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Point Break

20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox . R4 . COLOR . 117 mins . M15+ . PAL


Rookie young cop meets experienced old timer - we've had this before and we'll sure have it again. It's a proven formula so if it ain't broke, don't fix it. It seems Kathryn Bigelow took that advice but decided to add a little oomph to the plot to appeal to a wider, more adventurous audience.

Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) is an FBI agent assigned to work with Angleo Pappas (Gary Busey) of the LA unit. It seems a bunch of criminals calling them the ex-presidents have been robbing banks with 90 second precision. Angelo has a hunch that the robbers are actually surfers, robbing the banks to fund their expensive summer fun so Johnny takes on the responsibility of working the local surf scene to find any clues possible.

Johnny can't surf though and he enlists the help of Tyler (Lori Petty) who just happens to be a close friend of Bodhi (Patrick Swayze), the main man of the local surf group. With this avenue, Johnny is now in and can try to track the crooks from the inside.

The lure of the surf now has Johnny and once you've surfed a wave, there's no turning back. Bodhi knows there's something different about Johnny and uses his extreme sports to put fear into him. It's up to Johnny to try and survive as he gets in too deep.


There's more grain here than a packet of Wheet-bix. Truly, this is now the dvd with the most noise in the image that I have come across. Usually, I attribute the blame to the source material but Fox has the ability to produce something alot better looking than this given the young age of the film. This grain is a detriment to the rest of the visual areas.

Sharpness is lacking totally and detail in the image is distorted immensly. What gets me though is that there are flashes of a decent image in some cases but then we cut back to where we started with; grain.

Black levels are lacking and shadow detail is another area in which the grain is a contributing factor into the lack of detail. I remember seeing this movie at the cinema some two times and I enjoyed the cinematography in the surf scenes immensly. Even though we do get an anamoprhic transfer of this 2.35:1 image, it doesn't help at all, other than to give you more lines of a sub par print.

My anticipation of a sparkling transfer was quickly dashed and I really hope this is just a lapse in concentration rather than the direction fox will be taking in quality control. Please don't give us cheap and nasty, not with your retail pricing structure.

It has come to my attention that there is no region 1 version of this movie. I do hope the reason is because they are working on a better transfer.


This 2 channel Dolby Digital presentation gives off more than you would expect. This is the original sound format used so don't feel as though you've been short changed like you were with the video.

Dialogue is clear throughout the movie and is supported slightly in the mains speakers given the pro-logic mix. I don't know if this is a true pro-logic mix but the surrounds were used frequently during the surf scenes to emphasise the expanse of water on display. At the same time, bass response was present coinciding with the enormity of the waves underfoot.

At no time did I see any audio synch issues. What I did notice was the compressed 2 channel Dolby Digital doesn't have the fidelity of a PCM equivalent and you will notice audio lacking clarity during the movie.


I'll give fox extra points here for going to the effort of providing an almost 100% anamorphic dvd. The menus are nicely themed and the only extra you get is an original theatrical trailer, albeit the only aspect of the dvd non-anamorphic.


This is a very decent movie for what it tries to be. Keanu can't act and Busey shows his teeth more times than Jaws, but they're funny teeth.

With the help of ex-husband James Cameron, Kathryn Bigelow (female Gigolo) has got a good plot tied together with some fast paced action and great surf cinematography to provide what would have been an enjoyable 2 hours of movie if it wasn't for the mediocre transfer.

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      And I quote...
    - Steve Koukoulas
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Pioneer DV-505 Gold
    • TV:
          Hitachi CMT2979 68cm
    • Receiver:
          Yamaha RX-V595
    • Speakers:
          Peterson Labs 100Watts
    • Centre Speaker:
          Sherwood SC-60E
    • Surrounds:
          Sherwood LS-502
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
      Recent Reviews:
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