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DVD Reviews

HTF REVIEW: Suckers!



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#1 of 1 Michael Osadciw

Michael Osadciw

    Screenwriter

  • 1,325 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 24 2003

Posted May 26 2004 - 04:51 PM

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(Original DVD Cover art not available at Press Time)


SUCKERS!






Studio: Razor Digital Entertainment
Film Year: 2001

U.S. Rating: R
Rated for: pervasive language, some strong sexuality, some violence and drug content

Film Length: 87 minutes
Genre: Comedy

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (non-anamorphic)
Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles: none
Closed Captioned: Yes





Release Date: NOW



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Starring: Louis Mandylor (Bobby), Daniel Benzali (Reggie), Michael D. Roberts (Eddie), Eli Danker (Mohammed), BT (JJ), Lori Loughlin (Donna)

Directed By: Roger Nygard
Writers: Roger Nygard and Joe Yannetty



If you think car salesmen are lying, low-life scum…you should see them in their off hours.

If there is one movie I can recommend to the masses as a must-see satirical film on the car sales industry its Suckers!. But what is really scary is how true all of this is…I mean, its scary true. A friend of mine worked in car sales for a while and he confirmed with me how accurate a lot of this is. My girlfriend also just bought a new 2004 Honda Civic a few weeks back before I watched this film and told me how her ‘negotiations’ went, and I couldn’t believe how much what she told me was in this film. Luckily for me, she’s a real hard-baller with price – she’s every salesman’s nightmare. So when I’m ready to buy a new car this year she’s my strength to not getting suckered too. After watching this DVD I feel suddenly armed with a lot of information so I can keep the control between myself and the salesman during negotiations. Now this isn’t a “how too” disc if that is what you are thinking, Suckers is actually a film with a loose plot. It does spend a lot of time showing us what goes on behind those closed doors during sales meetings. You don’t have to be quick to pick out the obvious. Full of satirical pokes of sales meetings and having a continual sense of humor, Suckers is both very entertaining and educational.

The story as we see it is about Bobbie, a young married guy whose life is going nowhere except for the road to trouble. He owes some loan sharks money – big time – and they don’t want to be so nice to let him off of the hook so fast. They give him an opportunity to put his act together and repay his debts. His wife Donna is also angry at Bobbie’s lack of motivation to get a job. She informs him that she is pregnant and he’ll have to support a family of three very soon. She hopes that’ll make him get off his ass quickly.

And it does.

Bobbie gets hired as a car salesman at a dealership named South Side. Here we see the comedic side of the story – the place is headed by pin-headed and greasy sales manager Reggie who pushes his sales to screw every single customer out of his money today – because today sir, is the best day to buy a car! There is no better day! And there is no better way of showing how salesmen screw each other over deals…or showing how a female client can screw a salesman into getting a free car.

Bobbie is clearly not the aggressive type and there are only a few pushers at South Side. Other guys become friends to Bobbie to help him out along the way. Eddie has been at South Side for a long time and is more compassionate compared to the merciless nature of Reggie. Reggie counts on Eddie to close the deals of the newbies but Eddie would rather guide them to close on their own. Charm may not be enough to close a deal for Bobbie.

Mohammad is another salesman who is kind to Bobbie. An ex-militant from Afghanistan, he’s tall, tough, and dominating, but inside he has concern for those he makes friends with and will stand in the line of fire when called to it. He doesn’t get along with JJ very well, and as the story progresses we find JJ getting more than he bargained for.

By this point the film makes its transition from a hilarious and slick film into a drug smuggling story that is much less interesting. The characters get caught up in the trade and it becomes a little less believable. I wish the story would’ve continued without this developing sub-plot because it would have been far more interesting. Does it make the film bad? Not at all! Less interesting? A little. Thankfully, the rest of the DVD makes up for it. Writer Joe Yannetty was once a car salesman, so watching the first half of the film is absolutely worth every moment of your time. Even the special features go in as far as offering excellent car sales tips or just food for thought.


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Sadly the video is not up par with any good transfers today. It is not anamorphically enhanced and framed at 1.85:1. It appears to be sourced from video, as there is a consistent faint discolouration on the image. They appear to be horizontal stripes, big ones, sometimes red, sometimes green. It’s not that noticeable, but once it’s noticed its hard not to be somewhat bothered by it. There is a little bit of edge enhancement present too, probably to give the impression that this duller looking source is sharper than what it really is. Thankfully all else seems normal. All fleshtones are consistently neutral and there is excellent contrast in outdoor scenes and interiors. A little bit of grain is noticed as well. Because of its non-anamorphic presentation and sub-par source, its lack of detail in the image makes this fun movie a bit of a disappointment.


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The audio is in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo. Most of the film is mono-centric aside from the music soundtrack that gives the film some stereo spread. There are a few scenes that take advantage of a stereo soundstage, but aside from that there isn’t much going on. At least the sound is clean and absent of background hiss.


SPECIAL FEATURES Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image / Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

The Suckers! DVD has some great features on it. In this case its not the quantity of the features, it’s the quality that makes them stand out. The odd thing is that they are such simple features but I walked away from them liking them a lot. Included first are two audio commentaries one from the director and the other from the cast and crew. Both are excellent and funny to listen to – I recommend checking them out.

Next up is a feature I loved the most: How Not To Get Screwed When Buying A Car. Hosted by writer Joe Yannetty (who was once a car salesman), it’s the simplest feature anyone could make. He stands there in his suit as he writes on a flip chart each step of the way on how to buy a car. While he’s not the best speaker and sometimes repeats himself, he is very interesting to listen to, not to mention the invaluable information I thought he was saying. I will most definitely use this information as I shop for my new car. I would have never known - thanks Joe!

Lastly are some Roger Nygard’s Early Works. These days it seems popular for directors to include some of their early homemade films on their DVDs. I am glad this is the case. While most shorts are no better then what any kid with a camcorder can put together (and with today’s home PC video editing stations), they can be both fun and boring to watch. I actually sat through these ones and honestly I thought Indestructible Man was clever for what it is. It features this kid who keeps getting thrown around off bridges, ran over by cars, knocked over by anything in his path, yet he keeps getting up again. The cuts are made quick between a live actor and a beat up dummy. From what seems like an old silent 8mm source it’s pretty neat. There is also a trailer for his longer film Six Days in Roswell.

Bios and trailers are also included, and there are no DVD-ROM features nor is there an insert labeling chapter selections.


THOUGHTS…

Suckers! is a must have DVD! There is no better time than now for you to go out and buy it. If I told you that it was available today, do we have a deal? (nod yes…). Good, now sign on the dotted line. As Paul Yannetty says, buying a car is most people’s second biggest purchase in their lifetime. The DVD’s film as well as its great feature is a must see if you want to check out some slimy sales guys at work. Or, if you have had sales experience (as I have), you will like watching this because you will laugh at the similarities between the sales meetings and salesman relations and your own experiences. For those of you interested in buying a new car – this disc might actually help you save a little more on your next big (or small) car purchase. Whatever You Do, Don't Buy Your Next Car Without Seeing This Movie!

Michael Osadciw
04.05.26
Warner Bros. Blu-ray Reviewer
Anchor Bay/Starz Entertainment Blu-ray Reviewer

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