Vista Point Entertainment // 2002 // 42 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // December 31st, 2010
Helicopters = Awesome
I knew helicopters were awesome before this disc. But now, thanks to the 40 minutes of aerial action that has been provided to me, I hold an even more abiding love for helicopters, which, frankly, didn't seem possible post-Airwolf.
Straight Up: Helicopters In Action, narrated by Martin Sheen, starts out with some basin physics of how helicopters work: the pedals, the rotors, the blades, the pitch, all of that math that adds up to getting these metal bastards up into the air and doing dope stuff.
After that, it's onto individual highlights of various helicopters: the power line repair helicopter, the giant tree lifting helicopter, the ocean rescue helicopter, the military helicopter, the humanitarian air drop helicopter and, of course, the drug smuggler intercepting helicopter.
The IMAX cameras get up close with the aircraft, its crew and pilots and generates some genuinely awe-inspiring visuals. Hefting a 6,000 pound log? Dropping divers into the ocean? Hovering above deadly high voltage lines? Flying out of a hot zone with a squad of special ops soldiers dangling from a rope? All of it captured in big sequences, which translate quite well into high definition.
It's a 1.78:1 1080p widescreen picture, well-detailed and beautiful, especially shining in the large, pull-back sequences. From the heavy forests to the dark oceans to the urban decay of Sierra Leone, the visuals are top-to-bottom engaging. A Dolby Digital TrueHD 5.1 audio mix pushes the ambient sound well. Extras: two 20-minute featurettes on the making-of and the spotlighted careers, plus a director's commentary.
Not Guilty. Up, up and away.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Vista Point Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* TrueHD 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 42 Minutes
Release Year: 2002
MPAA Rating: Not Rated