Eye For Film >> Movies >> Vertical Limit (2000) DVD Review
Reviewed by: Nicola OsborneRead Nicola Osborne's film review of Vertical Limit
This is a slickly produced disc as perhaps you'd expect given the director's apparent thrill for digital special effects (the eagle in the opening shot not being one of the highlights, of course). The transfer is sharp and the sound - whilst obviously not quite as shell-shocking as it is in the cinema - still makes one hell of an impact if you have the volume up loud - be careful not to scare the neighbours with avalanche noises, though!
The animated menus look fab, navigation is not bad and the scene access is handy for bypassing some of the establishing scenes, if you're an action junkie. The bizarre assortment of soundtracks and subtitles is baffling, but I do advise viewing the least watchable scenes with the Hungarian dub (providing you don't speak the language), since it eliminates the hammy dialogue and is just hilariously bad and miscast!
The featurettes are - Shock! Horror! - pretty damned decent, although more from the real mountaineers and a little less film footage would have been welcome. Particularly frustrating is the endless referrals in the commentary to how shots were completed and, whilst there seems there is evidence of this somewhere, it's mostly left out in favour of two or three clips of the film which appear endlessly in the trailers.
One short segment about filming the real K2 - the climb required 160 porters for a three man team - appears to be cut off short, which is a pity since it's the most interesting section on the disc - there's a limit to how many times you can be told how amazing the real climbers are and how well the actors learned to climb, even if there are some choice quotes from Robin Tunney, who is clearly not a method actress.
The commentary isn't bad, although it ends abruptly. Given the logistics of the shoot, there's plenty to talk about and Michael Campbell largely avoids repeating himself. Although it's not much of an extra, you should check out the link to the website. There are fantastic location photographs of New Zealand, which doubles for K2, from exec producer Lloyd Phillips, that are well worth a look.
Generally, a nicely produced and good value package if you have any desire to rewatch the film a few more times...Reviewed on: 26 Jul 2001