Arctic Blue, originally released in 1993, was directed by Peter Masterson. The film stars: Rutger Hauer (Ben), Dylan Walsh (Eric), and Rya Kihlstedt (Anne Marie).
Stationed in Alaska, Eric is a biologist who is charged with taking care of ecological problems and conversation on his oil company's property. When a local trapper, Ben, and his gang kill and scalp a person, and let his friends die of exposure, Eric is the only one to take Ben to justice after the marshal arrests him and is subsequently killed. However, Ben isn't going in easy and his gang is determined to get him back.
Rutger Hauer has made a few decent action films over the years, and to be honest, I was hoping Arctic Blue would be one of them. It's not. Hauer has about two "action" scenes in the film, and both are over very quickly. Otherwise, he spends most of the film either walking or behind bars. The film is also a mixed bag. Several subplots, such as the leak in the pipeline and Leo's motivations, aren't fleshed out in any detail. The acting isn't all that great either. I was continually hoping for something exciting to happen, but I was disappointed.
Arctic Blue is presented in 1.33:1 full screen, which is cropped from its original aspect ratio (according to the case). The case also touts anamorphic video, but it is not present. The original press release did state that the film would be presented in widescreen, so I'm not sure what happened. As expected, several scenes in the film feel cramped due to the cropping. The transfer has a fair amount of specks and smaller marks, as well as a few scratches. There is also some slight grain, and the print seems a bit too soft in several scenes. Colors throughout are mainly vibrant, but occasionally seem too dark. Flesh tones are accurate and blacks are decent throughout.
Arctic Blue is presented in Dolby 2.0 Surround in English and French. Surround use, for the exception of the film's music, is rather infrequent, but does add to the film when it occurs. Explosions, car movements, and, on occasion, voices employ the surrounds. Dialogue is crisp and clean throughout, with no distortion that I detected. Optional subtitles are also available in English and French.
Extras include a newly recorded screen specific audio commentary with director Peter Masterson and trailers for this film, Striking Distance, and Replacement Killers.
To be honest, after watching the film, I was definitely not looking forward to the commentary. And well, to be blunt, it sucked. While Masterson is talkative at first, the track has a lot of long pauses between comments. When Masterson does speak, it's usually about one of two things: praising the actors or detailing how/where a shot was established. He also talks about shooting and casting decisions. I recommend not listening to the track, even if you're a fan.
Unless you're a huge fan of the film or Rutger Hauer, don't bother even giving the DVD a rent. Skip it.