'Bounce: Behind the Velvet Rope' DVD Review *** 091605

The Work = ***
'Bounce: Behind the Velvet Rope' is a short and entertaining documentary that looks at a handful of bouncers working in the US and UK. I can’t say it is a very thorough film and it is certainly not long enough but it does have several entertaining interviews with bouncers. (Incidentally, some of the men seem to hate the term while others seem to like it.) The film focuses predominately on the States but does go overseas to interview two men.

The most notorious of which is a man named Lenny McLean, who is probably better known as “The Guv’nor.” McLean was a bare knuckle boxer who also worked as a bouncer for many years. He had some success in television and then writer/ director Guy Ritchie cast him as Barry the Baptist in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. McLean also released a successful autobiography in the UK but would sadly pass away not long after the books release.

McLean provides some great interviews in 'Bounce: Behind the Velvet Rope' but there is surprisingly little background given him and the others that are interviewed. I happened to know a bit about McLean so I knew of his history but the other bouncers only offer sketches of their backgrounds and how they ended up working the doors. It is a shame that the film doesn’t go a bit farther in depth about the people and the career. I will say though that I respect the filmmakers not padding out the film to extended the running time. They only had enough for about 70 minutes so that is the length that they released the film at.

What comes through is the career can offer heavy adrenaline rushes and releases of pent up emotions for those that work the doors. In crowded cities, fights at the bars are inevitable and many of the bouncers look forward to melees. A common factor of a abusive or a completely absent father figure does pop up with almost every bouncer interviewed. Many of the bouncers come off as fairly nice guys who have unchecked aggression issues and who have not gotten into either some mixed-martial art full contact sport or boxing. (The exception would be McLean who did bare knuckle boxing, although as I said it is not mentioned in the film.)

So, at the end of the day 'Bounce: Behind the Velvet Rope' is a brief but entertaining look at a group of bouncers. It is light on detail but it is a fun view. If you are interested I say give it a try. Recommended.

DVD = ***

The Look
'Bounce: Behind the Velvet Rope' gets a pretty “blah” transfer. I don’t know how much of the quality is due to the source material and how much is due to the transfer. The DVD has a very grainy full screen transfer. I don’t mind grain but too much can hamper detail and that seems to be the case here. (Again, may

The Sound
The soundtrack fairs pretty well. The film is presented in a 2.0 track and considering the 'Bounce: Behind the Velvet Rope’s low budget appearance it sounds pretty good. The dialogue was clear and easy to understand and the music sounded good as well.

The Bonus
Director Steven Cantor is joined by 'Bounce: Behind the Velvet Rope’s producer Daniel Laikind for a commentary track. The commentary is a solid track with the two discussing different aspects of the film and pointing out some of their favorite lines from it. Sometimes it slides a bit into commenting what is happening onscreen but never for very long and usually to lead into a story. The track is entertaining and is a worthy feature on the DVD which also has a trailer for the film and a brief text bio. Some deleted footage and extended info on the bouncers would have been nice but considering this was a pretty low budget film it is not a surprise that there are not more features.

All Together = ***
'Bounce: Behind the Velvet Rope' is enjoyable enough. When you come right down to it the film is pretty light but I do appreciate the filmmakers putting what they had up on the screen and not trying to drag it out. The DVD has a solid feature in the way of a commentary track but just a so-so transfer. Considering the apparently small budget of 'Bounce: Behind the Velvet Rope' it is not too surprising that the film doesn’t get a super duper special edition DVD. Still, this one is recommended


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