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Cherry Bomb (2011) Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit)
  • Subtitles: N/A
  • Subtitles Color: N/A
  • Region: ABC  (Region-Free)
  • Rating: Unrated
  • Run Time: 90 Mins.
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Well Go USA
  • Blu-ray Release Date: July 10, 2012
  • List Price: $24.98

Overall
[Rating:1.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:1/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:2/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:1/5]

At what point is imitation just bad filmmaking? This “homage” to early-1980s action/exploitation flicks from writer/director/executive producer Kyle Day is literally the definition of bad filmmaking. Unlike the grindhouse send ups of Tarantino and Rodriquez or even the coolly sleek, even if absurd Mandrill from Ernesto Díaz Espinoza, Cherry Bomb hasn’t an ounce of originality, nor does it contain any evidence of parody. This film seems so serious about its intent, that its pathetic. Watching it is like stepping into a bad flashback of 1980s direct-to-VHS back of the rental store detritus that should have long since been forgotten.

It’s story, which should be simple of enough, but, like every film in this genre is unnecessarily confused and convoluted, is like ones we’ve seen a thousand times over (and over, and over, and over..ad infinitum). Set in the 1980s of car phones (remember those?), valley girl speak, and bad hair metal (there’s an equally bad soundtrack full of it to boot), stripper Cherry Bomb (Julin Jean) is sexually assaulted in the strip club’s private booth by a group of, well, assholes. Recovering in the hospital, the detectives investigating the case inform her that she may be facing charges for filing a false report, because, you know, the very influential lowlifes have been cleared of all charges and have alibis. One of the men who “supposedly” attacked her was also shot and killed in his home and she is the prime suspect, even though she’s been lying bruised and battered in a hospital bed all night. We already know that the person who did the killing was her brother Brandon (John Gabriel Rodriquez), whom Cherry hasn’t heard from in four years. She sneaks out of the hospital, goes straight to her brother’s house and convinces the straight laced Brandon to help her go on a trail of revenge against her assailants – shoot first, ask questions later. Of course, the siblings’ plans are upset by a hitman (Allen Hackley) who is sent out to kill them before they can complete their mission. The guy is like The Terminator, he just keeps coming back, yet, although he’s the best in the business, he keeps getting bested by these two clueless amateurs. But wait, there’s more! How could this be an exploitation film without drugs (well, drugs and the two-minutes or so of gratuitous nudity that underpin the opening credits, but I digress)? There’s a whole ridiculous subplot about drugs and dirty cops. We don’t actually know what drugs, just some sort of white powder – cocaine? It is the 80s after all. It all wraps up somehow at the end and when it does nobody who isn’t a complete moron wouldn’t have seen it coming. Did I mention anywhere in there that the acting is like a bad high school play and the dialogue is ridiculous?

Video Quality

[Rating:2/5]

Another in a growing number of low budget productions captured on the Canon line of high-end digital still cameras using their 1080p video capture function, Cherry Bomb was done on the EOS 7D, and, quite frankly, looks like it. There’s heavy amounts of video noise in the dark scenes, obvious aliasing in other areas, waxy looking skin textures, and lackluster color reproduction. This isn’t really an issue with the AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement from Well Go, which more likely than not looks pretty darn close to the original source. The issue is with the Canon, which may be an exceptional digital still camera, but when it comes to motion pictures, just doesn’t compete with the high end cinematographic HD cameras from Arri, Sony, Red, Panavision, or even Canon’s own consumer line of HD cameras, for that matter.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3/5]

Don’t expect much better from the audio soundtrack, which is offered up in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit). The 5.1 channels are pretty much wasted here, as is the lossless codec. Just as the video quality looks pretty awful, the sound quality is much better. The dialogue sounds a bit cluttered and unclear, though it is still discernible. There’s poor stereo separation and boxy sounding ambience during the “big” action sequences.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

There’s a typical slate of extras offered up on this release, including an alternate ending and a brief set of deleted scenes and outtakes. Nothing, however, will be required watching, or listening, in regards to the audio commentary.

The supplements:

  • Audio Commentary w/ Director/Producer Kyle Day
  • Outtakes (1.78:1; 100p/24; 00:02:10)
  • Deleted Scenes (2.35:1; 1080p/24; 00:03:56)
  • Alternate Ending (2.35:1; 1080p/24; 00:07:35)
  • Trailer (2.35:1; 1080p/24)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:1.5/5]

Two words: skip it.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Cherry Bomb on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:1.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:1/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:2/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

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