Into The Blue

Into The Blue (2005)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Cast: Paul Walker, Jessica Alba, Scott Caan, Ashley Scott, Josh Brolin
Extras: Audio Commentary, Featurette, Deleted Scenes, Screen Tests, Previews

A couple of rain-soaked Pacific Northwest winters ago, I decided to pop in the DVD of "Blue Crush" to temporarily relieve my winter blahs. What unfolded in front of me was pure escapism at its best featuring tropical settings, not found in my backyard. By no means is the content of any award winning caliber, but the combination of sun, surf, sand and not to mention a few bikini bearing beauties, just seemed to work at providing a couple of hours worth of sun-drenched fun!

Fast forward a couple of years and around the same time of the season, I accepted the invitation of viewing "Into the Blue." Once again having no pre-conceived expectations, other than the thought of witnessing the always welcoming Jessica Alba, with the appropriate Bahamas attire of course, making a splash on screen. Well, to my surprise, there is actually a bit of a story behind "Into the Blue," if the tiniest bit, but it works for the formula of the overall material being presented. "Into the Blue" also happens to be directed by John Stockwell, the same director of "Blue Crush," which is probably the main reason why these two films share a similar look and feel. "Into the Blue" offers everything from planes, explosive action and sunken treasure to make this a total kick ass guy movie! But it also serves up exotic locations, beautiful individuals with that perfect golden tan and just the right amount of romantic moments to appeal to both guys and gals, what more could one ask for?

Living a rather simple life in the tropical destination of the Bahamas, Jared (Paul Walker) and Sam (Jessica Alba) spend their days working on a run down boat and experiencing all the beauty that underwater exploring has to offer. Dreaming of discovering some form of sunken treasure that will secure them financially, Jared one day has the good fortune of uncovering artifacts from an old pirate ship while diving with friends. Not long after, he also discovers a recently downed drug running plane that is full of cocaine, which sets off disagreements between himself and his friend Bryce (Scott Caan), who would like nothing more than to keep some of the illegal drugs for himself. Foolishness eventually leads the group into the unwanted company of the drug dealers, who will let nothing stand in their way of retrieving their lost cargo. Also along for the ride is rival scum-bag treasure hunter Bates (Josh Brolin), who dishes out his share of problems for the group of would-be fortune seekers.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment produces another fantastic presentation with their DVD release of "Into the Blue." With gorgeous oceanic blues and vibrant tropical species of fish gracing underwater scenes, color saturation is truly splendid. Deep rich blacks and vivid whites produce brilliant detail within every fine point of the films presentation. As expected with a new release of a recent film, there is nothing in the way of distracting dust particles to report. "Into the Blue" also comes without any visible video compression elements, leaving a truly impressive exhibition to behold.

With good overall balance that involves all available channels to deliver a terrific room filling home theater experience, this Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is sure to impress. Great use of deep rich bass combined with naturally reproduced vocals gives "Into the Blue" the sonic backing to compliment the films impressive visual presentation.

For added features, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has included a full-length audio commentary from director John Stockwell, along with a nicely presented featurette titled "Diving Deeper Into the Blue". This featurette takes you behind-the-scenes of the film and pretty much gives you the formulaic clips of the film mixed with cast and crew interviews, but I still found this twenty-minute featurette to be informative and worth a single viewing. There is also the addition of ten deleted scenes, three separate screen tests and a mix of selected previews that are also available from the studio.

"Into the Blue" may easily fall into the guilty pleasure pile of your DVD collection. If not for its awesome visuals, the film might just manage to surprise you with its well paced story providing good action and appropriately placed plot twists. If you live in a colder climate and are longing to escape the ill effects of winter, if only for a couple of hours, "Into the Blue" might just fulfill that urge.