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Kit Ryan
Stephen Dorff, Jaime Murray, Hugh O'Conor, Geoff Bell, Zak Maguire, Edward Baker-Duly, Alan Smyth
Writing Credits:
Derek Boyle, Eamon Friel, Raymond Friel

And you thought you were unlucky?

Ritchie Donovan is a professional thief whose luck has just run out. The only survivor from a heist that goes terribly wrong, Ritchie is forced to take the rap and is sent to Russia to steal a priceless antique cross locked in a safe on the penthouse floor of a Moscow skyscraper. Things start badly and go rapidly downhill when, during the robbery, Ritchie and his Russian accomplices are forced to take hostages because they are trapped by the police on the unused 13th floor.

Rated NR

Widescreen 1.85:1/16x9
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 94 min.
Price: $19.97
Release Date: 5/13/2008

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Botched: Uncut Version (2007)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 29, 2008)

With a nod toward hybrid horror-comedies like Shawn of the Dead, 2007’s Botched offers a violent ride. Ritchie Donovan (Stephen Dorff) ends up as the only survivor of a diamond robbery that ends in a car crash. Excuses don’t matter to Mr. Groznyi (Sean Pertwee), the Russian crime boss to whom he owes a debt. To make up for this disappointment, Groznyi sends Ritchie to Moscow to steal a priceless artifact.

That event doesn’t go well. Along with his Russian counterparts Yuri (Russell Smith) and Peter (Jamie Foreman), Ritchie gets trapped by police and forced to take hostages. They wind up on the 13th floor of the building, a place that turns out to be unlucky for all involved – and some force that starts to kill those stranded there. Who’ll live and who’ll die?

And who’ll care? I definitely don’t. When I go into a horror flick – especially one that takes an irreverent, comedic bent like Botched - I don’t expect crisp plotting and foolproof logic. However, I do want something better assembled than this disaster.

Almost nothing in this film makes even remote sense. Botched doesn’t exactly feature a complex plot; it’s not like it’s trying to be The Usual Suspects or something with complications and twists. Sure, some story snarls materialize as the movie progresses, but they never really surprise us or make us care about the flick. They act as rudimentary left turns without real purpose or impact.

I could’ve forgiven the loose plotting if Botched actually entertained me. Like I said, I don’t expect a tight story from this sort of goofy romp, but I do want something with panache and punch. Nothing in this meandering mess impresses the viewer. Even gore-hounds seem unlikely to delight in the buckets of blood simply because the effects look so bad. This is clearly a low-budget production, and the effects always seem cheap and unconvincing.

Perhaps some of that was intentional to amp up the camp value, but I don’t think so. Botched strikes me as the kind of flick college guys make with their friends over a weekend. The production values are a little better than a no-budget home movie, but not by much. The flick always seems tacky and can’t bring us into it world because everything looks so phony.

The acting goes from “terrible” to “really terrible”. Poor Dorff is a talented performer who must be depressed his career has taken him to Botched. He looks embarrassed to be in this disaster and often has a pained, befuddled look on his face, as if to say, “how’d things get this bad?”

At least Dorff makes the right choice to try to play things straight. The other actors tend to play things for broad laughs, which is exactly the wrong way to go in this sort of flick. For the material to succeed in a semi-parody, the actors shouldn’t wink at the audience. These performers mug relentlessly and always make sure we know they know they’re in a farce. This makes their performances more and more annoying as the film progresses.

I only like one thing about Botched: sexy Jaime Murray as one of the hostages. She’s a serious babe and gives us enough eye candy to almost make the flick tolerable. Almost, but not quite. Botched is a miserable excuse for a horror-comedy, as it’s neither scary nor funny. It’s just cheap, clumsy and stupid.

The DVD Grades: Picture D+/ Audio B/ Bonus D-

Botched appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this single-sided, single-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. For a recent movie, Botched presented a surprisingly weak transfer.

Sharpness was decent but not much better than that. Though the film featured acceptable delineation much of the time, it also became somewhat soft on occasion. Definition wasn’t terrible, but it was average to iffy. I noticed no issues with jagged edges or shimmering, and edge enhancement stayed minor.

On the other hand, source defects seemed heavy for a brand-new flick. Specks cropped up sporadically, and I also witnessed some small blotches and hairs. Along with a fair amount of grain, the specks were the most frequent distraction. These weren’t a constant distraction, but since I expect no print flaws from a modern flick, there were many more than there should have been.

Colors looked drab. Some of that made sense given the flick’s setting and concept, but I still thought the tones were more lackluster than I’d expect. Blacks tended to be inky, and shadows were somewhat flat and dull. This was a moderately weak presentation.

While the Dolby Digital 5.1 fared better, it didn’t dazzle. The soundfield never became especially ambitious, even though one might expect some wild material from a romp like this. Music dominated the piece, as the sides and surrounds bolstered the score in a positive manner. Effects opened up matters to a degree but they didn’t provide as much information as expected. They remained a minor partner in the track.

Audio quality was fine. Speech seemed distinctive enough, though I noticed some synch problems at times; some lines didn’t fit the mouth movements well. Music appeared pretty lively and full, and effects showed reasonable accuracy. There wasn’t enough pizzazz here to merit a grade above a “B”, but the audio remained satisfactory.

A few ads open the DVD. We get clips for The Sick House, Otis, Appleseed Ex Machina, Lost Boys: The Tribe and The King of Kong. And that’s it for extras, as no other components appear on the disc.

I don’t dislike Botched because of its gratuitous gore and violence. I dislike Botched because it’s relentlessly stupid and witless. The DVD offers pretty good audio but suffers from flawed visuals and no extras. The film’s premise could’ve entertained, but the result becomes a moronic mess.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.5 Stars Number of Votes: 8
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