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"The Edge" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Eberle

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Synopsis

While on a photo shoot in Alaska, billionaire Charles Morse (Hopkins), his photographer Robert Green (Baldwin) and assistant Stephen (Perrineau) take off in a plane to find a subject for a photograph. After striking a flock of birds, they crash in a lake very far from help. They manage to swim to shore but their problems are only just beginning. Almost immediately, they are set upon by an enormous bear. They evade him briefly but when Stephen cuts his leg, the blood on the air attracts the bear back to their camp. Stephen is killed and Charles and Robert realize that they’ll have to rely on each other to survive. The challenge is Robert’s intense jealousy over Charles’ super-model wife Mickey (MacPherson) and his vast wealth. The two men decide to kill the bear rather than be hunted. After they do, a bond seems to form but when they find a cabin with supplies and a gun, the plot thickens. In the end, the rescue happens but all involved will have their lives changed forever.

 

Specifications

  • 20th Century Fox
  • 1997, Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 57 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: MPEG2 @ 18 Mbps
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Alec Baldwin, Elle MacPherson, Harold Perrineau
  • Directed by Lee Tamahori
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes, with blood and gore
  • Sex: No
  • Language: Mild

Commentary

This film was very entertaining and the outdoor survival scenes quite intense. Alaska is certainly a beautiful place but it can be deadly as our hapless characters quickly learn. The tension between Charles and Robert is obvious from the very beginning. Robert covets Charles’ beautiful young wife and Charles is quite paranoid as a result. Once they become stranded, Charles does everything he can to save them despite the tension and anger. Stephen the assistant is mostly hysterical and his death though gruesome improved the story. Robert is totally consumed by anger and jealousy and during a delusional episode; he claims he’s the only thing keeping them alive when it is clearly the reverse.

Production quality is excellent with lots of strikingly beautiful location footage. Aside from a few early scenes, the entire film takes place outdoors. You can feel the cold and wet environment in every shot. The actors turn in stellar performances as well. I can’t imagine the plight of people in their situation but Alec Baldwin and Anthony Hopkins made it amazingly real.

Technical

Image quality was about average for a catalog release. The print looked a bit tired to me with some dirt and scratches in evidence. Color was reasonably well-saturated but the overall look was somewhat dull. With such a lovely backdrop, I would have expected more pop from the outdoor material. Instead, lighting was flat and very two-dimensional. Black levels were deep during most of the darker scenes with a hint of washout here and there. Detail was a bit soft overall but there was no obvious edge enhancement.

Audio was also average for a film of this vintage. The plane crash scene had decent punch from the subwoofer as did the footfalls of the running bear. Surrounds were used only occasionally. The music was quite lush using a full orchestra. The score by veteran Jerry Goldsmith portrayed the wide open landscape beautifully with majestic brass fanfares and a big string sound.

Extras

Bonus features consist only of a theatrical trailer and a set of trailers for other 20th Century Fox films.