Death Race: Beyond Anarchy appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The transfer presented the film in an appealing manner.
Sharpness looked good. A smidgen of softness hit some wider shots, but those instances remained insubstantial, so the majority of the flick showed fine clarity and accuracy.
Jaggies and shimmering failed to distract, and edge haloes remained absent. The movie also lacked any source flaws and was consistently clean.
In terms of colors, Anarchy went with standard orange and teal most of the time, though they veered toward the desaturated side of the street. The hues never stood out as memorable, but they were fine for this story’s choices.
Blacks were pretty deep, and shadows were well-depicted – an important factor given the potentially murky interior settings. The image offered a “B+” presentation.
As for the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it created an active environment one would expect from a film of this sort. When the action heated up, the mix reflected that and used the spectrum well.
Music filled the various channels in a satisfying manner, and effects fleshed out the spectrum in a logical way. Aggressive and loud, the track used the soundfield in a forceful manner.
Audio quality pleased. Speech was concise and natural, while effects remained accurate and full-bodied.
Music was vibrant and dynamic. Despite its direct-to-video origins, the soundtrack fared nicely.
We get a handful of extras here, and we start with an audio commentary from director/co-writer Don Michael Paul and actor Zach McGowan. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/characters, cast and performances, stunts and action, vehicles, music, sets and locations, visual design and related domains.
Why does it feel like commentaries for bad movies come packed with more happy talk than discussions for good films? This probably isn’t accurate, and it likely just seems this way because of the contrast between the poor quality of the flick and the raves those involved throw at it, but it sure seems to happen a lot.
This means Paul and McGowan throw tons of plaudits at Anarchy. Along the way, they still manage to provide a good number of nuggets about the film’s creation, so at least they balance the fluff with useful content. The high level of praise makes the track tough to take at times, though.
Three featurettes ensue, and we open with Inside the Anarchy. It goes for five minutes, 50 seconds and offers notes from Paul, McGowan, producer Mike Elliott, and actors Danny Glover, Cassie Clare, Velislav Pavlov, Lucy Aarden, Fred Koehler, Christine Marzano and Danny Trejo.
“Inside” looks at story/characters, cast and performances, vehicles, locations, stunts and action. This becomes a passable but fairly superficial overview of the production.
Time Served: Lists & Goldberg lasts three minutes, one second and features Koehler, Paul, Elliott, and Trejo. As implied by the title, “Served” covers the characters played by Trejo and Koehler. It becomes a one-dimensional puff piece.
Finally, On the Streets of Death Race: Beyond Anarchy spans two minutes, 45 seconds and includes comments from Paul, Elliott, Trejo, Marzano and McGowan. We learn a little more about cars and stunts in this short, perfunctory reel.
The disc opens with ads for Dead Again in Tombstone and Cult of Chucky. No trailer for Anarchy appears here.
A second disc presents a DVD copy of Anarchy. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.
Maybe someday we’ll get an entertaining Death Race movie, but Beyond Anarchy offers another stinker. Loud, grating and pointless, the movie forces graphic violence down our throats and lacks any form of coherence or excitement. The Blu-ray brings very good picture and audio along with a smattering of supplements. Despite the franchise’s potential for thrills, Anarchy becomes yet another dud.