More often than not, I wonder who decides what films get released on DVD. With recent theatrical releases, of course, it's obvious. Cheaper by the Dozen 2 was just in theaters a few months ago, and, though I can't fathom why, some people want to see it on home video. What perplexes me is how companies decide what older titles to release from their back catalog. Sometimes I think it's some sort of random lottery system that determines which titles get yanked from the vaults and given a shot at DVD immortality. That would go a long way to explain why a film like 1973's The Seven-Ups has recently been released.
Don't get me wrong, The Seven-Ups is a decent crime thriller, but I don't know anyone who's been champing at the bit to add it to their library. And even I, who was moderately interested when I heard it was coming out, was a little disappointed when I realized I had it confused with a different film starring Roy Scheider.
Scheider stars as Buddy, a tough, slightly corrupt cop who leads a secret unit of detectives, called the Seven-Ups, who primarily target the mob. Buddy and his men run into some serious trouble when a gang of cop impersonators start shaking down the Mafia, who in turn seek retribution against the real cops.
The Seven-Ups came along on the heels of the wildly popular Bullitt and French Connection, both of which were produced by Seven-Ups director Philip D'Antoni. In fact, The Seven-Ups owes its entire existence to both of those films and seems to be built around an elaborate car chase that mirrors the legendary chases in both The French Connection and Bullitt.
What is almost as interesting as what The Seven-Ups rips off is what it seems to inspire. Fans of the FX series The Shield are the ones who should get the most out the film, as it often covered much of same territory, only 30 years earlier.