[box cover]

Road Dogz

This earnest drama could be called "Boyz in the Barrio," what with its precautionary tale of hispanic youth caught between duty, drugs, and deadly games as they try to eke out a life in the harsh environs of L.A.'s toughest 'hoods. Although writer-director Alfredo Ramos' good intentions are mired in Afterschool Special sentiments and obvious storytelling, there are some fine performances from this young Latin-American cast, particularly from Jacob Vargas and Clifton Collins, Jr., who many viewers will recognize from their smaller roles in Steven Soderbergh's Traffic. Road Dogz will surely earn value in time as an early showcase for these two considerable talents. Artisan's DVD offers a good anamorphic transfer (1.85:1) with both Dolby Digial 5.1 and Dolby 2.0 Surround audio. Also included is a commentary with director Ramos and leading man Vargas, as well as behind-the-scenes interviews. Trailer, keep-case.
—Gregory P. Dorr

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