3 Strikes

January 28, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Talk about your classic bad luck. Rob Douglas (Brian Hooks) has just been released from prison and he has no intentions of ever returning to that hell hole. In fact, Rob will do whatever it takes to keep away from prison, and he means whatever it takes. If he does wind up back in the clink, it would mark his third visit and as such, he faces a minimum of twenty-five years in the slammer. Whether he steals a car, commits murder, or jaywalks, Rob will locked up for a good, long time. So Rob is not only going to be playing things safe, he’ll make sure to stay away from any chances of getting into trouble with the law. But sometimes you just can’t keep away from trouble, since it comes looking for you. Such is the case for Rob, as his ride picks him up from prison in…of all things, a stolen car. One encounter (more like shoot out) with the police and Robs ends up running away, but he is caught on tape and can’t hide forever. Rob is innocent in this case and he wants to do good, but this time the fates have handed him a bum sandwich. Can he clear his name and remain a free man, or is he bound to head back to the big house for this third strike?

This movie didn’t last long at the theaters and also didn’t garner much praise, but I liked it a lot and looked forward to the home video release. MGM had given 3 Strikes a nice treatment, but how did the movie hold up in my home theater? Well, the film was just as funny and perhaps a little more, leading me to think this was even better than I first thought. You need to like movies of this ilk, such as The Breaks and Next Friday, but if you do then this picture is one you shouldn’t miss. The cast is quirky and hilarious, while the writing (by Friday cowriter D.J. Pooh) is right on the money and provides ample chances for the actors to make us laugh. This isn’t a deep, complex story about the human condition, but it is a funny and light flick that is more than worth a look. There is some bad language and suggestive moments, so the easily offended should steer clear, but all others will want to grab this disc and give it a spin.

This film might sport an ensemble cast, but Brian Hooks is the man responsible for how well this one turned out. Sure the writing offers a good staring point, but Hooks makes sure it hits the mark each time. A lesser comedic performer would have lost much of the humor from the material, but Hooks is able to bring it out well and even make the lines funnier than they should be, in some cases. Hooks isn’t a household name by any means, but he plays this one a true professional and more than proves his mettle as a comedic actor. His relative inexperience never seems to show and Hooks really shines here, I hope to see much more from this gifted talent soon. More of Hooks’ work can be seen in such films as Thursday, High School High, Nothin’ 2 Lose, and Bulworth. Also in fine form here is George Wallace (Batman Forever), who serves up a nice helping of his usual humor and I am glad he was cast for this movie. The cast also includes Faizon Love (Friday, The Replacements), Antonio Fargas (Don’t Be A Menace…), N’Bushe Wright (Fresh, Blade), David Alan Grier (Return To Me, Jumanji), and Mike Epps (Next Friday).

Video: How does it look?

3 Strikes is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, with a full frame version included on the disc’s flip side. This is a fantastic transfer and I could find no problems at all, even small ones. The print looks pristine to be sure, with no signs of debris and this is how sharp a film should look on this format. In terms of compression flaws, this release is perfect and I didn’t find any traces of any problems. The colors look razor sharp and bold, with bright hues and no bleeds or smears in the least. Contrast shows no hiccups either, as detail level is high and black levels seem well balanced at all times. MGM…keep up the good work!

Audio: How does it sound?

Almost at the same level of excellent is the audio, which drives home an active, powerful experience. This film uses a hip hop fueled soundtrack and as such, the bass is heavily used and the overall range is very nice. When it needs to serve as background noise though, it also works in that degree well. The surround don’t spark much outside of the soundtrack, but they come to life when they need to. Not to be missed are the vocals, which emerge in crisp and clear fashion here also. I was impressed with the overall dynamics of this track and I think fans of the film will agree.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes the film’s theatrical trailer and three music videos, which doesn’t sound like much but I am pleased MGM has included extras at all.

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