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Dare [Blu-ray]

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Emmy Rossum (Shameless), Zach Gilford (TV's Friday Night Lights) and Ashley Springer (Teeth) head up a stellar cast including Ana Gasteyer (Mean Girls), Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), comedienne Sandra Bernhard (TV's Roseanne) and Alan Cumming (X2: X-Men United) in this captivating story of high school seniors at the crossroads of their adult lives. When a pompous actor tells good girl Alexa (Rossum) that she hasn't lived, she embarks on a bold journey that takes her to mysterious bad boy Johnny (Gilford). Envious, her shy best friend Ben (Springer) also dares to pursue Johnny, complicating Alexa's romance and pushing the boundaries among the three friends.


With empathy, low-key humor, and discreet sexual suggestiveness, Adam Salky expands his 2005 short into a critical look at the way stereotypes can define--and confine--teenagers. While working on a senior-class production of A Streetcar Named Desire, three "types" collide: the good girl, the best friend, and the bad boy. Party girl Courtney (Rooney Mara) serves as the glue that binds the unlikely trio. Her studious friend, Alexa (The Phantom of the Opera's Emmy Rossum), doesn't think rich boy Johnny (Zach Gilford) takes things seriously enough. Alexa's other friend, the sexually ambiguous Ben (Teeth's Ashley Springer) supports her at the expense of his own needs, but their roles shift after theater actor Grant Matson (Alan Cumming in a too-short cameo) observes a rehearsal and praises Johnny's naturalism at the expense of Alexa's stiffness (Ben works the lights). The virginal Alexa decides to take Grant's advice to live a little, even seducing Johnny at a party. Their newfound closeness strains her relationship with Ben until he acts on a similar impulse, confusing the increasingly vulnerable Johnny further. The speed with which the central characters change doesn't always ring true, but the cast, including Ana Gasteyer as Ben's mother and Sandra Bernhard as Johnny's therapist, invests a schematic scenario with believability. Gilford, in particular, shines in his first significant part since nice-guy quarterback Matt Saracen on NBC's Friday Night Lights. Fans of Pretty in Pink and Cruel Intentions, to which Dare bears some comparison, should find Salky's first feature of particular interest. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Special Features

  • Commentary with Director Adam Salky and Writer David Brind
  • "Dare" Original Short Film
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Emmy Rossum's Audition
  • Trailer

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Emmy Rossum, Rooney Mara, Zach Gilford, Alan Cumming
    • Directors: Adam Salky
    • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
    • Language: English
    • Subtitles: English, Spanish
    • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated: R (Restricted)
    • DVD Release Date: February 9, 2010
    • Run Time: 90 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B002XUBDRE
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,675 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Dare [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    I don't ever remember this movie being in theaters and I can certainly see why.
    M. Oleson
    I really thought the ending didn't give me as much closure as I wish it had, but it was a fun ride all the same.
    I thought the story was well written and the movie did not follow a normal pattern of teen drama development.
    Andrew S. Watters

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Bob Drake VINE VOICE on February 27, 2010
    Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
    Not since Threesome (1994), which born-again Stephen Baldwin has since disowned, has there been such a daring coupling of two men and one woman on screen. The tagline of that earlier film, "One girl. Two guys. Three possibilities," might have been adopted for Dare as well. The elephant in the room is the excellent Dare (2005) short included on the Blu-ray disc. While the swimming pool "dare" scene that is most of the short also appears in the new film, it has been truncated for no obvious reason, and it is not one of the deleted scenes. The new film also suffers by comparison because the chemistry between Johnny and Ben seems stronger in the short.

    The new film is really not a gay film anymore. Alexa, who is peripheral to the short, drives the new film from the opening frames. Johnny's backstory of a distant father and a youthful stepmother certainly explains his vulnerability, but his friends are not privy to the same personal details the audience sees, and that sets up the somewhat unsatisfactory, though perhaps realistic, ending. Threesome, based on the college experiences of the director, was shot with an alternative ending that appeared on the 2001 release (unlike some male-male scenes that were cut and never seen) which also had problems. How do you resolve any threesome satisfactorily? We never learn how Johnny vanquished his personal demons except to see the sign on the door he enters in the last frames.

    Threesome has about the same rating as this film overall, but has more five-star votes than otherwise. I would recommend Threesome over Dare, but the Dare short is a keeper and film comes very close as well.
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    20 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Codecracker on December 11, 2009
    Format: DVD
    There is an accepted lie that is told by Hollywood teen films: That everyone falls into types. The Geeky guy, the Jock, the hanger on, the bookish girl, the slutty girl, etc. as reliable as the characters tropes in a WWII men on a mission film. You know what you are getting, and everyone fulfills their roles in the formula. And its a winning formula every time From "Fast Times at Ridgemont High", to "The Breakfast Club", even lesser fare like "Bring it On" make this work. And its a fun fantasy.

    DARE exists in the Twilight Zone of those films. We start in the very familiar teen film world Soccer Star; Stage Crew nerd; Star Student, and act by act, character by character deconstruct it all until we are left with three very real and very vulnerable teens who are in over their heads. It doesn't matter if you were like the one of the characters (and chances are you were) someone you know was.

    Emmy Rossum shrugs off her Hollywood training and digs deep for all that is good and ugly about her character Alexa. No one who sees her here will forget her transformation from blushing wall flower to would be seductress. Nor will they forget her face in the final scene when she realizes she isn't really either of those things.

    Ashley Springer takes a difficult role and humanizes it - taking the "gay best friend" out of the glib pigeon hole that Sex and the City put him in, and makes him real. He will make you wonder about Ducky.

    Zach Gilford as the Jock will surprise anyone who hasn't been watching Friday Night Lights. He turns in an eye opening performance and by the end you will be feeling every last moment with him. I saw this film at Sundance and the crowd there fell for him.
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    3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Roland E. Zwick on January 24, 2011
    Format: DVD
    In "Dare," Alexa (played by the winning Emmy Rossum) is an inexperienced, socially inept teenaged actress who decides to become a "bad girl" so she'll be more in touch with the characters she`s playing (her current role is that of the world-weary Blanche Dubois in a high school production of "A Streetcar Named Desire"). Not only does this open up a whole new realm of experiences for the young lady herself, but it leads to a chain reaction for the two most important people in her life: her geeky best friend, Ben (Ashley Springer), who becomes seemingly jealous when Alexi takes up with the school's brooding, arrogant jock, Johnny (Zach Gilford); and Johnny himself who reveals some surprising truths about himself before the story's over. "Dare" is all about the roles we take on at various points in our lives, and how different we can appear to the world once the masks we are wearing are stripped off - thereby making the theatrical context the story uses a metaphor for real life.

    Writer David Brind has divided his story into three parts, each focused on a different main character (Alexi comes first, followed by Ben, then Johnny). Since this has been largely conceived and constructed as a parable, the narrative lacks credibility on occasion and the storytelling does become a bit heavy-handed at times, but some genuinely unexpected plot twists, a blunt and honest approach towards sex and sexuality, an intriguing look at the boundaries of friendship, and an overall complexity of character make the film difficult to dismiss out of hand. In fact, its strangeness is probably its most compelling feature.
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    Dare [Blu-ray]
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