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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Extreme Limits
Extreme Limits
Fox // R // August 1, 2001
List Price: $34.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted August 8, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

In-between the many fine 20th Century Fox productions that are released on DVD, sometimes the studio takes on the DVD releases for movies that are - shall we say - B-movies? The last one was "Python" and now they've come up with another groaner - "Extreme Limits". Directed by Jay Andrews (who also goes under the name Jim Wynorski, Arch Stanton and Noble Henry), who has directed 38 of these movies in the past 16 years and has written and produced even more of them.

"Extreme Limits" provides the same elements as previous Andrews productions - hilarious dialogue, cheesy effects and even worse sets, a lot of obvious stock footage and cliched characters. I almost forgot terrible acting. Suprisingly, he's gotten a lower-level star to act in this production - Treat Williams, who you may remember from the "Substitute" series.

Williams plays a CIA agent who's called in to save the world when a deadly weapon that can be controlled by thoughts goes down on a plane somewhere around Alaska. The very quick 93 minute picture does provide a few decent action sequences, as this film was reportedly budgeted at 1.2 million - which is more than the usual low-budget action film. Many of the sequences attempt to be low-key versions of scenes from other films - there's sort of a "Cliffhanger" take-off, there's a sequence that's ripped-off (literally - it's hilarious) from "The Long Kiss Goodnight" and I'm sure there were some others that I missed.

Don't get me wrong though - this is still not a very good film, but it's still a fair deal better than other films from the director, such as the recent "Rangers", which literally took its ending from another picture entirely. "Extreme Limits" is an improvement over what these pictures usually offer, but it's still not worthy of a rental.


The DVD

VIDEO: Suprisingly, "Extreme Limits" looks halfway decent. The 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer from Fox looks excellent - except for it's lower-budget origins. Sharpness and detail are generally strong, although there are some interior scenes that seemed slightly softer and less well-defined. Some minor traces of pixelation and edge enhancement can be seen once or twice, but print flaws are entirely absent as the picture appears clean and crisp. Colors look rather subdued throughout the movie, whether or not the film is in the Alaska setting or not. To make a long story short, "Extreme Limits" looks about as good as it can look here.

SOUND: "Extreme Limits" is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. Even though this is an action movie, the more intense sequences really still don't use the surrounds very much. The surrounds are generally used for music and the majority of the action takes place in the front three speakers. Audio quality was decent, as the music sounded clear and strong, but the dialogue seemed rather low in volume compared to the rest of the sound.

MENUS:: Basic animated menus with the score in the background.

EXTRAS::

Commentary: This is a commentary from director Jay Andrews, actress Julie St. Clair and cinematographer Andrea Rossotto. The commentary is similar to the commentary that Andrews provided for "Rangers", where they goofed on the elements that were "lacking" in the movie. There's some fun and entertaining stories, but I was suprised that the crew doesn't admit to where they took from - especially the extremely obvious "Long Kiss Goodnight" rip-off at the end.

Also: Photo gallery and trailer.

Final Thoughts: "Extreme Limits" is a little better than the usual B-Movie action, but it still leaves a great deal to be desired. Fox's DVD provides decent audio/video quality and a couple of decent extras. Not recommended.
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