Altitude - Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray / Media Reviews' started by Michael Scott, Jun 18, 2017 at 5:38 PM.

  1. Michael Scott

    Michael Scott Moderator / Reviewer
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    Altitude


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    Movie: :2stars:
    Video: :4stars:
    Audio: :4stars:
    Extras: :halfstar:
    Final Score: :3stars:



    [​IMG] Movie

    I have to admit that I have a weakness for Dolph Lundgren movies. Much like Van Damme, he’s one of those 80s and 90s action stars that I idolized in my formative years. Van Damme was obviously the higher profile action star, but Lundgren made a cult following with his ginormous Swedish frame and chiseled features. So color me intrigued when I see a movie with him as top billing. I had to laugh a bit when noticing Denise Richards, as she has also fallen out of grace since the 90s (although no one cannot remember Wild Things and not drool uncontrollably). Pair them up with Chuck Liddell and I assumed we were in for a cheesy good time with Dolph Punching people in the face and Denise making bad one liners. Well, I was PARTIALLY correct. Denise is making bad one liners, but Dolph is relegated to a hulking silent brute whose only real lines come in one conversation about 20 minutes from the end! So no punching, no kicking from the Dolphmeister, just Denise and her slim frame (and about $20,000,000 worth of plastic surgery on her face) and a thousand quick cuts making an effort to make the washed up actress look like a total bad girl.

    Denise Richards is Gretchen Blair, a hostage negotiator for the FBI who plays things fast and loose with her negotiating. After disobeying “the man” one too many times, Gretchen is sent out to DC where she is being relegated to a desk full of paperwork for the rest of her life. After being bumped up from coach to first class thanks to an encounter with a rude patron, Gretchen finds out that her flight is going to be a bit bumpier than expected. Her seat neighbor Terry (Kirk Baker) happens to be a criminal. A criminal who ripped off his team, and said team now is on board the aircraft. Soon after begging Gretchen for help, Terry’s crew (with Dolph and Chuck Liddell as the muscle) helmed by his ex-girlfriend Clare (Chelsea Edmonton), takes over the plane.

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    Now, Terry and Gretchen has to figure out how to make it off the plane without getting killed. Thus ensues the standard plane jacking scenarios. They run, they hid in the cargo hold (where no one seems to look at first), and the duo basically dodges fights until the very end of the movie where the classic fist fight in crash landing plane ensues, complete with battles in front of open doors that end in screaming death for the villain, as well as the ever popular “lets crash into a mountainside in a fiery ball of death” finale. There’s a few bad one liners, a forced moment of romantic tension between Terry and Gretchen, then the credits roll. Yup, basically like every other Passenger 57 clone out there.

    The thing is, I was expecting those types of stupidity. If you’ve been watching action movies for some time you KNOW all of the tropes that are going to go down on a plane hijacking. There’s not much you can add to the mix that hasn’t been seen before. However, it’s the fights and the action that really make it worthwhile. Sadly, there’s not much of anything action wise that really goes down. Denise and Terry spend most of the time dancing around the plane trying to find a way to fix the situation, while Clare snarls and chews up the scenery with gun in hand. Dolph is basically a glorified cameo (which makes me SUPER sad), and Chuck Liddell’s fight scenes are choreographed so badly that I was visibly wincing.




    Rating:

    Rated R for language and some violence




    Video: :4stars:
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    Altitude comes to Blu-ray with a solid looking 2.40:1 framed encode from Lionsgate Pictures. Shot mostly on board the plane itself, and at night, we’re privy to dim lighting and a blue filter that gives everything a dusky look. Fine detail is impressive, with plenty of closeups and tight spaces so everything that can possibly be seen IS seen quite well. There’s some black crush in the plane’s hold, and I did notice the occasional spots of banding here and there. Colors are a bit on the pale side, with lots of dark blues, and dark greys permeating the tight confines of the plane, and saturation level is basic really. The dim lighting and blue filter keeps things from really “popping” off the screen, but everything is sharp and clean on screen nonetheless.






    Audio: :4stars:
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    There’s a single 5.1 DTS-HD MA track and it’s just like the video. Very impressive, does everything asked of it with ease, but doesn’t ask much of the mix as well. Vocals are clean and clear, while surrounds get a nice workout as the plane whips through the storm air, or people screaming in the background while the terrorists take over the plane. The only complaint that I may have is that the track isn’t as aggressive or bass heavy as I would have expected. The LFE is certainly there, it’s just not as guttural and pounding considering that this IS an action film. It’s a technically well done track, with solid surround placement, good centering of the dialog up front and acceptable LFE, it just doesn’t really do a whole lot more that what is required.






    Extras: :halfstar:
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    Altitude Trailer
    • Other Lionsgate Trailers









    Final Score: :3stars:

    I had what I like to call “high DTV hopes” going into Altitude. I was expecting a Dolph Lundgren shoot’em/beat’em up, but was instead disappointed with another “airplane gets hijacked” story with subpar actors and no really good fight scenes AT ALL, despite an MMA fighter and Dolph himself given top billing. It was an alright movie if you’re into low budget action flicks, and wasn’t completely offensive, but there’s not a whole lot there to really be entertained by. The Blu-ray DOES look and sound nice, but I can’t give it my seal of approval and instead recommend it be a low “Netflix on a Saturday afternoon” type rental for those curious enough to check it out.



    Technical Specifications:

    Starring: Denise Richards, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Liddell
    Directed by: Alex Merkin
    Written by: Tyler W. Konney, Jesse Mittelstadt
    Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 AVC
    Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1
    Studio: Lionsgate
    Rated: R
    Runtime: 88 minutes
    Blu-ray Release Date: June 20th, 2017






    Recommendation: Schlocky rental at best

     
  2. Sonnie

    Sonnie Senior Admin
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    Hmmm... ole (old) Dolph is looking a bit aged these days.

    I might have to pass on this one.
     
  3. Michael Scott

    Michael Scott Moderator / Reviewer
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    he's a bit peaked, but more like underused here.
     

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