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America's Hardest Bounty Hunters - Vol 1 - Criminals Meet Your Maker! Review




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Rating
Video:   7/10
Audio:   7/10
Extras:   0/10

Don't run from these guys!
by Gord Lacey (All reviews)
8/10/2006

America's Hardest Bounty Hunters is a British series which follows a group of American bounty hunters as they take down some criminals with big bounties on their heads.

Drive Me Crazy (23:48)
America's Hardest Bounty Hunters relish the chance to go after a wife beater and take down a couple of lowlife drug dealers. Then they come up against a fugitive who'll do anything to avoid spending the next thirty years in jail.

No Field Day (24:01)
Fred comes in for a battering when his defendant goes down fighting and the team find themselves taking a country retreat when one fugitive tries to outrun them in a field.

Dazed and Confused (23:27)
America's Hardest Bounty Hunters make an unannounced call on a stoned young hippie... a defendant quite literally runs into the arms of the bounty hunters... the guys team up with the police to make a bust.

Informants (23:43)
Fred has to make a life of death decision and the Bounty Hunters hire two kids as informants in order to crack a difficult case.

Deadly Defendant (23:23)
The team comes up against a desperate and deadly fugitive. It's just another day at the office for the Bounty Hunters - full of drug dealers, guns and gangsters.

This series airs in Britain, so I hadn't seen or heard much about it before the DVDs were announced. I like Cops, and I used to like Dog: The Bounty Hunter until I read what some law enforcement officers had to say about the show in some forums (apparently it's a load of crap, and Dog is a wanted fugitive himself).

Video

AHBH is presented in full frame (1.33:1) video, shot by the bounty hunters using video cameras. The quality of the material varies quite a bit, but it doesn't look anywhere near as good as something that would have been shot on a set, and why would it? The video looks very raw, which suits the material just fine. I noticed a few cases of macro-blocking in high-motion scenes, but most of the video is fine. The disc contains a "play all" feature, but there isn't a chapter set after the opening of the episode (which sucks because the opening is long). You'll see the suspect's faces are blurred to protect their identities.

Audio

This release features uncensored audio, which is a real plus on a set like this. I HATE the beeping that occurs in Cops, and other crime-based reality shows. We can figure out what they're saying, so just let us hear it. Like I said, that's not a problem with AHBH because these episodes are beep-free. The audio is raw, just like the video, but once again I'm not going to complain because of the subject matter. The episodes aren't subtitled or captioned.

Extras - How we rate extras

This release doesn't contain any extras.

Summary

I enjoy watching these types of shows, but I must admit I was slightly annoyed with AHBH. They recycle a lot of footage for a 22 min episode; the opening is long (and can't easily be skipped) and they do the annoying "coming up next..." bits that show footage of the show after the commercial break. That's annoying, but it's not a fault with the DVD set, just the show.

This release is $6, and that's a heck of a deal for 2 hours of entertainment. Don't forget that "Bail Jumpers Beware," the second volume, is also out.


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