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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great guilty pleasure
I hate just about every Paul W.S. Anderson film, but he actually pulled this one off. The action scenes are intense, helped by the use of practical effects, rather than CGI overkill. Just wait until you see the tanker truck getting flipped in slow motion. Almost as cool as the semi truck flip in The Dark Knight. Jason Statham is the action star of this decade. The man has...
Published on August 23, 2008 by Monkdude

versus
32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Addition about difference between Unrated version of DVD and Theathrical release
Death Race (Unrated Edition) (Unrated Edition DVD) was released in 2008-12-21 and contains some scenes which are wasn't in the Theathrical release.
The back cover of DVD tells that there is additional 6 min in Unrated version, but there is no any list of what exactly was added.
Here is the list of these additions made by comparing of two versions. Feel free to...
Published on December 22, 2008 by Aidar Nadraliev


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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Addition about difference between Unrated version of DVD and Theathrical release, December 22, 2008
This review is from: Death Race (Unrated Edition) (DVD)
Death Race (Unrated Edition) (Unrated Edition DVD) was released in 2008-12-21 and contains some scenes which are wasn't in the Theathrical release.
The back cover of DVD tells that there is additional 6 min in Unrated version, but there is no any list of what exactly was added.
Here is the list of these additions made by comparing of two versions. Feel free to correct it.

Only significant changes:

1. Scene at the steel mill where the cops come features Jensen egging them on as they attack his fellow coworkers.

2. Cafeteria scene shows the spit actually hitting Jensen's food. Small scene afterward of Ulrich leading Jensen to the Warden's office, telling him that the Warden punishes prisoners "who mess with her drivers."

3. The fate of Jensen's cell mates. (You don't actually see anything happen, just sound effects)

4. Small 15 second scene of Case giving details on how the buttons work during the race: "All four wheels must hit the button at the same time."

5. The machine guns stop working on the front of the Mustang and Case hangs out the window, hitting them with a wrench as the other cars shoot at her. (Probably the longest scene removed from the theatrical release)

6. A few cuts of Grimm's car interior logrolling before it gets launched into the air.

7. Quick cuts of the napalm flames engulfing Travis Colt before his car blows.

8. When Jensen initially attacks Pachenko, he admits that Hennessey and Ulrich did it, and we see a sort of flashback to him and Ulrich sitting in a car watching Jensen step out of the bus.

9. Case make small talk and asks Jensen what his real name is as the two modified Death Race cars speed across the Terminal Prison bridge.

Nothing really significantly different. A little more extended, but not by much, and nothing really improved upon as far as being more-violent and showing more gore than the theatrical release.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great guilty pleasure, August 23, 2008
By 
Monkdude (Hampton, Virginia) - See all my reviews
I hate just about every Paul W.S. Anderson film, but he actually pulled this one off. The action scenes are intense, helped by the use of practical effects, rather than CGI overkill. Just wait until you see the tanker truck getting flipped in slow motion. Almost as cool as the semi truck flip in The Dark Knight. Jason Statham is the action star of this decade. The man has muscles everywhere and does the most with his limited acting range. Ian McShane of HBO's Deadwood is given some good lines and is one of the more memorable characters in the movie. I hope he gets more big screen parts in the future. Joan Allen turns in performance I could have never pictured her doing before today, and it worked.

Death race will likely give you a headache with it's shaky camera movements and some of the dialogue could have used some work, but I had a great time. If your of the male gender, the cars, guns, explosions and babes will keep you entertained.

3 and 1/2 out of 5 stars
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41 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You wanted a monster? Well, you've got one., September 22, 2008
Short Attention Span Summary (SASS):

1. By 2012 the US Economy is completely ruined (guess it doesn't matter who you vote for)
2. Prisons are packed thanks to spiraling unemployment and crime
3. Private corporations run the prisons for profit (Serious business, as there's no money left for a bail-out)
4. Terminal Island Prison runs pay-per-view death races as a fund raiser, using inmates to drive cars tricked out with weapons and armor plating
5. There are no rules except if Warden Hennessey (Joan Allen) says there are
6. Jensen Ames (Jason Statham) is framed for the death of his wife
7. Hennessey makes him an offer he can't refuse
8. He becomes a man in an iron mask, with a killer car (literally), a female navigator (to boost PPV ratings) and a pit crew led by scene stealing Ian McShane.
9. Lots of stunt driving, shooting of big guns and explosions follow, although you really can't tell who's shooting at whom for most of it
10. People die

Typical shoot `em up action movie involving high speed racing in armored cars and lots of bad guys, but with plot holes bigger than those left by the armor-piercing RPG Model 7's.

Statham plays his usual tough guy "Transporter" role, and Tyrese Gibson does everything but sing the Coca Cola jingle as arch rival Machine Gun Joe. They throw in a little inspirational family story to soften it up a little, and a teensy tiny little budding romance with dialogue like:

Jensen Ames: [while driving] Get on my lap.
Case: What?
Jensen Ames: Get on my lap!

Recommended for Statham fans and action movie buffs, but I can't see this one going down as a classic for all time.

Jensen Ames: [to Hennessey] You wanted a monster? Well, you've got one.

Rated: 3.5 stars

Amanda Richards, September 22, 2008
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frankenstein! Frankenstein! Frankenstein!, December 24, 2008
This review is from: Death Race (Unrated Edition) (DVD)
I didn't expect much from this movie but I am sure glad I watched it. I was a fan of the campy Roger Corman origional and was glad to see that this movie did not disregard the origional. Jason Statham was excellent as he is in just about all his movies. The guy is the action star of NOW. Joan Allen was very good as the menacing and hot MILF warden. The cars, the guns, and the action were all top notch and this movie is one heck of a fun and action packed movie. Oh, and don't forget the hot babes too!

If you like good nonstop action and good actors wrapped around it climb in start your engine and hang on!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good movie, April 13, 2010
I first saw this movie when it came out in theaters. I am still surprised at how good it actually was. I really didn't want to see it because it looked and sounded so stupid. But my girlfriend drug me to the movies to see it. In my opinion, this movie has all the makings of a good action movie. It has a plot, not much of a plot, but it is there, and its not like everything happens at the beginning and the rest of the movie is just pointless violence, the story actually unfolds between scenes of violence. A small twist here and there. Hot girls, good special effects. And the best part, no sex scene. I hate sex scenes in action movies, especially long drawn out ones, its a waste of time and is only put there because they wanted to make the movie longer so they inserted a scene that has no plot value whatsoever, but why have plot when you can have boobs? I'm sorry but i'm not going to pay $9 a person to watch someone else get laid.

The setting of the movie is a little farfetched but somewhat realistic. Bad economy, the country is failing, there aren't enough taxes to keep the prison system running, so the prisons are bought out by private companies. The game Death Race is created as a way to get rich and as an alternative to the death penalty. A simple yet creative idea.

There is a lot of violence with blood and gore. However, it is focused moreso on the action and violence than the blood and gore. Meaning the blood and gore is only there to compliment the action, so they didn't rely on the blood and gore to make the movie.

Jason Statham and Tyrese Gibson are both good actors and they both fit their parts well. A working class white guy whose employer had to shut down, gets framed and goes to prison where he gets drug into playing the game and slowly uncovers the plot to milk him for all of the money he is worth by the greedy female warden. Then a black guy who has been in prison and has been playing the game for a long time, he is determined to be the best and win his freedom but always gets the shaft, once again thanks to the greedy female warden.

Plot, action, violence, good special effects, good acting, no wasting your time with a boring love story. After listing all of those things I have just realized that this movie is the polar opposite of the Twilight series. So, if you are like me and hate the Twilight saga because it is nothing but a bunch of emotional crap aimed at, like, teenage girls who can, like, so relate to, like, having a vampire boyfriend. And you believe that vampire movie without violence is like a car without an engine, you can get into it if you want to be its not like your gonna go anywhere with it, Death Race might be a good movie for you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A much better than I expected., November 9, 2009
This review is from: Death Race (Unrated Edition) (DVD)
I didn't go see this movie in the the theater because I thought this movie wouldn't be worth my money. I was right, however it's worth renting. It was much better than I expected.

The story is the worst part of the movie. First some how our economy virtually collapses over night, and the prison system isn't making any money so they enter reality television with prisoners fighting and racing for our entertainment. Yes you could see that happening a ways done the round by still far fetched.

The acting and actors on the other hand were really good. The all looked like they wanted to make this movie and were having fun. Jason Statham is always great, and doesn't get the credit he deserves for his acting. Tyrese Gibson, Joan Allen, Natalie Martinez and the rest of the actors all did great jobs.

The action was really good and exciting. The races were really well done which added to the movie. Finally I really liked the ending of the move.

Overall a above average movie worth renting.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome! One of the best action films of all time., August 11, 2009
This review is from: Death Race (Unrated Edition) (DVD)
I don't know how to properly give this movie it's proper due except to say that it is a thoroughly enjoyable sphincter-tightening thrill ride from beginning to end, a guilty pleasure that can best be described with awesome aspects of other movies.

Death Race is:
The isolation of No Escape
The armor, weapons, and carnage of the cars in Twisted Metal
The criminal game show of The Running Man
The car racing of Days of Thunder and Ronin
The post-apocalyptic car designs of The Road Warrior
The on-road power-ups of Super Mario Kart
The British dude of The Transporter
The T&A of Fast & Furious
The brutal, realistic fights of Taken

What else could you want? Don't look too much into this. Just sit back and enjoy one of the most awesome action movies ever made.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars REMAKE OF THE CORMAN CLASSIC, May 26, 2009
This review is from: Death Race (Unrated Edition) (DVD)
DEATH RACE

This is for those who don't know another remake that was put out there, but unlike most I was actually excited about this one. I knew that this was one that needs the brain shut off and that really won't have character development, but that is ok. The thing that I was happy about is that the original films legendary producer Roger Corman returns as a producer on this film, that's enough for me. I know some people were worried because Paul W.S. Anderson is the writer/director of this film, but he is an action director and on that level he succeeds. Still this is a remake and with that there will always be disappointments, when watching this I felt like they missed a lot of opportunities. By that I mean this could have been a mindless, fun, and wonderfully violent EPIC film, instead it is the first three and just a decent flick.

After 2008 the economy started to fall through [yikes that is kinda happening] and the crime rate rises while every one losses their jobs. This sets things up for prisons to be very corrupt and very full, makes things interesting. At one prison in particular the warden has a little reality show on the internet called "DEATH RACE". An event that pits inmate against inmate in a race to the finish line, the only problem is you may be finished before you get there. Why do the inmates agree to do it you ask, well because if the win 5 times [I think is the number] you win your freedom. Yeah that sounds great for the population a crazy prisoner gets released from jail into the public after killing other prisoners live on a show, break out the welcome wagon.

It seems a racer named Frankenstein [David Carradine from the original for a quick cameo] is killed right before he wins his freedom, seems he was the fan favorite and Warden Hennessey needs him back in the races. So she sends out a prisoner to frame a famous former race car driver named Jensen Ames, it looks like he killed his wife so he goes to jail only to become the new Frankenstein. Of course he doesn't want to but he needs to be freed to see his daughter, so at least that much makes sense. So we are off to the races I guess to a fun filled violent experience to see who will win it, I mean it will be a close race. Jason Statham has driven many a fast car and Tyrese was "2 Fast 2 Furious" so it should be close.

This film is far from the original mainly because the first film is such a classic amongst the Corman fans like myself, but to be honest this is a new film for a new day and Roger did sign off on it. I find this film to be a really good buddy film, and I don't mean like a buddy cop movie or anything like that. I mean this film is best viewed eating and drinking with your friends; you can all get just as loud as the film and have a mindless good time. My brother, my girl, and a few others all enjoyed this and I think it was because of the atmosphere, good times had by all. Don't get me wrong you can enjoy this at any time but that is best way to watch this type of film I believe.

As far as the direction it is pretty straightforward, it is all centered around the action and that is fine since it doesn't try to be anything else. Anderson does a good job here as far as that aspect is concerned but don't expect a lot of character development. The deaths are really cool at least in my opinion even if there some over the top moments, but with a title like Death Race what do you expect. The cars are fun and match the atmosphere and look of the film and the action is solid, also The Dreadnought is a cool killing machine but it comes and goes to quick I think. Jason Statham is excellent in the lead role and really I felt he was the best guy for this type of flick. Tyrese though is another story because I just didn't see him in this, he did a great job with his character and maybe because of the lack of script he just seemed, I don't know. Joan Allen on the other hand I felt was great in this and made for a believable villain, I wanted to say something else. Natalie Martinez is decent in this and Ian McShane as Coach is very good in this as well.

To me this was a fun film although far from a classic it is still good enough in my opinion for a rental at least. I bought it as to continue owning all things Corman, don't have everything yet but I will get there eventually. Like I said before order some pizza crack open a few drinks [whatever you sip on] and watch this with you friends. It is a good time if you turn off the brain; at least I had fun with it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid three (and a half) stars... Not better, December 27, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Death Race (Unrated Edition) (DVD)
This movie is definitely more entertaining than most professional reviews gave credit for, but maybe not quite as good as over enthusiastic fanboys might give it. I was prepared for the worst going in. I am a fan of the lead actor but saw first hand with "In the Name of the King" just how bad a movie he could get himself envolved in. I read the reviews and removed this item from my preorder list, especially with a price from $26 -$29 on Amazon at that time. I was surprized on the upside once I rented the movie that most of what I feared was unfounded. The action is terrific, the acting is good and not distracting at any point that I noticed. The characters are compelling but, true to one allegation against the movie, not fleshed out much in any way. You literally get just an introduction to many and then the plot moves on to another race. This is a good movie that really could have been even better. On the other hand, for everyone of me, there are two others out there who just want to sit in the easy chair with a beer and watch fantastic car races... with gunfire of course! I will admit, coming from a military background, specifically combat arms, I really like a movie with the heavy base of gunfire and the clink of endless rounds of spent casings falling on the ground. This movie doesn't dissapoint in that area. I still consider this a purchase when the price goes below $15 or $20. I noticed Amazon stopped discounting movies much from the original intro prices you always see on Blu ray of about $26.99-$29.99 once they say their holiday sales were better than most. Time to give Amazon a lesson. In any case, I am also a huge Joan Allen fan and at over 50 she is still one of the most stunning women you will see on screen. My only beef with this movie at all is that the relationships are so underdeveloped it is hard for the viewer to become envolved or invested in what happens to them. Even the revenge plot around Jason's (the lead) family is so thin that you are not sure you care even though you know just enough to understand why. Seriously, 5-10 minutes of character developement really would'nt make this movie drag and you would be more on the edge of your seat caring about what happens. Studios just don't get it sometimes!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can this movie stand on its own?, August 12, 2012
By 
Robert Badgley (St Thomas,Ontario,Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Death Race (Unrated Edition) (DVD)
That is the question.Can this Aug/08 release/remake of Death Race equal or surpass the 70s original? My findings confirm that this new version indeed equals or surpasses the original film.From the acting,the stunts and special effects,they all add up to a nicely updated and badder version of Corman's original.And who should be on hand to pilot this version?;none other than Corman himself.It is chock full of some great actors backing up star Jason Statham,such as British veteran Ian McShane,Joan Allen,Tyrese Gibson and even David Carradine,who drops by to play the original Frankenstein under that frightful mask.However there is something I think quite important to tell you that the case of this DVD does NOT;at least I could not see it.When you are at the main menu on the DVD there is an asterisk beside the unrated version saying this version MIGHT affect the playability of the movie. What the....? I do not understand why it would or should.Thankfully my player had no perceptible problems at all,but I thought you should be pre-warned as to what possibly to expect,as Universal seems unwilling to be honest enough to be upfront about it on the case.I deducted an entire star for this faux paux/deception.
The plot finds Statham,a hard working steel worker being laid off from his job.He goes home to his wife and while he is upstairs tending to his unsettled baby,a break in occurs in the kitchen.When Statham returns his wife is dead on the floor and he and the intruder have a scuffle.Statham is knocked down and out,but just before he fades out the killer makes a motion with his hand in the form of a shooting pistol.The killer has planted the knife in Stathams hand,so when the police arrive,it is Statham of course who is deemed to be the killer.
Fast forward and Statham is being taken to and incarcerated in the penal facility on Terminal island.No one escapes from this facility and for entertainment the warden,Joan Allen,has set up a Death race,in which prisoners who drive in it,after five consecutive wins,can get paroled out.The warden propositions Statham to take the place of a popular driver called Frankenstein,who died in the last race;one win away from getting his freedom.
Statham agrees but something is not right.Statham was a former race driver in civilian life,so is it coincidence that he is there?During the first race,Statham sees a hand gesture from of the other drivers,the same one from the killer of his wife.On top of this some of his equipment has been mysteriously malfunctioning.It seems the warden has used one her own prisoners to knock off Stathams wife,in order to continue on with Frankenstein.Also Statham will apparently never get out of the prison,if the warden has anything to do with it.
The deadly races,viewed by millions on the internet,continues full blown as the drivers slowly dwindle down the playing field,through horrific crashes/deaths.Statham and his arch rival Tyrese Gibson,go head to head, but the two have agreed to work together,first to eliminate a souped up tanker truck called the Dreadnought,and then to escape off the island.
Gibson's truck is loaded with missiles and nicely blows a hole in the side of the track big enough for the two of them to leave the facility.Both ditch their rides and escape on foot,while the warden gets a small thank you package,in which is an explosive.
The next time we see Statham and Gibson they are working as mechanics down in Mexico and enjoying their new found freedom and life.
I certainly prefer the extended version,with an extra 6 minutes of footage added,as it fleshes out the characters and the plot a little bit more.But in the end,as always,it's up to you to decide for yourself.The race itself takes up most of the film,and the stunt works/car crashes and technical effects used to create it all are nothing short of spectacular.Statham is right on his game in this one,with his usual intensity and menace.
Technically speaking we have the theatrical and unrated versions on one single disc(one sided),and both are clear and crisp and in their w/s a/r's of 2:35:1.Extras includes some featurettes on the films making and the stunt work,and commentary by its director.
All in all a nice film with some awesome stunt work and rad racing.The race will have you on the edge of your seat,guaranteed.One star deducted for Universal's unforgivable lapse in pre-warning the consumer about possible playability issues with the unrated version.3 1/2 stars.
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Death Race (Unrated)
Death Race (Unrated) by Paul W.S. Anderson
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