more recently in Charlie’s Angels where she just kicked butt!! (Cameron Diaz butt that is!)  Kelly did a great job making her romance with Swayze believable.  She’s definitely someone I’m sure most guys would love to play doctor with! 

As with most movies from the 80s, the good guys win in the end, but it’s really surprising at all the crap someone will put up with before going bonkers and fighting back.  Oops, I almost forgot to mention that Sam Elliot did a really good job in this movie, even though he didn’t have a large role.  His scenes with Swayze were very nicely done, in true outlaw form!

Give this disc a spin and when the phrase “a bear fell on me” is uttered, you won’t be able to contain the laughter that will flow through your body, so just let it happen.   When someone mistakenly calls the Double Deuce “The Double Douche”, again let the laughter happen.   However, when one of the bouncers says “This place has a sign hangin' over the urinal that says, don't eat the big white mint,” well, you’ll know you’ve got yourself some quality entertainment there!

Video ***

This DVD is presented in 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen Format and 1.33:1 Standard Fullscreen format.   While, both are very nicely done without much dirt or graininess to them.  The Widescreen presentation is the better over all viewing method.  I am a widescreen fan however the Standard Fullscreen version seemed a bit too compressed and you really do miss a lot more with fullscreen vs. widescreen.  

The colors and skin tones were very realistic and the lighting was very nicely done.  All in all, a very well put together visual experience. 

Audio ***

I truly enjoyed the Dolby Digital audio this DVD was presented in.   All of the sounds were crisp and clear.  The dialogue and background effects tracks were so nicely balanced you really felt like you were in a real room setting.  There were no dips or drops in the audio that could be heard, nor were there any places where the dialogue that was looped in afterwards could be differentiated from the dialogue captured during filming.  

Features ½*

The features for this DVD were pretty much non-existent. 

The menu you’re presented with is just simple point and click links to other parts of the DVD.

You get a list of other movies offered by MGM in a still screen format with eight movie covers on it, and the theatrical release trailer for Road House.

You can choose to watch the movie in English, French, or Spanish, with subtitles in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. 

Summary:

If you're into knock down drag out fights, or if you're just in the mood for a little “B” movie style entertainment.  Pick up this DVD and give it a spin, you won’t be disappointed.