Rockaway – DVD Review

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Sometimes revenge is a dish best served cold. Revenge should be shown with no remorse, no feeling, and without regret. But is revenge something that everyone has the ability to do inside of them? Maybe they aren’t the vengeful type and would rather just forgive, but never forget. Situations like that will only ruin a person’s life and make them always remember what wrongdoing someone did to them. So the best option may be to take matters into your own hands and do everything and anything necessary to avenge their hurt, their pain, their loved ones.

Trane is a war veteran that has done everything for his country and can be looked at as a hero for all he has accomplished. He is on his way back to the states, but he isn’t feeling the honor and joy that he should have inside of him. Trane is coming back due to the horrible murder of his wife and child so this will not be a return filled with a welcome home party. His journey back to the states was a long one and now all the happiness he was looking forward to returning to is replaced with dread.

Upon getting back stateside, Trane runs into his old buddy Dave who fills him in on everything that has been going on in the old neighborhood. Latino drug dealers, pimps, and prostitutes that care for no one, have moved in and aligned themselves with the Russian mob; making the neighborhood a complete relic of what it used to be. Not only were these thugs the reason for his family’s demise, but Trane also finds out that his own sister Cari is involved with them. It is up to him to avenge his wife and son’s death and make things back the way they used to be. All he has to do is find out who is responsible and work his way through them one by one.

If you’ve seen one story about revenge, then chances are you know what to expect from a movie like Rockaway. The plot is simple and straightforward and you have a really good inkling as to what is going to happen. Not that it makes the film bad by any sense, but it just isn’t original or anything new. Still, there are a few random twists and interesting scenes that take this vengeful tale off the beaten path and into new territory. That is what keeps Rockaway from being a total loss.

What the film suffers most from, though, is what looks to be a really small budget. For instance the chase scene as the cops are running after Trane through a shipyard is just laughable. It lasts all of three minutes and is plagued by awful upbeat Latino music like a friggin party is going on. That doesn’t really make for a tense and gripping scene where our hero may get his head blown off by some crooked cops. Maybe that is bad writing in combination with the low budget, but scenes like that are what take Rockaway from promising to a Spike TV original.

That and the stupid gangsters never just kill the enemy when they have the chance and giving him the miraculous comebacks. Idiots.

The film is shown in 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen format and it looks alright, but it could be better. It just doesn’t have the feel of anything more then a made-for-TV movie when watching it although it would never appear on basic cable. Colors are bright when needed but seem to run and fade at times.

The film is heard in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and there is a decent enough score and some action, but a lot of dialogue. Everything can be heard clearly and loudly.

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Even though some of the actors do fantastic jobs, Nicholas Gonzalez especially, Rockaway just doesn’t make for an enjoyable afternoon. That description includes the film being only 78 minutes long too. It is cheesy, corny, and quite hilarious at times, but I don’t think the Crook brothers had any of those as their intentions when writing and directing it. Oh well. When it came time to check out the special features after watching through the film; I was rather relieved to see only the word “Previews” instead of “Extras.” So perhaps I’m a glutton for punishment when it comes to bad horror films, but this is a whole other story.


First Look Pictures presents Rockaway. Directed by: Joshua & Jeffrey Crook. Starring: Nicholas Gonzalez, Mario Cimarro, Delilah Cotto, Oleg Taktarov, Manny Perez, Malik Yoba, Eric Etebari, David Vadim, Ricardo Antonio Chavira. Written by: Joshua & Jeffrey Crook. Running time: 78 minutes. Rating: R. Released on DVD: March 18, 2008. Available at

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