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Border Run Blu-ray Review

Border Run (2013) Blu-ray Disc cover art -- click to buy from Amazon.com Border Run

Video Debut: February 26, 2013 / Running Time: 96 Minutes / Rating: R

Director: Gabriela Tagliavini / Writers: Don Fiebiger, Amy Kolquist

Cast: Sharon Stone (Sofie Talbert), Billy Zane (Aaron Talbert), Rosemberg Salgado (Rafael), Manolo Cardona (Roberto), Miguel Rodarte (Javier Guerrero), Giovanna Zacarias (Juanita), Olga Segura (Maria), Gilmer Bejarano (Enrique), Victor Medina (Raul), Walter Platz (Tom Coolidge), Javier Garcia (Altar Thug), Joey Misashima (Immigration Officer), Anne Sward (Arizona Senator), Frank Gerrish (Mexican Police Officer DeSanto)

2.40:1 Widescreen, Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (English)
Subtitles: English for Hearing Impaired, Spanish / Not Closed Captioned
Suggested Retail Price: $24.99
Single-sided, single-layered disc (BD-25) / Blue Eco-Friendly Keepcase
Also available on DVD ($22.98 SRP) and Instant Video

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As an actress over 50, Sharon Stone has two choices: start accepting supporting roles as the mother of the leading lady/man or stay a star in direct-to-video movies. On Border Run, at least, she has opted for the latter.

Stone plays Sofie Talbert, a veteran reporter for a Fox News-type station. Talbert takes pleasure in exposing an Arizona senator as being softer than she claims on illegal immigration, a topic Talbert apparently feels strongly about.
But, the workaholic career woman who's never found the time to settle down and start a family is about to undergo a trying experience that will change how she feels about enforcing the U.S.-Mexico border.

Sofie's brother Aaron (Billy Zane), whom she believes is a border crossing relief worker, goes off the radar, not answering his phone after a suspicious sibling call ends with a menacing gunshot. Knowing she probably only has 48 hours to find her brother alive, Sofie heads south with determination. In Mexico, she is assisted, first by a handsome man (Manolo Cardona), and then by Javier (Miguel Rodarte), a man less handsome but more helpful. Javier sneaks her alongside aspiring illegals into a crawl space compartment of an 18-wheeler. The group includes an asthmatic man and an expectant couple desperate for their baby to be born an American. To cross the border, their paths cross with Juanita (Giovanna Zacarías), the tough woman holding Aaron hostage.

Phoenix television reporter Sofie Talbert (Sharon Stone) gets an eye-opening look at Mexican police procedure in "Border Run." Javier (Miguel Rodarte) isn't a handsome man, but he is a helpful one.

Though real world relevance ordinarily gives weight to films, here it works against Border Run. Simultaneously trivializing and sensationalizing the harrowing plight of many desperate Mexicans only renders this drama egregious and offensive.

Stone seems to deliberately deglamorize herself, which seems at odds with her character's profession and makes the actress' status as a sex symbol a distant memory. The dark hair and no-nonsense look sets the stage for either real acting or action heroics, neither of which Stone supplies. Instead, she overacts, calling attention to the stupidity of novice screenwriters Don Fiebiger and Amy Kolquist's narrative.
You'd think that someone drugged and subsequently raped in a recent scene might develop some suspicion towards the medium of unlabeled water bottles, but this film forgoes such logic to trot out some meaningless final act twists. Zane, the cast's only other recognizable actor, spends most of the movie chained up and nonverbal, though he does supply some incongruous opening narration.

Stone has not had a US theatrical release in six years and that's got to be difficult for someone who seemed at least close to Hollywood's A-list in the 1990s and who was Oscar-nominated for a Martin Scorsese film. She is set for a return, playing a mother in the upcoming Lovelace, assuming that porn star biopic registers in theaters at all as an acquisition from The Weinstein Company's niche RaDiUS-TWC label. One assumes that, despite being well over Hollywood's 40-year-old expiration date for actresses, someone as relatively accomplished as Stone must get some offers from filmmakers, even if only those dreaming of a Tarantino-style revival. If so, Stone needs to do a better job of picking projects. The alternative is that an executive producer credit and an Argentine director with no Wikipedia page are the best things coming her way from an amnesiac industry.

No-nonsense mule Juanita (Giovanna Zacarias) points a gun at the "Gringa." Billy Zane spends most of "Border Run" silent and chained up.


Border Run opts for a gritty look, which its 2.40:1 Blu-ray transfer capably maintains. The hi-def element stays clean and, usually, sharp. The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack also satisfies with its crisp and consistent distribution of elements. The considerable amount of Spanish dialogue is cleanly translated by burned-in English subtitles.


Anchor Bay includes no extras, not even disc-opening trailers.

The menu places listings beneath a standard montage of clips. While the disc does not resume playback, it does allow you to set bookmarks on the film.

The eco-friendly keepcase is joined by no inserts, reverse side artwork, or slipcover.

Roberto (Manolo Cardona) protects Sofie (Sharon Stone) near the US-Mexican border.


Border Run makes an artless and utterly unconvincing case for immigration law reform. It also fails as a piece of entertainment, which for it seems to be an afterthought. Poorly written, acted, and directed, the heavy-handed film does nothing to warrant a viewing without "Mystery Science Theater 3000"-style derision. Unless being emotionally manipulated and having your intelligence insulted are things you look for in a movie, this is one to avoid.

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Reviewed March 28, 2013.

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