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DEATH AND LIFE OF BOBBY Z, THE: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
Tim Kearney (Paul Walker) is an ex-Marine who is paying the price for his three misdemeanours - in prison. But he finds himself in even more trouble when he is involved in a fight behind bars and kills the leader of a bikie gang. Granted a conditional release by Federal Agent Tad Grusza (Laurence Fishburne) as long as he pretends to be missing drug dealer and legendary surfer Bobby Z, Kearney, Kearney is forced to swap places with Grusza's partner, who is a hostage to Mexican drug lord Don Huertero (Joaquim de Almeida). In his guise as Bobby Z, Kearney makes some new friends - with the real Bobby's former lover Elizabeth (Olivia Wilde) and with his 11 year old son Kit (J.R. Villarreal), but nothing goes to plan...

Review by Louise Keller:
The plot is ludicrous and even though Paul Walker is far too likeable to play a killer, he has enough appeal to give the film reasonable escapist value. Surprisingly, it was the mood that sucked me in - there's a nice undertone of western-style twanging guitars - and the settings are fabulous. At the beginning, when we meet Walker's long-haired Kearney behind bars, it is hard to believe he is a nasty piece of work. We are soon told he is the perfect candidate to play the part of notorious drug dealer Bobby Z by Laurence Fishburne's agent Grusza, and by the time Kearney has his hair cut and does his homework, it seems the transformation is complete. At first he seems to fool his former lover Elizabeth (Olivia Wilde) who he meets at Don Huertero's hacienda, but before long she admits she knows the truth: 'A woman knows who she's making love to...,' she tells him, in an intimate exchange at a pool party.

Based on a novel by Don Winslow, director John Herzfeld concentrates on action rather than credible character building, resulting in a film that plays like a holiday page turner. The vast Mexican setting is striking and the most surprising element is the relationship between Kearney and Bobby Z's illegitimate son Kit (J.R. Villarreal). There are twists and turns and double crosses around every corner. Everyone is chasing Kearney and Walker has no trouble with the physicality of the role. Even if the vehicle is not up to scratch, his appeal is not tarnished.

There's a behind the scene featurette on the DVD plus cast and crew interviews.

Published August 30, 2007

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

DEATH AND LIFE OF BOBBY Z, THE: DVD (MA15+)
(US, 2007)

CAST: Paul Walker, Laurence Fishburne, Jason Flemying, Jason Lewis, Keith Carradine

PRODUCER: Matt Luber, Heidi Jo Markel, Keith Samples, Larry Schapiro, Peter Schlessel, Paul Walker

DIRECTOR: John Herzfeld

SCRIPT: Bob Krakower, Allen Lawrence

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Not credited

EDITOR: Bruce Cannon, Alain Jakubowicz

MUSIC: Tim Jones

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Not credited

RUNNING TIME: 97 minutes

PRESENTATION: widescreen 2.35:1

SPECIAL FEATURES: Behind-the-scenes featurette on the making of the movie including cast and crew interviews

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: August 22, 2007







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