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Death Race - action adventure DVD / suspense DVD review
Unrated by the Motion Picture Association of America rating: 5 stars
Actors: Jason Statham, Joan Allen, Ian McShane, Tyrese Gibson, Natalie Martinez, Max Ryan
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson   Studio: Universal Studios
DVD release: 21 December 2008   Runtime: 105 minutes (1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
DVD Features: Aspect ratio 2.35:1, Audio tracks (Dolby Digital Surround 5.1 - English, Spanish, French), Subtitles (English SDH, Spanish, French), Start your Engines: Making a Death Race, Behind the Wheel: Dissecting the Stunts, Feature commentary w/ dir. Paul W.S. Anderson & prod. Jeremy Bolt

Jason Statham plays Jensen Ames, a loving, hard-working father who struggling to make ends meet for his wife and baby daughter - that is until he wakes up on their kitchen floor accused of murder. Ames is speedily convicted and sent to Terminal Island, where he and the other prisoners learn quickly just how expendable their lives are.

Co-star Tyrese Gibson is a long-time internee, a desperate prisoner ready to do whatever it takes to get off Terminal Island. Ian McShane plays yet another lifer who befriends Ames amid this hostile environment, becoming his ace in the hole for survival. They and the other prisoners live out their time in a dystopian future prison system dominated by corporations willing to exploit its inmates, even "assist" them in dying if it raises the value of their stocks.

Ames is at the mercy of the prison's corporate warden (Joan Allen), who stops at nothing to keep the televised Death Race on top in the ratings.

Death Race is a fast-moving, machine-gun spitting car race in which losers die in inventively gruesome ways and the ultimate champion has been promised release and a clean record. It doesn't take much imagination to envision the possibility of the corrupt corporate prison system portrayed here. Statham and his co-stars are brilliant in this twist on video games gone real. With superb acting by all, this is one car chase you don't want to miss.
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reviewed by Lucinda Tart
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