A&E // 2007 // 47 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Ryan Keefer (Retired) // September 26th, 2007
Join Dog and his entire entourage in an intimate glimpse into the life of reality TV's most feared bounty hunter.
It's no big surprise that the reason why Duane "Dog" Chapman is a favorite of A&E and of the motivational speaker tour. It's largely because of his pursuit of Andrew Luster, who was heir to the Max Factor fortune but was on trial for drugging and raping women. Dog, his business associate Tim, and his son Leland pursued Luster to Mexico, and managed to apprehend Luster and bring him back to America to serve a sentence that was rendered based on a conviction in his absence.
A funny thing happened, though, on the way to all of this notoriety. In September 2006, Dog was apprehended by U.S. marshals. The Mexican authorities had arrested the Chapmans for, oddly enough, infringing on the rights of Luster, because bounty hunting is frowned upon in Mexico. The Chapmans posted bail and fled Mexico, never to come back. As the statute of limitations was due to expire, the Mexican government sought to extradite, hence the legal struggle that followed. In August 2007, the charges were dismissed, pending prosecution appeal, and Dog's ordeal has apparently ended.
This makes the release of Dog the Bounty Hunter: The Arrest all the more confusing. There's this friend I know, we'll call her Mrs. Brilliant, who saw Dog at a speaking engagement in my area. (On a brief tangent, it's a shame that no one ever paid any attention to Pearl Jam's case against Ticketmaster in the late '90s. Aside from the fact that he charges a lot for a speaking engagement, the markup that the ticket company charges was a downright disgrace. Hey, she got second-row tickets, but I've told her I'm going to smack her if she doesn't try using StubHub going forward.) Getting back to my point here, the Chapmans spoke about the dropped charges at the speaking engagement a couple of weeks after the news came, but the disc I have here doesn't address this new development whatsoever. Mrs. Brilliant got the exclusive; I get to review everything but. Now the Chapmans are spiritual people, but if I was producing a disc with something like this in mind, the first thing I'd do would be to book an interview with Dog and Beth and slap it on this disc, and list it as a DVD extra of some sort. As it stands, you've got a disc that is not only a retread of old material, but isn't worth the investment in your time or money because it's immediately outdated.
Quite frankly, the more entertaining piece on this disc is listed as a bonus piece, and that's titled "Year of the Dog." It's also far more candid, dealing with the lives of the Chapman clan outside of the Luster trial, and is probably a better look at the family. Beth had to deal with the death of her father, Tim and his wife brought another child into the world, and Dog and Beth finally got married. However that was not a wholly joyous occasion, as an older daughter of Dog's died in a car accident within hours of the wedding. One of Dog's sons, Tucker, was released after serving several years on drug charges. Dog and group discuss in no uncertain terms their thoughts on the events and respond to the accusations he faced of perhaps not caring about his daughter's death. Even more discussion about the arrest is here, too. I liked that this was included because otherwise, this disc would just come off as being very flat.
The fan in me is finally glad to see that Dog, Tim, and Leland got the closure that they needed, even if they shouldn't have had to endure it in the first place. A&E has clearly dropped the ball on this video release, despite the inclusion of the excellent "Year of the Dog" feature. Neither piece goes to the here and the now, and I'm sure they could have sat the Chapmans down for 15 minutes and interview them. Definitely pass on this disc until this sin can be corrected.
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 47 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* "Year of the Dog" Feature
* Additional Footage
* Official Site
* Season One Review
* Season Two Review
* Season Three Review
* Dog's Wedding Special Review
* Dog the Bounty Hunter Official Site