Blu-ray movies are spectacular. It’s as if some advanced cybernetic organism from the future skipped through the past and impregnated DVD’s with some rad robotic seed that created beautiful looking and sounding Blu-ray discs. Inarguably Blu-ray movies are amazing, though older movies that are mutated into the high definition format don’t always wind up looking better after the face lift. View Ghostbusters on Blu-ray for example. It seems from my experience with Blu-ray thus far, current films look the best in the high def format. This makes sense since many films are shot with an improved visual experience in mind. The Edge on Blu-ray sucker punched my expectations, my eyes and mind with its harsh natural setting and crafty story. Hit the jump for my analysis.
Released in theaters about thirteen years ago, The Edge is a classic story of survival. Rich old guy Charles Morse (Anthony Hopkins) and artsy photographer prick Robert Green find themselves pitted against each other physically, intellectually and morally. At the outset of the film Charles is depicted as an aging jealous and untrusting billionaire when he misinterprets a remark by an airplane mechanic. His counterpart Robert is played by Baldwin as a loud potential home wrecker. Though, are Charles and Robert truly the archetypes they appear to be?
The ambiguous nature of these men is a motif throughout the film. David Mamet’s script is just as sharp and crisp as any of his other works (please check out Wag The Dog, Spartan or Red Belt), and Hopkins and Baldwin’s performances generate genuine weight to the dire plight of their characters. A vicious airplane accident forces Charles Morse and Robert Green to not only outlast the raw lethal wilderness they are marooned in, but also survive the jealousy, deceit, and insecurities that lurk in their souls. The film uses the harsh organic backdrop as a tool to juxtapose these men against the concept of the fittest surviving and evolving. By the end, both evolve but which will live to continue prospering? It’s a simple concept that is swiftly and successfully conveyed by Lee Tamahori’s direction and Mamet’s screenplay.
Atheistically, The Edge is a beast. Somehow this film doesn’t show its age. In fact, it’s unequivocally better looking now on Blu-ray than it was in any other previous incarnation. Lush clumps of evergreens pop against snowcapped monolithic mountains and svelte waters dissect the beautiful landscape. After watching The Edge in high definition, it’s inconceivable to consider viewing it on another format. Even the man eating Kodiak bear that stalks Morse and Green seems more deadly powerful in this pumped up version of the film. The man eating Elle MacPherson also looks gorgeous as hell too. She doesn’t speak much in the film, but the former model’s scenes modeling some naughty Pocahontas inspired gear is like a bonus feature. In fact the former model’s role should be considered a special feature, because there are none.
The Blu-ray edition of The Edge sports neat special features like ‘Set Up’, ‘Scene’ and the always stimulating ‘Trailers’ bonus feature. This film should’ve at least had a commentary with one of the leads and David Mamet or a gallery of Elle MacPherson in her somewhat racially insensitive Native American themed lingerie. 20th Century Fox, your skimping in this department is bush league! Though, the lack of extra content is the only detractor to this Blu-ray. The music is just as dense and haunting as the feral forest Hopkins and Baldwin’s characters struggle to survive in. Music should never overshadow or take away from a film, but compliment it like ranch on pizza. Jerry Goldsmith’s score is a subtle layer that enhances the Blu-ray experience of The Edge. Purchase or rent this film with the quickness.