R Dir: Lee Tamahori | Twentieth Century Fox | 117 min.
Plot: What’s it about?
There’s something about movies that take place out in the woods that I’ve always liked. It’s the fact that the characters seem a little more real when they’re faced with a situation dealing with “Mother Nature”. This is certainly the case in “The Edge”. While the real enemy isn’t exactly “Mother Nature” herself, but rather a 9 foot Kodiak bear that’s stalking our stars through the mountains. How did they get in this situation to begin with, you might ask? Charles Morse (Anthony Hopkins) plays a billionaire out on a photo shoot with his model wife, played appropriately enough by Elle McPherson. Morse suspects some fould play between her and the photographer, Robert “Bob” Green (Alec Baldwin). Morse is a smart man, of course you have to be if you have the title of “billionaire” attached to everything that you do. He has a habit of retaining odd facts and tidbits that have never really paid off, but when you have everything…you have to find something to do!
Looking for that “perfect shot”, Bob and crew head up to find a local Indian to capture the essence of what they want. Of course once they get there, they find he’s out bear hunting (how ironic). They decide to trek even further North to find Jack (the Indian) only to have their trip cut short by a flock of birds that crash their plane. After the initial shock of the plane crash wears off, Bob, Charles and (assistant) try to figure out how in the world they are going to get rescued with no food or shelter. The only evidence was taken with them by mistake, so now it’s anyone’s guess as to their whereabouts. It’s at this point that they start treking to what they believe is towards their last known whereabouts. Of course, they end up right back where they started and the dissent between the three grows even stronger. Morse, being the leader and only level head among the group, takes another reading and they’re all set to try once again. This is when the bear shows up.
The assistant, having suffered a knife wound earlier in the day, had his khakis supposedly buried, but come to find out that they’re neatly hanging on a nearby branch. Of course, this literally puts the smell of blood in the air and it’s not long that their survival party is whittled down to two men (Baldwin and Hopkins). All along Morse is suspecting that Bob has it in for him so he can make off with his wife and money. To tell any more would certainly give away the plot, but I’ll say that only one makes it out alive. Writer David Mamet, in addition to being one of the better screenwriters around, is also know for his endings with a twist so stay tuned until the last minute to see how this one ends. Ah, the great outdoors.
Video: How does it look?
I remember seeing “The Edge” in theaters, viewed its subsequent release on LaserDisc (yes, that does date the film a bit), watched it on standard DVD with a non-anamorphic picture no less and finally, finally we’ve got a version of the movie that’s decent in regards to image quality. This is the first time I’ve seen the film in an enhanced version and Fox has done a pretty decent job with this 2.35:1 AVC HD transfer. Colors are muted throughout and as beautiful as the Alaskan wilderness looks, there are a few scenes that tend to look a bit “dirty.” Flesh tones, by and large, look very natural and warm and detail has been improved. Contrast is also very strong and despite a few bumps in the road, “The Edge” has never looked better.
Audio: How does it sound?
Despite the video being sub par for so long (until now), the audio has always been rather impressive. The plane crash at the beginning of the film is a superb example of surround sound and I was looking forward to listening how this sounded in a true, uncompressed format. As it turns out, pretty darn good. The surrounds are very active, the LFE do their share as well. Vocals are very sharp and well-centered. Audio has never been an issue with this film and this new DTS HD Master Audio track brings it to a higher level.
Supplements: What are the extras?
It seems even the trailer has beend dropped from this release, so there are no supplements – just the film itself.
- (2.35:1) Aspect Ratio
- Video Codec: AVC
- Audio: DTS HD Master
- Theatrical Trailer
- Audio Commentary
- Deleted Scene(s)
- Digital Copy
- 1 Disc Set