Roadshow Entertainment/Roadshow Entertainment .
R4 . COLOR . 81 mins .
MA15+ . PAL
Reality television has hit it big time with shows like Survivor, Big Brother, The Idol phenomena as well as more backyard programs than you can poke a stick at. The silver screen has also seen its fair share of reality TV rip-offs such as the devilishly black Series 7: The Contenders, and it is crystal clear to see that the invasion of others’ privacy is appealing to many of us. Run Ronnie Run jumps up onto the screen with stereotypical American bloke-isms that are just waiting to corrupt society, breaking the rules of the reality television mould and introducing language, sex, alcohol and violence and coming up with a rather mixed bag of tricks.
Haven't we already seen this in Deliverance?
Aimed directly at the male teenage audience, presumably before they’ve grown a brain, Run Ronnie Run left this reviewer with mixed opinions from its rather dopey view of the world. Intelligent audience members will understand a lot of the humour, especially in regard to jokes such as the “withdrawal” safe-sex myth, however this is where a catch 22 arises – intelligent audiences try their best to stay away from this sort of film. Ah yes, this is the sort of film that refers to females as “bitch” and has a very amusing, uh, sorry, offensive song with regards to where to kick a lady if she gets up your goat. This sort of language and behaviour really is unnecessary and creates a new level of crass. Saying this, however, it’s not all effing this and effing that, it has a few jokes without the use of offensive language – just offensive themes. We have a racist play with regards to a young Chinese boy as well as a rather disturbing take on Survivor entitled Elimination Island where the cast get a tad... um, well Lord of the Flies-ish. On the plus side is the great big long list of cameos which make welcome and humorous appearances, giving the film a tad more credit than it builds itself.
"Hang on baby, don't flick your bitch switch."
The Queer Eye for the Straight Guy tour bus after seeing the mullet...
Ronnie Dobbs is your mullet-spouting, mischievous foul-mouthed star who has a knack for getting arrested. Terry Twillstein is a failed infomercial personality who’s food pulveriser exploded disastrously, leaving him in financial difficulties. Terry finds Ronnie after seeing him get arrested, yet again, on Fuzz, a cheap Cops! rip-off with the idea of creating his own show where he gets arrested each week. He soon discovers just how big the world is when he realises he is in love with his three-times ex-wife while he is fooling around with the beer-lady pin-up girl and things just don’t quite work out simplistically there. However, the evil Governor sporting a Merv Hughes moustache has other plans for this drop-kick, and all hell breaks loose when he re-enters the state, showing just how comically corrupt this world is.
Home sweet home...
The video transfer is presented in Run Ronnie Run’s original theatrical aspect of 1.85:1, and is anamorphically enhanced. Fitting snugly on a single layer with a duration just over 80 minutes, there’s little to complain about with this transfer. Colours are bright and realistic – nicely saturated without distorting the colours of the world, with solid tones and very little posterisation. Blacks are deep and solid, if a tad bright, and whites are clean and clear. Along with these extremes come the shadows, which are adequately mastered providing sufficient depth to the image. The clarity of the transfer is superb, with a clear and pristine print pretty much free from artefacts and grain. Even the ugly aliasing is absent, with the most gradual of lines being mastered cleanly.
Uh, there's a call for you!
Two English Dolby Digital tracks have been included, one boasting a 5.1 mix and the other a rather flat stereo mix. Throughout the film, accents are quite thick but are easily understood all the time, and synch issues are not an issue at all. With the 5.1 track, most of the action occurs in the front half of the soundstage with the surround channels quiet for most of the film. Likewise, the subwoofer remains dormant, however it never really does have the chance to shine. In the front end, dialogue comes from the centre channel, with the left and right channels carrying the bulk of the effects, and giving plenty of discrete aural cues. But comparing the two tracks together is tough, as they both sound so similar – the biggest difference would be that the 5.1 track is a tad more three-dimensional, giving a much more enveloping sound.
All we have in the extras department is a set of static 16:9 enhanced menus, and a 1:54 theatrical trailer which gives a pretty good description of the film. And this is the limit of the extras, but given the single-layer formatting with a sweet transfer we can’t really complain.
Teenage boys with a fetish for vulgarity and obscene “humour” will be at home with this flick, but this sort of film really teaches impressionable young minds the wrong (and rude) way to behave, stepping over the line between funny and just plain offensive more than one too many times. Transfer-wise it’s good, with awesome video and a rather average audio transfer, and only static menus and a trailer with regards to extra features.