January 28, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

William Conroy (Rob Lowe) used to have a good life, complete with a beautiful wife, a young child, and a terrific job, but all that soon changed. His battles with addiction were taking a toll on him and after a lethal car accident, he was sentenced to life in prison. Now he has a parole hearing coming up soon and while the chances are slim, he could be given a second chance at living a normal, happy life. His love interest has been dating someone else and his child has stopped writing letters, but Conroy is trying to stay positive, despite all the bad things around him. He even has a friend in prison and while he tells some stories at times, his latest one is the most memorable of all. He tells Conroy that within the last two years, fourteen inmates have died inside the prison, with countless more in the time before that, a much higher rate than in most prisons. Conroy thinks little of his words at the time, but when his friend dies under strange circumstances, it seems there is more to the story than he first thought…

This looked like pretty much all the other low grade, direct to video action flicks out there, but since it was produced by Joel Silver, I had a little hope. I figured it would at least have decent production values and good action scenes, but man, sometimes people will put their names on anything, I suppose. I am baffled as to why Silver was involved, as this is nothing more than a poorly crafted action disaster, even worse than most I’ve seen. The production values remain low, save for a couple decent stunt sequences, but this is more of a chase flick, perhaps due to the lack of funds needed for a true action picture. The pace is brisk enough, but the writing is atrocious, even by direct to video action movie standards, with no real high points to report. The presence of Rob Lowe and James Coburn makes it a little easier to take, but since the material sucks, these two have little chance to shine, to say the least. If you’re an action nut and need a desperation rental, give this one a whirl, but make sure it’s your last option, as it is a serious let down in all respects.

After a fall from grace, Rob Lowe has returned to do some decent flicks, but he has also done many poor ones, such as Proximity. I suppose the bills need to paid though, so I can’t blame Lowe for taking these kind of roles. But he is capable of better work I think, so I hope he doesn’t fall into a rut of direct to video releases, although he is getting close to that point as it is. Lowe still manages to snag a mainstream role now and again, but he needs to focus more on that aspect of his career, especially if he can use his comedic skills. This is a weak performance, but Lowe does as well as you could expect, given the very weak material. You can also see Lowe in such films as Wayne’s World, St. Elmo’s Fire, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Youngblood, Tommy Boy, and The Stand. The cast here also includes James Coburn (Hudson Hawk, Our Man Flint), Kelly Rowan (Three to Tango, Late Last Night), and Jonathan Banks (Last Man Standing, Freejack)

Video: How does it look?

Proximity is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. This looks good as far as direct to video releases, with a sharp overall image and a glossy appearance, which helps the visual impact. You can tell this was a lower budget effort of course, but Columbia/Tristar has done a solid treatment here, to be sure. The print used looks very clean, with no real marks or debris to report, which is good news. The colors seem bright and never falter, flesh tones remain natural, and contrast is stark and well balanced also. I am pleased Columbia/Tristar has done such great work here, as even bad movies deserve to look good, I think.

Audio: How does it sound?

The included Dolby Digital 5.1 is better than expected, but due to the film’s lower budget, it lacks the range and impact of more blockbuster level releases. Even so, it sounds better than most direct to video titles, with a decent soundstage and some good surround use, so you’ll know those rears are turned on here. The action scenes pack the most punch of course, but there is also some nice subtle use, which helps flesh out the mix and that’s always welcome. You’ll also hear the music in the surrounds, so it adds even more to the atmosphere, while dialogue remains clean and crisp from start to finish. This disc also includes 2.0 surround options in English and Spanish, as well as subtitles in English, French, and Spanish.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes some talent files, as well as the film’s trailer.

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