US Release Date: June 9, 2009
Movie: out of
Ross Vegas (Ross Patterson) and Mikey (Clayne Crawford) are struggling actors and potheads working at Oscarz Pizza. One night they spend the evening bowling and Ross is approached by a PBA recruiter (Ray Wise) urging him to join the bowling circuit, as he thinks Ross is just what the league needs to boost ratings on The Bowling Channel. When Ross loses his agent and job, he decides to hit the road with his girlfriend Lindsay (Tara Reid) and Mikey to join the PBA Bowling Tour. Ross, Lindsay, and Mikey become instant celebrities by turning professional bowling into something resembling professional wrestling. In his rise to the top, Ross loses both Lindsay and Mikey, trading them in for success and excess.
Ross Patterson wrote the sports comedy as a vehicle for himself. Unfortunately, the jokes are flat, and Patterson’s performance, full of smug and smarm, is just annoying and makes Jim Carrey look like Laurence Olivier. The film credits 21 producers, including Patterson, Tara Reid, and her brother, first-time director Tommy Reid, who does what he can with the weak screenplay and limited budget. To compensate for the lack of action, the mediocre bowling skills of its stars, and to disguise the fact that most of the bowling matches were filmed at the same alley, Reid often cuts to flashy Playstation One style animation clips to tell us what was just bowled (such as “Strike,” “Spare,” “Split,” or “Turkey”).
Video: out of
Anchor Bay brings Strike to DVD with a 1.78:1 anamorphic transfer. For a low budget film, this is a pretty decent transfer. Colors are fairly solid without bleeding, and contrast is good. Image detail is adequate for a film of this type.
Audio: out of
The Dolby Digital 5.1 track provided, encoded at 448 kbps, does its job quite nicely for a comedy. Dialogue, although sometimes tinny, is well-centered and for the most part easy to understand. Surrounds are used sparingly, mostly for ambient crowd effects, but the LFE rarely comes to life.
Special Features: out of
When the disc is started, the following trailers are shown, and can be skipped by hitting the MENU button on your remote:
Table For Three
American High School
Bart Got A Room
The only real special feature on this disc is a 5 minute Behind the Scenes of Strike, which plays more like a music video. There are virtually no interviews here, consisting of a smorgasbord of background footage set to a selection from the film’s instrumental score.
Sneak Peeks offers some additional trailers for other Anchor Bay direct-to-video titles, While She Was Out, Sex and Death 101, and The Grand.
Overall: out of
Strike is a real gutterball, a turkey in the film (not bowling) sense, and continues the trend of giving “direct to video” a bad rap. There are better, funnier bowling comedies out there, and makes Kingpin the Citizen Kane of the sub-genre.