Series 7: The Contenders Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ December 5, 2007
Hilarious! I love this film. They quicky push you to the edge of what Reality TV can be..then add a love story too. This film holds a mirror up to the American Culture..and reveals some pretty ugly things.
Super Reviewer
August 21, 2007
Little known biting satire on the horror of 'reality' TV which takes the format to its natural conclusion. Deserves a wide audience.
Super Reviewer
March 22, 2006
A caustic and darkly funny jab at reality TV. It's amazing how much this looks like the real thing. Don't listen to the narrator- he lies to you. I love the way the final show seems to manifactured, that the truth almost seems irrelevant in the face of such perfect entertainment. This not only skewers reality TV, but phoniness in general. This is the best parody of reality TV I have ever seen.
Nate Z.
Super Reviewer
February 24, 2006
[font=Arial][color=darkred]Anyway here's a quick look at some recent rentals of mine and the thoughts that they provoked and the feelings I wanted to either scream about or just scream period.[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]Training Day - Denzel Washington won an Oscar for this? Instead of Malcolm X? For THIS?! Yes he gets to huff and puff as he plays against type as a dirty cop, but is this reason alone to give an Academy Award to such a forgettable and collectively implausible film? Ethan Hawk, his co-star, is actually better in the film than Denzel! All I can say is right actor, wrong movie. It's like rewarding Kevin Spacey for Pay It Forward over the other screamingly better movies. It doesn't make sense. There are plenty of hip-hop stars making cameos or small roles (Dr. Dre, Snoop, Macy Gray) but most of the time Training Day feels like tired and dead air especially as the contrivances begin to pile onto one another the longer this day goes. And Denzel is huffing and puffing but the house still stands. Man, the voters must really have not wanted Russell Crowe to win.[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]Nate's Grade: C[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]Serendipity - There's a universe somewhere populated entirely with down-on-their-luck lovable sweethearts and good-hearted friendly buffoons operated under the physics of romantic comedies. In this universe there is no such thing as chance, even if one leaves it up to it, and in this place what would seem like frustratingly idiotic behavior seems romantic. So is Serendipity revolving in this universe. Kate Beckinsale is a gal that leaves everything to fate, possibly even her taxes, and John Cusack is the smitten man running all over the place trying to find this mad woman. In our world Beckinsale would seem foolish or even mean-spirited, but because the two will definitely end up in each other's arms before the credits roll we allow her to continue her ridiculous behavior. She puts Cusack in a seemingly cruel obstacle course of chance to win her heart. These people operate outside of our known world. Eugene Levy has a brief and funny part in the movie but otherwise Serendipity takes itself as being much cuter and smarter than it is.[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]Nate's Grade: C-[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]Sexy Beast - Never, under any circumstances, do you want to piss off Gandhi. Sexy Beast is a British crime story where the ferocious mad dog Don Logan (Ben Kingsley) is trying to recruit a retired hand (Ray Winstone) into one last job back in London. Winstone is enjoying the sun of California with his middle-aged ex-porn star wife who he loves dearly. But Don does not take "no" for an answer. Kingsley is the true focal point of the film and is astounding and brutally terrifying as the wound up gangster. He gives an electrifying performance that is the polar opposite of India's non-violent leader. When Kingsley vanishes from the screen Sexy Beast suffers and becomes a variation of the old crime film, except a very short one at that being under 90 minutes of running time. Video director Jonathon Glazer has done a fine job for his debut but there isn't much to this tale without Kingsley's memorable efforts.[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]Nate's Grade: B[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]Series 7: The Contenders - A scathing satire of our media and bloodthirsty society wanting something always pushing the boundaries. Writer-director Daniel Minahan has created a future where the most popular TV show is called "The Contenders" and selects five strangers at random in the same town as contestants. The problem is that these five people, including the winner of the previous season, are now on a manhunt in a kill-or-be-killed situation where the only prize of this game show is one's own life. Series 7 is skillfully made to be indistinguishable from other reality TV shows except for the bursts of language and violence. If you were playing this and a friend walked into the room they would be convinced it was a TV show. The film gets a little soap operish toward the end with its characters dealing with haunted love but the film is a fast and entertaining warning piece that might provoke as many thoughts as cries for blood.[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]Nate's Grade: B+[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]Audition - Ever seen a sick joke made into a movie? A Japanese movie? Well rest assured that you now can. The crux of this film centers around a widowed father raising his teenage son who suggests that dad begins to find a new wife so they can once again have a family. His friend comes up with the idea for an audition where they bring in hundreds of candidates and they can see which can ignite sparks. Sounds like an intriguing premise to a promising and cute foreign romantic comedy? Can you picture the fun and charming moments in your head as this premise plays out? Well now erase all that and replace it with a sudden violent shift into second-rate Cronenberg territory. The special one that the father picks ends up having a mysterious past that involves sexual mutilation by a frisky uncle who is now leg-less. Guess who did that? And then it gets even darker as the gal seems to hobble those around her for permanent company and slices and dices those she feels do not love her anymore. Where the hell did all this stuff come from? And that's the point: it comes from nowhere! The shift is so jarring that it happens like you're locked in a drag race. The horror is so over the top and inane that what seemed promising now turns into a great conversation piece with friends. "Hey, there was this movie that seemed like it would be fun and romantic and then suddenly..."[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]Nate's Grade: D+ [/color][/font]
August Seria
Super Reviewer
½ January 30, 2012
I think one of the things that this film can boast is its realism. It was well-acted so my question is: Where the heck does these actors went now? It felt very real, it is not lacking in dark humor . . . and just, good.
Super Reviewer
½ June 26, 2013
"Series 7: The Contenders" has all the visual resemblance of the reality television shows it's poking fun at, but its concept is essentially a one trick pony. Nothing about "The Contenders" or why it exists is ever elaborated on and the satire isn't as dark or hard-hitting as it should be. As far as I can tell, the acting is exceptional considering the cast is full of unknowns, but the film as a whole feels like a wasted opportunity.
Super Reviewer
½ January 23, 2012
Nearly a masterpiece, it's so wickedly funny I just can't help myself but laugh all the way through. It's low budget yet surprisingly fresh and original. The characters were interestingly enough to keep me going, the acting was great too, very realistic. I really enjoy the tv show-like editing and narration.
Super Reviewer
April 3, 2008
Decent Canadian film about a television show whose goal is for the contenders to kill off one another. Unfortunately it becomes too comedic by the end, but all in all it's a decent watch.
Super Reviewer
October 13, 2007
Not as good as it should have been.
Super Reviewer
½ October 7, 2006
Reality TV show ala Battle Royale, but a fun watch.
October 11, 2012
This is the turn I really want to see a reality show take, because anyone who participates in those fucking things deserves to pay a true penalty if they aren't the winner. Contenders are chosen at random and hunt one another, followed by camera crews to record the events, it's all very well put together and something of a hidden gem that I only became aware of after the Projection Booth Podcast covered it.

Well worth a rental.
August 18, 2011
a totally hillarious movie and i enjoyed all the way of all the satire it played upon on all the crap reality tv shows they have now. a definate must see
½ November 8, 2010
Probably a love-it-or-hate-it type. And I don't think the concept would have been executable in any other fashion; low-budget and indie had to take root in order to give the film its sarcastic vibe. The concept of kill or be killed works as a critique on reality television and society's apathy and moral destruction in exchange for entertainment. Characters from all walks of life fill the roles, so there is a certain empowering in the plot rarely found in cinema concerning types of killing / murdering. Enjoyable and quirky.
August 2, 2010
I'm a sucker for satire, and was glad to see this idea presented in such a way.
The concept is showing a "reality television show" in which the contestants, all randomly chosen, must kill each other off to be the last one standing. If this sounds kind of like Battle Royale, it really isn't beyond the basic description. This movie was directed by the producer of tabloid television programs, and plays out as such, with sensationalism, cut aways during 'intense' parts, and annoying dramaticized commentary from the narrator throughout. Definitely gotta disagree with the movie's common description of "incredbly violent" though, which is fine because it really doesn't need excessive violence to be disturbing and make its points about American culture and media. Still silly and somewhat funny throughout as well.
September 26, 2008
A brilliantly brutal and darkly funny satire on reality television in which five randomly selected people must hunt down and kill each other. The film is presented like a marathon of the 7th season of the show where contestants are playing for the only prize that really matters; their lives. The greatest thing about Series 7 is that it preempted the massive boom of reality television in the 2000's and it only becomes more poinient as time goes on.
July 15, 2008
Wow, now this was a crazy movie. It actually looked like real tv, and that?s basically what the show was. Five people get picked by lottery and try to kill each other and end up the last one alive. If I had run across this on cable, I probably would have had to look into it to make sure this was a movie and not a tv show, lol.
5 outta 5, Another look at what is coming?
½ April 22, 2008
this is a movie that uses a reality show marathon to make fun of peoples' crazy obsession in the new millenium with ever increasingly absurd reality's a cute concept.
December 23, 2007
excellent! if real "reality" shows were like this i would actually watch them! screw 'survivor' let's watch the contenders!
August 7, 2007
Quriky and fast-paced satire almost mockumentary - but more mocku-reality tv show. "I put you in charge of killing me and you fucked it up!"
July 15, 2007
Do you find yourself secretly drawn into the autrocity that is reality TV? Do you kinda hate yourself for it? This is for you. "The Truman Show" similarly predicts where our broadcast voyeurism will take us, but "Series 7" has way bigger balls.
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