Anchor Bay Films, A Bigger Boat

Emma Bell, Shawn Ashmore, Kevin Zegers, Rileah Vanderbilt, Ed Ackerman

This is just about the perfect little film.  Not a B film in the least.  There are no big stars in this movie, and Emma Bell is a new talent, but all of that was by design.  They started with a very small, but very plausible storyline.   But whoa, what power! 

Two guys have been best friends since first grade.  They love to ski and snowboard.  One has a new girlfriend, so he decides to bring her along on a Sunday visit to a ski resort.  Now the resort is only open Friday to Sunday.  Unfortunately Parker (Emma Bell) is not the world’s best snowboarder. In fact, the boys have to spend the whole day on the “bunny slope”.    Bribing the operator for one last run because the resort is going to close early, and 2/3 of the way up the hill the ski lift suddenly stops.

Now it’s Sunday night, and if somebody doesn’t realize they’re up there, what in the world are they going to do?  A storm is coming, and there won’t be anybody around until Friday!  That’s 5 days from now.

I think every skiier has had this dreadful thought.  Especially when you’re up there way too high to jump!  Would you just sit there and freeze to death?

This is a simple story, and could have been really cheesy.  But it’s not!  I think for two reasons.   First, it could have been shot in front of a green screen in downtown Hollywood!  But it wasn’t.  They managed to get all the equipment up to the top of the mountain and shot this in a real ski resort.  The view is unbelievable, and the realism is obvious.  They didn’t have to act frightened or cold.  They were scared half to death and it was cold as it looked, some days below zero.   Secondly,  there are no big name stars in this movie.  Quite on purpose as the characters are very real, and you really care about them.  And the cinematography is amazing.  You aren’t watching 3 kids on a ski lift.  You are up there with them.

The suspense is about as great as I have ever felt, and I really felt for the characters.  They are not what they think they are.  Those who think they’re tough are soft, and those that think they’re soft are tough.  Working together to try to survive this thing.

One final note.  There are a collection of Special Features on the DVD version.  These are long.  There is over 90 minutes of special features.  But they are the story of how this movie got made, and if you are in the least interested in how movies are made, this is the perfect story.  They explain how and why they did everything, and it was fascinating.  Watch them in the order they appear, and you’ll learn how they thought of the story, how it was sold, how it was cast, and how it was filmed.  It’s as interesting as the movie.

Also on the deleted items is a very gory bloody scene that was left out of the movie.  The special features explains why this was filmed (for the international audience) and why it was not part of the film.  And also why it does NOT belong in the movie.  The way it was filmed is far more frightening and horrifying (without watching what’s going on, but just hearing it and seeing the reaction of those at the scene is far worse than seeing the blood and gore).

Fun, suspenseful, and extremely exciting.  It’s never a dull moment, and you’ll really feel for these poor unfortunate souls!!!

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog



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