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Paramount Studios presents
The Real World Movie: The Lost Season (2002)

"Are you ready for your final close-up?"
- Roland (Bryan Kirkwood)

Review By: Jeff Rosado   
Published: February 12, 2003

Stars: Bryan Kirkwood, Matthew Currie Holmes, Shani Pride, Julie Patzwald, Laura Jordan, Michael Leisen, John Henry Reardon, Will Sanderson
Other Stars: Peter Shinkoda, Amaya Brecher, David Burns, Rachel Campos, David Edwards, Aneesa Ferreira, Melissa Howard, Mike Mizanin
Director: Jeffrey Reiner

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for strong language, partial nudity, sexual situations
Run Time: 01h:26m:12s
Release Date: January 28, 2003
UPC: 097368754942
Genre: television

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

Before popping in the DVD of The Real World Movie: The Lost Season, I had this impending sense of dread. Remember when Luke Skywalker approached the Death Star in Star Wars? Yep, a "very bad feeling." Based on the liner notes on the back of the case, it was either going to be a shameless Blair Witch ripoff or a pleasant surprise like MTV's first foray into made-for-tv filmmaking, the critically acclaimed Carmen: A Hip Hopera.

Eighty-six minutes and twelve seconds later, the color of black has never been so welcome on my monitor. I nearly kissed my DVD player screensaver. What a horrible, abysmal, dumb, awful, misguided waste. And that's just the first 20 minutes.

The Real World Movie gathers seven eager college-age kids in the latest host city of Vancouver for another season of MTV's flagship series. All goes well for the better part of a month and as the third week of shooting commences, the cast is shuffled off to a change of scenery by a rep of the show and a spare location cameraman.

Once nestled into what appears to be an "out there" hybrid of the sets of Alien and Big Brother, it's plot twist time. Our so-called Real World employee is in reality a demented, crazed fan of the show who now has seven hostages to manipulate and possibly, eliminate. Escape you say? Not when you have a plastic explosive attached to your designer wear!

If only this misguided attempt at satire played as silly as it sounds, but it doesn't. For starters, the Noxema-scrubbed housemates are so cosmetically pretty and theatrical that we don't for a minute believe they would have gotten past the preliminary casting call for the real Real World. Secondly and more damaging is a complete lack of dramatic tension exuded by the villainous (and I use that term extremely loosely) Roland (Bryan Kirkwood). He wants to be Christof from The Truman Show, but comes across as a failed graduate of the Matthew Lillard school of overacting (and I love Matthew—no one does over-the-top better than him. Except maybe Joan Crawford).

What really rattled my cage is an absurdist final plot twist that left me almost as dumbfounded as the cast's reaction to it (and I wonder if they got the script pages mere seconds before the cameras rolled). There's nothing worse for a reviewer (much less the viewers at home) than having to stick with a piece of junk until the end, but when a cop out finale such as this shifts gears one time too many with not even a satisfactory conclusion to justify it, "excruciating" is putting it mildly.

Finally, although I'm way outside the demographic of MTV's current audience, I'm more than willing to bet that the fanbase of The Real World is much brighter and articulate than the makers of this spinoff gives them credit for. Which makes the existence of this film all the more puzzling as it completely betrays the show's concept of the interacting of real life participants. But given the laughable dialogue and poor storyline, I doubt if even utilizing non-actors would have rescued this project from inferiority.

Rating for Style: C-
Rating for Substance: F


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Ironically, this so-called film boasts one spiffy presentation. Save for a couple of dimly lit moments, quality is mostly exquisite on the combination film/video production. Vibrant colors and consistent black levels are among the strong points.

Image Transfer Grade: A-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: Being an MTV production, you would expect the soundtrack to be of the upmost quality, but it only qualifies as average. All five channels do their respective jobs from dialogue to music effectively, but nothing really jumps out.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 8 cues and remote access
Cast and Crew Biographies
1 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Almost as thin as the script. Lame fake bios for each cast member and a generic five-minute on location mini-documentary.

Extras Grade: D


Final Comments

Perhaps the worst small screen spinoff since The Gong Show Movie, we're talking Real bad, folks. I'd sit through a season box set of Fear Factor before giving this another drive on my disc tray (gee, I better stop before I give the producers of that show ideas).

Check out the real deal via the show's first season collection (The Real World New York: The Complete First Season) for a much more satisfying and Real experience.


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