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directed by Juan C. Bofill
USA 2010

 

Buzzkill family man Brandon (Jencarlos Canela), layabout Jose (Al Galvez, SNAKES ON A TRAIN), and wishy-washy Peter (Seth Gordon) head out into the Florida Everglades for a weekend hunting trip, which also happens to be the alternate drop site of drug dealers evading the DEA. Jose witnesses the drop at night and sees dollar signs. Brandon wants no part of Jose's plan and Peter sides with him; however, Jose wakes Peter up in the middle of the night and convinces him to help him hide the drugs so he can get them to his cousin Felipe (Melvin Cabrera) to move them quickly. Unfortunately, Paco (Juan C. Bofill) - who walks everywhere in slow motion - and his gang (including the requisite BAMF gun-toting female Tania [Sonya Smith]) follow their tracks back to the camp and wage an attack on the hunters' camp. Brandon, however, manages to take out several of the men MATRIX-style, and the three get out on the road (without Brandon bothering to ask any questions). Jose's cousin does not want to handle a two million dollar coke sale, so he directs Jose to big-time drug dealer Miguel (Gabriel Porras) - we know he's big time because his introduction triggers a quick-cutting rap music montage of bodyguards, champagne, and bikini-clad groupies - but Paco and his gang are in hot pursuit. They decide to cut through the swamps in a dune buggy (with Brandon still ridiculously unaware that his friends have stashed the drugs), but they run out of gas and soon have to face off against machine guns with only bows and arrows.

HUNTED BY NIGHT isn't exactly entertainment, so much as a demo reel for actor/writer/director/executive producer/stunt coordinator Juan Bofill, a stunt coordinator on several Latin-American TV series (from which most of the cast are also drawn). Not a fight goes down without slow-motion blows and freeze-frames, dissolves, and crashes are punctuated by that rhythmic fade-out/fade-in thing you see in action and horror theatrical trailers (we even get the slow motion flick of a cigarette into a puddle of gasoline and "walking away from an explosion towards camera in slow motion" bit). Bofill's fight scenes would be impressive had they not been over-directed with emphatic slow-motion and freeze frames that drag out every action sequence to the point of parody). The dialogue scenes, on the other hand, are under-directed with crucial confrontations made up of several minutes of monotonous ad-libbing while the camera just swings - rather than pans - back and forth. Canela's hero - of which we know nothing about other than that he has a wife and kid (who is obsessed with angels) is nonsensically imbued with the sort of super senses usually bestowed in traditional action fare upon highly-trained military loner types (apparently, he's got an almost supernatural instinct for survival because he momentarily died when he was born and has been watched over by a guardian angel ever since). His two buddies are just as flatly drawn, with Jose's need to be contrary suspending the audience's suspension of disbelief, and Peter flip-flopping between the two extremes. Bofill's villain is unevenly acted; despite the film's religious leanings, he seems less like a symbolic devil figure than the usual action movie bad guy who just won't die. Whatever message the film seems to want to convey is ultimately mired it's constant aspiring towards "badassed-ness."

Eric Cotenas

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Theatrical Release: 22 April 2010 (USA)

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DVD Review: MTI Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

MTI Home Video

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:55:44
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.39 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 5.1; English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English SDH, Spanish SDH, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: MTI Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary with director Juan Bofill
• Interview with actor Jencarlos Canela and director Juan C. Bofill (4:3; 14:14)
• Trailer
• Trailers for KILLER BY NATURE, RESURRECTION COUNTY, THE UNDYING, and COFFIN

DVD Release Date: January 31st,  2012
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

Comments

MTI's DVD features an interlaced, dual-layer, anamorphic presentation of this HD-lensed production with English Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 stereo mixes. Optional English and Spanish SDH subtitles are also included (although Spanish dialogue in the film has burnt-in English subtitles). Extras include an audio commentary with director Juan Bofill, interviews with Bofil and actor Jencarlos Canela, and the film's trailer. Trailers for other MTI releases are also included.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

MTI Home Video

Region 1 - NTSC

 




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