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Girls Against Boys(2012)
After a series of bad experiences with men, Shae teams up with her co-worker, Lu, who has a simple, deadly way of dealing with the opposite sex.
For more about Girls Against Boys and the Girls Against Boys Blu-ray release, see Girls Against Boys Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on February 25, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: Danielle Panabaker, Nicole LaLiberte, Liam Aiken
Director: Austin Chick
» See full cast & crew
Girls Against Boys Blu-ray Review
Girls rule, boys drool (And bleed. Profusely).
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, February 25, 2013
You want me to kill him for ya?
For any would-be rapist, creep, cheater, or all-around bad guy, take heed: some girls aren't going to just give in and take it. And especially not these girls. In Girls Against Boys, it's really "wronged females against the guys who hurt them," be that physical hurt, emotional hurt, or both. And for one or two really unfortunate souls, it's just "wrong time, wrong place," falling victim to a gunshot to the crotch or a sword slice to the gut. It's a film of excess violence and a look at how revenge can turn into bloodlust and yield unpredictable results. There's vigilantism and then there's this, all sorts of nasty doings in which the perp (or victim, or both) is fortunate to get away with a gunshot to the head and not some other, truly heinous and devilish torture scheme. Girls Against Boys is sort of like Hostel meets I Spit on Your Grave meets Death Wish, an odd combination about revenge -- justifiable, sometimes -- and the dark road towards depravity.
Shea (Danielle Panabaker) is reeling from a breakup with her older boyfriend (Andrew Howard) who's dumping her in an effort to save his marriage and spend more time with his child. She goes to college by day and tends bar at night; when she sneaks away from work for a good cry, she's comforted by Lu (Nicole LaLiberte), a mysterious redhead who quickly befriends Shea and takes her out on the town to dance and drink her worries away. While clubbing, they meet a few guys with whom they hook-up and return home. Shea's not all that interested in sex, but one of the men persists and rapes her. When the police do nothing about it, Shea and Lu take matters into their own hands, tracking down not only the rapist but any guy who's done them wrong. When they find them, they kill them, sometimes brutally and with no remorse. Or so it seems. Is Shea really a killer, and just who is Lu, who can kill a man as easily as she eats her breakfast cereal?
There's something oddly satisfying about Girls Against Boys, a deep down, carnal sort of animalistic satisfaction of watching bad people get their just due. The problem is that there's really only one guy in the whole movie whose death is really justifiable. The most gruesome torture is saved for him, but otherwise victims range from "completely innocent" to "guilty by association" and from "bad judgment" to "morally uneven." Even in its hardest scene -- which boils down to a case of classic "torture porn" -- the movie proves difficult to watch, even if the ladies' actions are in some perverse way justified in an "eye for an eye" sort of way, particularly after one of them gets what amounts to the run-around from the police. As morbid as it may sound, it's hard to find fault with what the girls do to that one victim, but even then it's not fun to watch. And neither is much of the movie fun to watch. There's not much of a plot here, even as the movie tries to paint an understandable growing moral crisis within one of the girls. It gives a halfhearted explanation for the cold and calculating Lu, but not enough to satisfy her hardcore dealings throughout the movie and fall from vigilante to crazed psycho. Shae's arc is a little more forgiving and the film does end with a rather breathless anticipation as to which direction she'll go following a run of grisly mischief, murder, and mayhem.
Give credit to the girls -- Danielle Panabaker and Nicole LaLiberte -- for finding a pretty good blend of "cool," "unhinged," "morally corrupt," "morally justified," and "morally uncertain" in their parts. LaLiberte's part is far colder, but she does enough with her character to let off a combination of sexy and scary that can't be easy to pull off. Panabaker does a lot of her work with her eyes, taking the viewer into her subconscious and the struggles, the satisfactions, the questions, and the searches for answers that play out deep in her soul, whether weeping in bed or putting a bullet in someone's head. That's not to say that Girls Against Boys is some deep drama wrapped up in a Torture Porn flick, but there's at least some glimmers of deeper thought processes playing out than what is normally found in the genre. Director Austin Chick (XX/XY) does well to physically capture Shae's downward spiral and moral quagmire. He makes her -- both the girls, really -- sympathetic to a point and allows the story and their performances to dictate the film rather than the violence to completely dominate it. The film could have used a bit more dramatic overlay, but there's enough here -- captured through good camera work, music, and those solid performances -- to at least elevate the film above the bottom of the trash heap of Revenge pictures and mold it at least into something with a little bite beyond the blade of a saw to satisfy audiences who want more than mere blood.
Girls Against Boys Blu-ray, Video Quality
Girls Against Boys arrives on Blu-ray with a sparkling high definition transfer sourced from an HD video shoot. While the image takes on that video-smooth and glossy texture, it reveals fantastic details and nearly unbeatable crispness and clarity throughout. The image showcases the finest details of Shea's flowing blonde hair and every freckle on Lu's face. Likewise, worn down and rusted loft details, scraped away paint, and even makeup lines on actors are very clear and well defined. Colors are fantastic; the image sees a nice spread of darker moments, excessively bright scenes, and even gentler green and earthen woodland shots, all of which display Lu's fiery red hair, clothing accents, and other colorful elements with ease. Blacks are deep and flesh tones accurate. A hint of struggling color transitions in the lowest-light scenes are really the only major issue with this one. Girls Against Boys makes for another high-yield high definition transfer from Anchor Bay.
Girls Against Boys Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Girls Against Boys rips into Blu-ray with a good but could-be-better Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless soundtrack. The track delivers good, smooth music with gentle surround support. It springs to life in a few club scenes, whether an extended dance/party sequence leading up the mayhem in which the entire soundstage is bombarded with slightly sloppy but environmentally correct bass and sound, and another when Shea arrives at work in a rather well-engineered moment in which she swings open doors, music pushes through the stage, and it fades out in the back as she moves past it. However, bass can be a bit rattly and overly unkempt, an example being the rape scene in chapter four. Gunshots prove rather puny, really lacking power and authenticity. The track does play some fair little ambience, whether inside the police station or out in the wooded area. Dialogue is mostly well delivered from the center with only one or two instances where it sounds a touch shallow. All around this is a good track, but not a great track.
Girls Against Boys Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Girls Against Boys contains only an audio commentary track with Director Austin Chick and Actress Danielle Panabaker. The two cover a nice bit of information, including subtle dramatic hints scattered throughout the movie, casting, general shooting stories, editing, the general plot details, filming locales, and more.
Girls Against Boys Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Girls Against Boys is sometimes hard to watch, both for its brutality and its promising but ultimately fully undelivered moral side workings. It's a far cry from the best rape/revenge picture or even, simply, revenge of any sort picture, but it's a fair effort that should please fans in search of a film with a little dramatic bone under all the destroyed flesh. Anchor Bay's Blu-ray release of Girls Against Boys delivers great video, fair audio, and a commentary track. Worth a rental for audiences into this sort of thing.
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Girls Against Boys Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Girls Against Boys Detailed - February 11, 2013
Anchor Bay Home Entertainment has detailed its upcoming Blu-ray release of Austin Chick's Girls Against Boys (2012), starring Danielle Panabaker, Nicole LaLiberte, and Liam Aiken. The release will hit retail shelves across the nation on February 26th.
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