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Marine life planetwide is dying off in staggering proportions, and if adventurer Dirk Pitt can't find the solution--ALL life is in danger! So what's he doing looking for the answer in the middle of the Sahara desert? Just trust him. Good cast in a movie that was done better last summer as Flight Of The Phoenix.
- Commentary by Director Breck Eisner and Actor/Executive Producer Matthew McConaughey
- Three featurettes
- Deleted Scenes (with optional audio commentary)
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Here's why that's so insanely stupid for all those who don't get it, and I'm going to use historical examples to prove it. During the battle of Gettysburg the army of Northern Virginia opened fire on the union army with their long ranged cannon, and MISSED! They couldn't even hit an army. now, fast forward to the modern day, give a cannon that's been buried under the sand since the end of the war to three Indiana Jones want to be's and give them the most impossible target to hit, a helicopter. What do you think happens? Well, they shoot it down, duh.
Second, an entire armored column, I think there must have been more then a dozen tanks, surrenders to an enemy army on horse back. Now, does anyone remember when the Polish army fought German tanks during WWII? Anyone? Well I'll tell you, uh, they died. Yeah, they all got killed because there is no possible way for mounted cavalry to defeat armor, and yet the tankers in this movie didn't seem to know that. Pathetic.
There's a lot more I could rant about, like how on earth could a Civil War battleship get to the Sahara desert, but I think I've made my point. This movie is simply one of the dumbest ever made, and I've seen some doozies. Stay away, for the love of god, stay away from this flick and just see Indiana Jones.
Replay value; Very low.
There is a legend of a treasure that claims all who seek it . . . Scouring the ocean depths for treasure-laden shipwrecks is business as usual for a thrill-seeking underwater adventurer Dirk Pitt [Matthew McConaughey] and his wisecracking buddy Al Giordino [Steve Zahn]. But when these two cross paths with a beautiful Dr. Eva Rojas [Penelope Cruz] where they find themselves on the ultimate treasure hunt. Soon the three are in for the ride of a lifetime as they cross the blistering North African terrain pitting their skills against ruthless enemies bent on world destruction. In a race against time this trio of unlikely heroes must unravel the clues solve the mystery and save the world in...a delirious escape into adventure-serial heaven the whole family can enjoy.
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Steve Zahn, Penélope Cruz, William H. Macy, Rainn Wilson, Delroy Lindo, Lambert Wilson, Lennie James, Robert Cavanah, Jude Akuwudike, Mark Aspinall, Rakie Ayola, Christopher Bello, Nicholas Beveney, Empotoe Bosage, Clint Dyer, Matthew Flynn, Paulin Fodouop, Ouahbou Houcine, Emmanuel Ighodaro, Maurice Lee, Daniel Njo Lobé, Francis Magee, Patrick Malahide, Thierno Amath Mbaye, Femi Ogunbanjo, Eddie Osei, Nathan Osgood, Lahcen Ouezgane, Robert Paterson, Abdul Salis, Tosin Sanyalo, Christopher Saul, Billy Seymour, Mark Springer, Glynn Turman, Celestine Vita, Mark Wells, Neil Findlater (uncredited) and Daniel Jude Gennis (uncredited)
Director: Breck Eisner
Producers: David Barron, Denise O'Dell, Henning Molfenter, Howard Baldwin, Mace Neufeld, Matthew McConaughey, Mark Albela, Mike Phillips, Nick Morton, Stephanie Austin, Thierry Potok and William H. Brown
Screenplay: James V. Hart, John C. Richards, Joshua Oppenheimer, Thomas Dean Donnelly and Clive Cussler (novel)
Composer: Clint Mansell
Cinematography: Seamus McGarvey
Video Resolution: 1080p
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 [CinemaScope]
Audio: English: 5.1 DTS Master Audio, English: 5.1 Dolby Digital, French: 5.1 Dolby Digital and Spanish: 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French and Spanish
Running Time: 124 minutes
Region: Region B/2
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: ‘SAHARA’ follows the adventures of Dirk Pitt [Matthew McConaughey], is obsessed with tracking down a Civil War battleship that mysteriously disappeared. Along with Dirk Pitt, who has tagged along his friend and comic relief pal Al Giordino [Steve Zahn]. Dirk Pitt spends his days searching for lost artefacts for the “NUMA” [National Underwater and Marine Agency] and the desire to uncover the exact whereabouts of the missing ship.
‘SAHARA,’ is based on a novel by the prolific Clive Cussler, stars bongo enthusiast and Texan Matthew McConaughey as the improbably named Dirk Pitt, an ex-Navy SEALS turned marine adventurer. Working under the ever patient command of the stout Admiral Sandecker [William H. Macy], cashing in a big pay check, Dirk Pitt and long-time buddy Al Giordino [Steve Zahn], who is perfectly at home as the comedic sidekick and spends their time finding lost treasures from the ocean floor. But Dirk Pitt has more ambitious plans in mind, one that includes finding a fabled Confederate ironclad ship that was thought to have gone missing at the tail end of the Civil War over 150 years ago. Dirk Pitt and Al Giordino track the ship to West Africa where they encounter the lovely Dr. Eva Rojas [Penelope Cruz], a relief worker for the “WHO” [World Health Organisation] who’s on a hunt of her own. Dr. Eva Rojas needs to investigate a growing plague and try and find the source of the mysterious illness sweeping across Africa.
As luck would have it, the script is full of convenient plots and especially with lots of twists and turns, and Dirk Pitt’s search for the missing ship leads him to a war-torn African country, which also again happens to be where “WHO” [World Health Organisation] is. Now in Africa and hunted by a vicious warlord with his own personal army, Dirk Pitt, Al Giordino, and Dr. Eva Rojas crosses paths with a band of resistant fighters, a slimy Frenchman, and lots and lots of random desert. Then later Dirk Pitt and Al Giordino stumbles onto the wreckage of what looks like the plane from the Dennis Quad film ‘Flight of the Phoenix,’ but don’t quote me on it.
‘SAHARA’ is an unapologetic action-adventure film without any brains to hinder its brawn. The film is straightforward in its inability to be smart and true to its dedication to being loud, fast, and devoid of all levels of substance. One would have liked more chemistry between Penelope Cruz and Mathew McConaughey, but in a film where the “romance” is little more than perfunctory (if that), I guess you can’t really complain too much. Although it’s curious to note the general lack of chemistry between the two leads, as one has to wonder what that means in real-life when they can’t even fake credible interest in each other onscreen.
‘SAHARA’ is a surprisingly fun packed action comedy film with a cast that connects. As Dr. Eva Rojas [Penelope Cruz] races around on a camel and does as good a job saving the men around her. Mathew McConaughey’s who has a naughty sense of adventure in pulling off this daring exploration for the treasure. Steve Zahn’s is perfect for this type of role. He knows when to take it over the top and when to play it subtle, and he has pulled off just the right balance as Mathew McConaughey’s onscreen buddy.
Blu-ray Video Quality – ‘SAHARA’ has a presentation that is really excellent and satisfying in an excellent 1080p encoded image. The source material is pristine, with not a speckle of dirt or other blemishes noticeable, and the kind of smooth, grain-free look that looks more like a digital photo than film. Colour reproduction is also impressive and hues are rich, vivid and free of colour noise and smearing. Blacks and contrast are also excellent, with even the film's few dark scenes, indeed; the vast majority of 'SAHARA' takes place in sunshine-soaked daytime exteriors, boasting above-average shadow delineation. At times the level of detail and depth to the image is up there with the best Blu-ray transfers I've seen, with the kind of three-dimensional appearance that really shows off the high-resolution capabilities of the format and especially three scenes, the opening credits, the first major action sequence, and a dinner party scene about two-thirds of the way through the film. So all in all it has a great image performance. Please Note: Playback Region B/2: This will not play on most Blu-ray players sold in North America, Central America, South America, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. Learn more about Blu-ray region specifications.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – The audio presentation for 'SAHARA' is really action packed and is presented with either a 5.1 DTS Master Audio or a 5.1 Dolby Digital. And the film's sound design is a winner, delivering an aggressive, exciting experience that is sure to please. All channels are active, with noticeable uses of discrete pans across the entire sound field. Dynamic range also earns a solid "A," with a very full presence from lows to highs. Bass is delivered forcibly but tightly, and doesn't overwhelm the mix like some big-budget action soundtracks can. Balance is also well done, though I did have to adjust my volume control to compensate for the low dialogue levels at times.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
Audio Commentary: Commentary by Breck Eisner: The director is a pretty good speaker and sounds like a smart guy. The track is mostly technical in nature, explaining how various elaborate action scenes were accomplished.
Audio Commentary: Commentary by Breck Eisner and Matthew McConaughey: The director returns for another commentary, this time joined by his star and Executive Producer Mathew McConaughey. They all have a good rapport and focus on story and characters.
Special Feature: Across the Sands of Sahara  [15:00] A fluffy making-of piece that talks about the production difficulties with heat, sandstorms, rain, and locusts. Matthew McConaughey explains how he lobbied for the role.
Special Feature: Visualizing Sahara  [20:00] A pleasantly thorough overview of the film's visual design. Covered topics include: storyboards, pre-visual planning, production design, photography and especially the director even mentions his choice of aspect ratio, costumes, sets, and visual effects.
Special Feature: Cast & Crew Wrap Film  [10:00] An assemblage of random behind-the-scenes footage, with an entertaining view of the crew who relive their experiences during the wrap party, this was more aimed at people who know all the technical features of making a film.
Deleted Scenes  [5:00] Four scenes are offered with optional commentary by Breck Eisner and Matthew McConaughey.
Special Feature: Camel Chase  [1080p] [5:00] A behind-the-scenes look at the filming of one action scene, including the problems faced due to bad weather.
Special Feature: Animatics  [1080p] [9:00] Animated storyboards are presented for two scenes.
Special Feature: Storyboard Comparisons  [1080p] [6:00] A before-and-after look at three scenes.
Theatrical Trailer  [1080p] [1.77:1] This is the Original Theatrical Trailer for ‘SAHARA.’
Finally, ‘SAHARA’ is a film that really has a lot going for it and something that must not be taken too seriously, and then you will have a perfect fun time with the film. The cast seemed to really enjoy doing what they do best, and that made it easier for me to really get into the enjoyments of the film. It has all of the elements of a fantastic all action and adventure film with a solid plot, and definitely good chemistry between all of the characters, which is why I enjoy good character driven films and there is enough here that holds it all together very well to make this an interesting popcorn munching film. For those who are really into action and adventure films like I am, this film is really a definite blockbuster action fun film and I know the whole family will have a great time viewing this Blu-ray disc, which has been an all-time favourite film of mine, ever since I saw it in the cinema on its initial release and now I have it in the ultimate Blu-ray format, as it is a stunning fun rollercoaster ride from start to finish and the picture quality is definitely reference material and it will definitely make your friends jaw drop in what they view and now it has gone pride of place with my other fun packed Mathew McConaughey Blu-ray film ‘Fool’s Gold.’ Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom