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The best we should reasonably expect from a movie like `Blue Crush' is that
we will be treated to some stunning footage of surfers riding the world's
greatest waves (along Hawaii's Pipeline, natch) to personal fame and glory.
We certainly get that in abundance - but what we have less right to expect,
perhaps, is that the film will offer anything else of any real quality.
After all, we've been to these kinds of movies before, harking all the way
back to those halcyon Bleach Blanket Bingo days when Gidget, Moondoggie and
the rest of those addle-brained, teeny-bopper cut-ups aspired to nothing
higher than a life of eternal youth spent wallowing in the bleach-white
sands of Santa Monica or Malibu. In the case of `Blue Crush,' therefore, I
am happy to report that the screenplay - by Lizzy Weiss (based on a magazine
article by Susan Orlean) -provides just enough touches of realism to keep
this new film both life-sized and interesting. And the majority of the
credit goes to the film's protagonist, Anne Marie Chadwick who, much to our
surprise, engages our sympathies from first moment to last.
Anne Marie is no bubble-headed, bleached-blond bimbo with nothing on her mind but winning the big Pipeline competition. Although that is, indeed, part of her life's plan, Anne Marie is, also, an intelligent, pragmatic young woman, fully aware of both her strengths and weaknesses and just trying the best she knows how to make her life work for her, the young sister in her charge and the two surf buddy girlfriends she lives and works with. Anne Marie is also riddled with insecurities, as she struggles to overcome the fear instilled in her by a near-fatal accident in that very same spot a few years earlier. Meanwhile, she and her pals work hard trying to eke out a living as maids at a posh hotel, earning just enough money to keep a roof over their heads and pay some of their bills so they will be free to head to the coast at the first sign of prime `Surf's Up' conditions.
The acting in the film is really quite impressive. As Anne Marie, Kate Bosworth lights up the screen with her subtly nuanced, poised and dignified performance. She knows how to use understated facial expressions to convey the thoughts and feelings of the character she is portraying. Equally compelling are Michelle Rodriguez and Sanoe Lake as her fun-loving buddies, Mika Boorem as her little sister, and Matthew Davis as the professional football quarterback who becomes her love interest. Director John Stockwell, to his credit, manages to keep the majority of the scenes intimate in tone and realistic in nature, rarely allowing the narrative to wander into overwrought melodrama or teen-movie farce. Even the obligatory fight scene is kept restrained and believable.
There are occasional weaknesses in the film a gaggle of snooty football wives and groupies who snub Anne Marie for being too lower class for their tastes are the primary offenders but, on the whole, `Blue Crush' turns out to be a much better film than its subject matter would ever lead us to expect. That comes as a particularly pleasant and un-looked-for surprise here in the shank of the summer movie going season.
i went to see this movie solely because i thought it would be horrible. It looked so cornballish that i couldn't help but go if only to mock it from my seat the whole way through. I was thus quite shocked to find myself actually enjoying the film! From the direction, to the action, the camera work and especially the surfing shots, it was just amazing. Seeing the waves crashing fifteen feet tall, it is definitely worth seeing in theaters to get the full effect. Another shock came in the form of teh script, and the acting. While they had their holes, it was amazing how real the movie felt. They weren't actors, they were real people. From the very beginning, it starts. Other reviews have claimed that these characters were all standard hollywood barbies, but this is far from the truth. While it Anne Marie is quite attractive she is far from movie star beautiful, there is this natural and real quality to her that, if anything, makes her all the more endearing. i could drivel on, but the point is, this movie just makes you feel good. it takes you along on this enjoyable ride, and leaves you with a positive attitude and an insatiable desire to move to hawaii, rent a shack and spend your days surfing. It was cute, but there's also a lot of substance there. definitely worth seeing.
For all you wanna-be critics out there trying to be negative about the
directing and cinematography, lighten up! This film is excellent in the
fact that it does not try to be more than it is... a surf flick. Its
obviously not trying to win an Oscar or a bafta. cant any of you simply
enjoy a feel good movie? the filming of the waves and the surfing was
top class and even though the acting was not Oscar worthy in any way
shape or form i think it was impressive that they embraced the surfing
culture and used local people in this film.
For all of you out there who like to just enjoy a films and don't feel that you need to be completely baffled, shocked or made to think you will enjoy this. Yes it is predictable but who cares its just a bit of fun.
For all of you who hated this film just because the plot was predictable and the acting was substandard i draw your attention to a gentleman named Sigmund Frued; "Some times a cigar is just a cigar"
Critic Ebert has a very complete and accurate review, and I will not repeat
any of it here. I bought "Blue Crush" as a used rental DVD, real cheap, and
it is a perfect disk. The basic story has been told many times, but it is
done here better than many. However, there is one thing that moves it from
the "ordinary" to "outstanding - the cimematography and the
After most of the first hour of the film sets up the characters and the situations, we are treated to surfing the Hawaii "pipeline" by surfers. One DVD extra shows how they do "face replacement" so that the pro surfer appears to be star Kate Bosworth. With many cameras in the waves, and sometimes under them, we get a unique perspective of being on top of a giant wave, or being inside the wave as it is breaking. All the while a very aggressive sound mix makes you feel like you are there also. This is definitely a good DVD to have for demonstrating the quality of your digital 5.1 surround sound system with good powered subwoofer.
I suspect anyone who saw "Blue Crush" at home, on VHS or DVD, with sound fed into the TV speakers has seen a different movie. That's because the sound track plays such a key role. This isn't a great movie, but a very good one. I believe its most realistic IMDb rating is somewhere around "7" or "8".
From the thoroughly mediocre school of filmmaking, here comes director John
Stockwell's 'Blue Crush'. Its graduates...uh, actors include Kate Bosworth,
Michelle Rodriguez, and a bunch of other pretty people you've never heard
of. Bosworth is Anne Marie, the super-talented surfer with a confidence
problem. Before the movie is half over, she's in love with a pro quarterback
and struggling to gumption up for the big all-girls surf championship. It's
your standard 1980's Tom Cruise picture.
If a movie with such modest ambitions is supposed to make you want to go out and take up surfing, I say, hand me my 'Point Break' DVD instead. Sure, 'Blue Crush' is professionally made and the camerawork is fine, but how hard is it to pretty up shots of the Hawaiian ocean when it's in the form of gorgeous, humungoid waves? That's a natural beauty that speaks for itself and doesn't need Hollywood to flaunt it. As for the screenplay by Lizzy Weiss & Stockwell, well, they're proficient with the surfing lingo. They're also absentminded enough to bury their various hanging plot threads in an undertow. The flick is not trying to be a deep meditation on the entire wave-lovin' experience, but that's no excuse for staggering along with such a sub-par story.
As unremarkable as they may be, the female leads are about the best thing in the film. They all look smart in bathing suits---the words "woo hoo" come to mind---and they're fairly natural. Plus, these likable babes don't grate with too many, "you go, girl" comments. Rodriguez even smiled once or twice, which confirms that she DOES have more facial expressions than just snarling and pouting. But despite the physical beauty of the waves and the girls, the film they're in is generic goop. Parents will be happy that all the sex is kiss-kiss-fadeout, there's nary a drug, and only a handful of cuss words. All the same, I'm certainly not happy with the content of 'Blue Crush'. It's just not tubular, dude.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was blown away by this little gem, because of how purely cinematic it is.
All the good parts are framed by a weak story that started out at least competently formulaic but has been so sliced and diced by the producers that none of it makes sense. No matter. Really, no matter because the water scenes make the time more than worth the effort. But it must be noted that while the story (and acting and dialog) is all disposable, it respects the sexuality of the girls. They are in bathing suits, and look nice but not even once is there a prurient shot. Not once is there an attempt to slip into a coy, seductive wiggle. And that's remarkable indeed.
But it is not the thing that makes this trip worthwhile.
Not all of life does well in translating to cinema. Some things are inherently more cinematic than others, and the stuff that is (and is easy to do) comes pouring over the hapless moviewatcher: explosions, car chases, macho strutting and the related violence. And of course a specific type of sexual, cool open (usually submissive) femininity. In fact, because that sexual presence is so cinematically effective, it has defined societal types and expectations. That's another story, one we will avoid here except to already have noted that this film made a deliberate effort to steer away from sex in order to only have one cinematic center.
And that's the architectural water. Structured, moving water is the most cinematic thing in existence. It is also an incredible challenge to film, but the few times it has been explored, the results have sometimes been striking. Even in the otherwise horrible `Hard Rain,' even in the deeply flawed `In Dreams,' even in the melodramatic `Titanic,' the movement of camera with water comes close to a visually spiritual experience.
I live in a surfing town, and in 1967 saw `Endless Summer.' But in that and all subsequent surf movies, what you get are moving portraits, not cinema. Here, we move to a whole nother level. The camera is above us, it is under us, it is _us_, it chases us, it anticipates us. I have made a minor study of how different projects move the camera within dancing (and in Ang Lee's case, within fights). The same techniques are used here as we participate in the dance between this athletic girl and these immense hydraulic beings.
I do not know for sure who did what, but I confidently surmise that this achievement is the result of a true story of girl power in Hollywood. The editor in this case is Emma Hickox. Aside from what we see on the screen, we know she is a remarkable cinematic mind if only because of her parents. Her mother is the still working (at 85!) editor who changed the world of visual imagination with `Laurence of Arabia.' Her father is the fellow that made one of the most intelligent films about films ever (`Theater of Blood'), but sadly unrecognized as such.
Watch what Ms Hickox does with the compositions of the eye as we envelop the enveloping water. Watch how cleverly she establishes our place with our ear at the beginning of these sequences and keeps us aurally, mentally stabilized while the eye dances. Amazing, simply amazing.
My only criticism is probably something beyond her control. We only needed to see the flashback sequence of the younger Anne getting her head bumped once. It must appear eight or ten times, every moment we have to be bludgeoned into recalling that she is frightened.
See this film. It advances your visual imagination far beyond what `Perfect Storm' ever could.
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 4: Worth watching.
I won't dispute the weakness in the story and some so-so acting. In this particular case I rate this movie highly for its video and especially audio quality. For any home theater fanatic looking for top notch sound this is one of the best. When they're out in the water laying pipe, etc... its about as good a sound track as I've heard. You can almost feel the water getting in your ears. The video isn't far behind but that was easier for the filmmakers since the Hawaiian coast is so beautiful. I found the story to be passable, but there are a couple of segments that are dumb and I skip over on repeat viewings. Some of the extra features on the DVD are also good. If you have a good HT audio setup this needs to be in your collection!
I should start off saying, This film is amazing on So many
the story is believable and well plotted, and the way this film was shot is
I originally went to see this film for two reasons. 1.I love Michelle Rodriguez. 2.Im a sucker for surf movies.
I originally didn't figure on expecting too much from this film, other than a fluffy story with people wiping out alot on weeny waves, but In turn the characters are brought out quite well, and the waves are HUGE! I do however think this is a somewhat sequel to "North Shore", "ie..Girl makes it big on small circuit, has problems and eventually breaks through and comes out on top, and it takes place in Hawaii, on the North shore.. :)"..It's Kind of a "fluff" story, but it Draws you INTO the character's lives...and when your finished watching this film, you'll feel like youve Really been hitting the waves!!
However , If you Don't like feel good movies, or surf movies in general bore you...then this film Isn't for you...otherwise this movie is tops when it comed to surfer flicks!!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Nothing special to say the least.
*MILD SPOILERS WITHIN*
Blue Crush tries to take on a lot of themes but seems to drop them without any effort to carry them. For instance, we never find out what happens about Anne Marie and Penny's mother, Eden and Lena quit their jobs then are seen working them a few days later, Penny seems to have a growing interest in drugs and sex and we're just supposed to believe it's typical 'teenage experimentation,' Anne Marie and Matt's relationship happens at a ridiculously fast pace, the rival surf gang or whatever suddenly warms up because...why? Etc.
Plus the dialouge sounded way forced and awkward, and, at times, very unnatural. The surf footage was pretty impressive, if you ignore the fact that in most instances it was clear that stunt doubles were doing the surfing. But the rest of the footage looked like a home video.
A big disappointment. 3/10
In Hawaii, Anne Marie Chadwick (Kate Bosworth) is a local surfer girl,
who had an accident three years ago when she was on the top of her
career. She almost died in a huge wave, but now she is preparing for an
international competition, with the support of the best friends Eden
(Michelle Rodriguez) and Lena (Sanoe Lake), and her younger sister
Penny Chadwick (Mika Boorem). Anne is traumatized with her accident,
and is quite afraid of the big waves, but she aims to achieve a sponsor
to follow her career and have the necessary financial support. Some
days before the competition, she has a crush on the football player
Matt Tollman (Matthew Davis). 'Blue Crush' is a good popcorn film,
having a shallow story but compensated by the wonderful places and the
big waves in Hawaii, and the very beautiful young cast. An excellent
entertainment for a Saturday or Sunday afternoon for the whole family.
My vote is six.
Title (Brazil): 'A Onda dos Sonhos' ('The Wave of the Dreams')
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