R Dir: Kaare Andrews | Anchor Bay Entertainment | 90 min.
Review By: Fusion3600 | January 28th, 2012
Plot: What’s it about?
Sara (Jessica Lowndes) and four of her friends are headed to a concert, but they’re going in style, on a private flight. As she’s just gotten her pilot’s license, Sara offers to fly the group to the performance. The flight is to be a short one and is a much faster alternative to driving, so the group boards and prepares for takeoff. The trip starts off well enough, but some minor issues with the plane cause tensions to rise. As the problems worsen and personalities really start to clash, Sara’s new beau has a panic attack of sorts that rattles everyone else. Then Sara has to deal with a jammed elevator, which has them locked into constant elevation, all while her instruments continue to malfunction. Nothing seems to be working, as Sara can’t gauge her speed, altitude, or even contact anyone to advise her. As the situation worsens and desperation begins to set in, will the five friends endure this hellish flight or is there more to the trip than meets the eye?
Although the film had some decent hype behind it, I didn’t expect much from Altitude. I was wrong however, or at least I was for the first hour or so. When Altitude begins, it is loaded with tension, but not of the scary variety, just personal tension that is palpable between the characters. A lot of the film rests on the performances, since the cast is small and the location is static, the entire movie is basically inside a small plane. The cast does well and makes it work, which again I was wrong about, as I thought the cast looked rather dull, based on their previous work. As tense and effective as Altitude can be for the first hour or so, it falls apart toward the close and erases the good elements from our minds. I’ve seen some terrible twists before, but Altitude is one of the worst movies ever in terms of finales. The end is so bad in fact, its hard to recommend the movie, even as good as most of it is. So I am left to say that while a rental is reasonable, brace yourself to be disappointed.
Video: How does it look?
Altitude is presented in 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen. This is a slick, impressive visual effort. The image is clean and clear, with a detail level we’ve come to expect from high definition. Close-ups reveal ample depth, but the entire movie shows off quite good detail as well. No concerns with contrast, as even the darkest scenes look good, while colors are a touch skewed, as per the film’s visual design. In the end, great treatment.
Audio: How does it sound?
No complaints about audio either, thanks to an active DTS HD 5.1 soundtrack. The movie is driven by tension, so the surrounds are used to enhance the mood and atmosphere. But at the same time, in the scenes that call for some kick, the track delivers power and then some. So regardless of whether the audio needs to be subtle or in your face, this soundtrack nails it. No dialogue issues arise either, just a rock solid overall presentation. This disc also includes English and Spanish subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
The extras here include an audio commentary with director Kaare Andrews, a couple of promotional featurettes, and some conceptual artwork.
- (2.40:1) Aspect Ratio
- Video Codec: AVC
- Audio: DTS HD Master
- Theatrical Trailer
- Audio Commentary
- Deleted Scene(s)
- Digital Copy
- 1 Disc Set