Don't you give Appellate Judge Mac McEntire no altitude.
Our review of Altitude (Blu-Ray), published November 8th, 2010, is also available.
Fear is in the air.
Sara (Jessica Lowndes, 90210) survived a plane crash when she was a child, the same crash that took the life of her mother, the pilot. Years later, Sara follows in mom's footsteps and gets her own pilots license. While flying a group of friends over several states in a small twin-engine plane for a fun weekend trip, something goes horribly wrong. A storm comes up out of nowhere, one that Sara can't seem to fly out of. The plane malfunctions, the instrument readings make no sense, and an unseen force lurks outside the plane, threatening those inside.
Altitude is notable for two reasons. One is because it stars the unhinged awesomeness that is Jessica Lowndes. Why she isn't a bigger star, I'll never know. The other is that it was directed by comic book artist Kaare Andrews (Spider-Man: Reign), adding him to small-but-growing club of comic folks who've made the jump to film.
This is another entry in the "trapped in a confined space" thriller category, made popular with flicks like Open Water and Frozen. There have been countless airplane thrillers before, but this one is different in that it's a tiny plane with only seven seats all almost no room to move inside. The black and grey oppressive clouds outside contribute to the claustrophobic "nowhere to run" feeling that makes this subgenre so well liked.
When Altitude reaches new heights:
When Altitude sinks:
Although a couple of the green screen effects are a little obvious, the picture on the DVD is sharp, making the most of the grey and blue colors on screen. The audio is good as well, with booming thunder and roaring engines to keep the action moving. The disc has a ton of bonus features, providing pretty much everything you ever wanted to know about the making of the movie. Andrews provides a fact-filled commentary, and this is followed by a massive four-part documentary that shows how the movie was a labor of love for everyone involved. A green screen featurette fast-forwards through the entire movie before the special effects were added, to give you a look at Altitude in it rough form. The theatrical trailer is also included.
These days, most low-budget genre thrillers are zero-quality SyFy stinkfurters, so it's refreshing to see one in the same style, but made by people who actually care about the movie they're making. Altitude isn't perfect, but it's better than others of its kind. Check it out.
Not a bad movie. Not guilty.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Anchor Bay
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