Point Break [Blu-Ray] Kathryn Bigelow

Point Break [Blu-Ray] Kathryn Bigelow
Forgive me if I forgo puns based on the idiom of surfer speech learned by Keanu Reeves' FBI agent, Johnny Utah, in order to convincingly penetrate wave-riding culture in pursuit of a gang of bank robbers. Point Break was an important step for many current and future major players in Hollywood, and impressionable young viewers, when it first came out in 1991. For future Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow, it was her most successful film to date and the solidification of her status as a director who knew how to shoot breathtaking action and crass comedy while winking at the ridiculousness of it all without marginalizing the heart of the story. Yes, the proximity of the '80s has left its campy marks, in wardrobe style and music most obviously, but the pseudo-spiritual, semi-political look at thrill-seeking as a means of rebelling against the separation between man and nature brought about by consumer culture has aged well otherwise. Still most notable for the iconic look of bank robbers wearing rubber masks of ex-presidents and jaw-dropping aerial stunts, revisiting Point Break at an older age reveals a lot of extra-filthy double entendres and thinly veiled homoerotic undertones. Do you think rapid references to sperm and an asshole shortage, followed by a shot of spread butt cheeks is only present to propel the story? There's a lot of manly love displayed on screen, if only blatantly depicted as camaraderie. One gets the sense Bigelow isn't directly alluding to anything in the specific character relationships, but more the overall tone of testosterone-fuelled competition, especially in action movies. But it's more obvious that she loves and respects the subjects of her scrutiny, capturing the highly kinetic energy of the surf scenes, foot and car chases, and those insane skydiving sequences with reverent grace and beauty. Speaking of skydiving, that really was Patrick Swayze jumping out of the airplane, as discussed in extensive special feature "It's Make or Break," which chronicles much of the film's journey to the screen. Having taken up skydiving on his own time in order to prove he could do it to producers, his extracurricular activities convinced insurers to let him take the leap on film, as long as he stopped doing it on his own until after the movie was finished. Swayze speaks fondly and passionately of his experiences, calling Point Break the most fun movie he ever had, and sadly, he didn't have too long to change his mind after these reminiscences were filmed. Unfortunately, Keanu Reeves wasn't on hand to elaborate on his star-making role, instead relying on former cast members and the film's writers and producers to sing his praises and disclose Bigelow's insistence on him for the part, even when previous incarnations had Charlie Sheen and Johnny Depp attached. Magnificent bastard John C. McGinley (Scrubs), who played FBI head Ben Harp, adds his two cents, which is more sense than awesomely Zen madman Gary Busey has to offer, though he's quite lucid when recalling Swayze badgering him into going skydiving, something co-star Lori Petty (Tank Girl) wouldn't do. "Ride the Wave" is mostly half-baked philosophy on the spirituality of surfing, while "On Location" and "Adrenaline Junkies" expand upon on-set experiences, though with limited input from Bigelow. Largely unnecessary deleted scenes and a trio of original theatrical trailers demonstrate just what an incredible job was done in transferring Point Break to Blu-Ray, where it looks spectacular in high definition and remains a strong example of the crazy dedication involved in filming action in a pre-CGI world. (Warner)