Pure Race DVD Review
PictureShot on S-VHS with inadequate lighting or even filters to diffuse bright lights Pure Race lands on disc at a 1.33:1 ratio using the MPEG-2 codec. In the main the image is rather soft affair with excessive enhancement on show around most of the characters shoulders and head. Being rather soft most of the detail is initially lost and this is not helped by some black crush in the darker scenes reducing further the detail on offer in the twilight scenes. Blacks are never inky only really straying into the very dark grey area yet at the upper range whites are good with only some rare blooming.
Colours are strong and vibrant, well defined and in the main kept well within their borders; there's little bleed to be seen here. The colour in the blue open skies comes across well with the clouds perfectly rendered and perfectly delineated.
The encoding is acceptable with a little noise but no blocking on show, gradients are kept in check yet there is enhancement in most scenes, on the hills in the distance, around character profiles, around buildings in the small town. This enhancement does become a little intrusive after a while and does become a little distracting.
SoundAgain there's nothing fancy here; we're presented with an English Dolby Digital 2.0 track and it does what it needs to but no more than that. Throughout the film there are some good car chases, explosions and scenes where the surrounds could really have had a good workout; due to financial constraints though a full dynamic 5.1 track couldn't be done so they had to settle for its very poorer cousin. Switch on some audio processing on your amp and you do get some ambiance, and some effects but as we all know it's not as good as the real deal.
In saying that the audio is not bad, it gets the best from the upfront dialogue and there is some steerage between the left and right fronts. The spoken word is always clear and pretty crisp and there's no need to hit the rewind to catch up on lost or murky dialogue.
Range is limited, never getting really low nor peaking so mid tones are the order of the day. Suitable enough but like so many other aspects of this film it has potential; if only DeVilliers had access to some more cash to pad it out a little.
ExtrasFor a film of this nature I really expected no extras but DeVilliers yet again pulls out the stops and manages to get a full on commentary plus some additional deleted scenes. Research indicates that there is also a documentary knocking about but unfortunately that hasn't made it over to this Eureka release.
The deleted scenes are throw away affairs and rightfully ended up on the cutting room floor; they never added anything to the storyline, never advanced the characters in anyway. The commentary however is a must listen. A must listen not because it discusses the location, the lighting and the acting but because it shows how DeVilliers constructed this film over a period of time. How he roped friends and family into play the parts, how he had to film scenes years apart, the financial difficulties and why when he trashed a police car he had to do it in one take because he had no money to fix the car if it all went wrong. This is a good enough listen in itself, and even though I might not re-watch the film I can't say the same for the commentary. Both DeVilliers and Greg Haynes speak and it's a lively, enjoyable affair with some great information in there and in all honesty one of the best commentary tracks I have ever listened to.
VerdictA great film, not really.. an acceptable watch, well the jury's still out a little on that from an entertainment point of view. This film though should appeal to student film makers to show what can be done on a budget which you can't buy a decent car for.
With these student film makers in mind the commentary is a wonderful piece of work and should provide some pointers for anyone wishing to grab a camera and try to piece together something they can be proud of and DeVilliers and Haynes from the commentary are certainly proud of this work.
Eureka are continually commended by the review team here at AVForums for the sterling work they continually produce releasing long lost or foreign films on disc so we can all sample their delights. This strays from that path to a certain degree but they should still be praised for giving this disc a new lease of life and letting new, upcoming film makers see perhaps how they themselves can start in this cut throat industry.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £12.99