DVD Review HTF REVIEW: The Strip Game

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Michael Elliott, Mar 5, 2005.

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  1. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    [​IMG]

    The Strip Game


    [​IMG][​IMG]/[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]




    Studio: Lions Gate
    Year: 2004
    Rated: NR
    Film Length: 72 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: Standard (4:3)
    Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, Stereo Surround
    Subtitles: English, Spanish
    Retail Price: $19.95





    I’ve written several reviews regarding direct to DVD horror films, which are among the most popular genre when it comes to direct to whatever stuff. All of this started back in the 1980’s when producer’s realized they could make a quick buck off those renters who’d rent just about anything as long as it offered something they wanted. Another genre that benefited highly to this direct to business was the more adult natured sex films. These also became a late night staple on stations like Cinemax but in 2005 video is long gone and now we’ve got adult entertainment coming straight to DVD in hopes of renters dropping their dollars and making the producer’s some quick cash.

    The Strip Game was produced, directed and stars Method Man, a famous rapper who most will know from the Wu-Tang Clan. This documentary, shot on a shoestring budget, goes to strip clubs in five cities and tries to discover some truths and break various myths about strippers. For the most part, the camera is mainly fixated on the women and their bodies, which is certainly to be expected but since Method Man has always considered himself higher than others in his field, he also tries to mix in personal stories of those who are taking off their clothes.

    The documentary runs 72-minutes and goes from New York to Atlanta to Miami to Houston and then finishes off in Los Angeles. At each strip club we meet various strippers who are all more than willing to take their clothes off as well as answer Method Man’s questions on why they strip and get their personal feelings about the men who enter these clubs. There are a lot of trashy moments going on and for the most part it seems the director/star is simply wanting to show everyone how cool and rich he is but if you look a bit closer it seems the director has gotten some nice stuff going on but I’m going to guess the producer side of him knew you couldn’t go all out on a documentary because that wouldn’t make as much money as a film that’s aimed for men wanting to see some nudity.

    The most interesting of these personal stories is a lesbian dancer who is having problems with her girlfriend. Their problems aren’t do to the actual stripping but the fact that the stripper just isn’t into sex. Method Man brings up the fact that most people look at strippers as some sort of slut but the film really tries to put this myth to rest in showing different aspects to them. Another good segment comes when one stripper tries to explain why she’s turned off from dating due to the men see meets in these clubs. As she explains, if a husband is going to run out to a strip club when the marriage goes bad, what’s going to keep her husband from doing the same thing.

    These small, personal stories are the most interesting thing about The Strip Game and I’m sure Method Man could have gone even further in this direction but again, this is a direct to DVD product that’s being made to make money off guys wanting to see nudity and not a documentary. I’m not going to lie, the nudity here is very good but it reminds me of a review I read for Reefer Madness once, which was written by a pothead. The pothead basically said the reason that film had such a bad reputation is because people watching it aren’t having fun because they don’t want to see people get high when they could be getting high on their own. I guess, in some way, the same is true here. If you’re the type that’s interested in strip clubs, why pay $20 to see a DVD when you could spend that money at an actual club?


    VIDEO---The movie was shot on digital video and is presented in the Standard (4:3) ratio, which is correct. For the most part the transfer is very good with vivid colors, which certainly show off all the neon lights inside the various clubs. Transfer wise there’s nothing wrong here and we’re getting a very accurate look to the film. This was shot on a low budget with a hand held digital camera so this here leads to various other problems like bad lighting and so forth but this here is to be expected.

    AUDIO---We get a Dolby Digital 5.1 track as well as what appears to be the original 2.0 Stereo track. Here’s another rare case where the Stereo track is the one I’d recommend. It appears the only difference between the two tracks are when the rap soundtrack comes on and it appears the songs were mixed a bit differently but the 5.1 really doesn’t add anything. The bass is extremely weak and the Surrounds really don’t pack much of a punch. In both tracks the dialogue is crystal clear throughout, although there are a few moments inside the loud clubs where dialogue can hardly be heard but this here is due to how the film was recorded, not the fault of Lions Gate.

    EXTRAS---Up first is a five minute interview with Method Man where he talks about his reasons for making this film. Apparently he wanted to direct his first feature and decided to do it on a subject he enjoyed. He admits that he went into this as a T&A film but after following the girls around he decided to add their personal stories. Up next is ten minutes worth of deleted questions where Method is talking to various girls in the documentary. Questions about their first dance, their worst dance and bad memories are all covered. If you enjoyed these questions in the documentary then you should find these entertaining. Next up is an audio commentary with Method Man, which also includes a brief introduction. I listened to about thirty minutes of the track and it’s basically the director talking about getting high, getting laid and why he loves strippers so much. If you’re wanting to learn about low budget filmmaking then you best look somewhere else. The dancers also get a bit more attention is the audition and pole trick sections, both running around three minutes and are just extended scenes. There’s also seven minutes worth of extended dance scenes for your viewing pleasure. Finally we get theatrical trailers for High Tension and Lil’ Pimp.

    OVERALL---Fans of Method Man might want to check this out for various reasons including the soundtrack, which features various Meth songs as well as some by the Wu-Tang Clan. Others, if interested in seeing nude women, are best to just rent the thing because it really isn’t good enough for a purchase. Neither the nudity nor the documentary is anything special but they’re not as bad as I was expecting. The bottom line is there are better movies out there dealing with these subjects but I will say Method Man surprised me with the film.


    Release Date: March 8th, 2005
     
  2. LaMarcus

    LaMarcus Screenwriter

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    Wow, I'm totally surprized to see this film being reviewed here. This is one of the reasons that I even look at reviews here, being that I had no idea that this film existed. Now of the review, I will check it out. No disrepect to reviews or reviewers, but to me it comes to a point where I feel what's the point of having a review for something you know your going to buy review or not. For me reviews like this are critical, because if not for them you may never have seen or heard of the film.

    The HT nerd in us, will read a review of a movie we already know we're going to buy, just to get a little bit more excited to by something we were already going to buy in the first place.

    Thanks for the review, because now I can add this to my netflix que.[​IMG]
     
  3. stephen la

    stephen la Stunt Coordinator

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    someone had to ask.
    the strip clubs shown in this video.. are they topless or nude?
    thanks
     
  4. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Stephen, they are topless for the most part. There's some "below the belt" footage in a few of the scenes however. The film is unrated but it would certainly get an NC-17 had the MPAA seen it. There's one close up that's rather graphic but other than that it's mostly topless footage, lap dances and that sort of stuff.


    Thanks LaMarcus. These "direct to DVD" titles usually don't get many hits (sometimes under 100 total) and usually aren't reviewed at other sites because of the bigger titles but I certainly know someone out there is interested in this stuff like I am.

    However, it's strange that one called THE STRIP GAME is getting about 400 more views than a "normal" release. [​IMG]
     
  5. LaMarcus

    LaMarcus Screenwriter

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    lol Strange world my friend.
     
  6. stephen la

    stephen la Stunt Coordinator

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    thanks Michael
    was hoping for total nude..
    maybe I'll rent it if my local place has it
     

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