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"Blue Crush"

Directed by John Stockwell.
Written by Lizzy Weiss and John Stockwell.
Starring Kate Bosworth, Michelle Rodriguez and Sanoe Lake.
Release Year:  2002 
Review Date:  8/29/02


Well, for the 87th film of the year—and, the last one for a month—I had to see “Blue Crush.”  It was just begging to be seen.  No stars, lots of bikinis, bad dialogue, a low budget, and one of the best taglines in history—

“Take the Risk.  Feel the Rush.  ‘Blue Crush.’  Summer 2002.”

Oh, YES!

I always appreciate films that don’t try to be anything more than they are.  So, with that in mind, my man Brett “KHAN!!!” Stone and I took in an evening showing tonight and we were pleased with what we got.  What we got was shitty dialogue, cheesy romance—I mean, jack, Muenster, Swiss, brie, you name it—and some unbelievable surfing action.  Kate Bosworth (“Remember the Titans”) stars as Anne Marie, a former amateur surfing champion that is prepping for the Biggest Event of Her Life, the surf championships in “The Pipe” off the coast of Maui.  This is significant because this is the first year that women are allowed to enter the event.  Helping her prep for the championship are her two best friends, Eden (Michelle Rodriguez) and Lina (Sanoe Lake)...but, distractions abound when Anne Marie meets an NFL quarterback (Matthew Davis) who is in town for the Pro Bowl.

When the movie is showing us anything in the water, it is excellent.  “Blue Crush” has a lot of cool shots of surfers in the curl and at many points, you can actually see some of the underwater cameramen in the wide shots of the action—I didn’t mind the production problems in that regard, as long as what they were shooting was cool-looking, and most of it was.  And, with a budget of only $15 million, you know that most of those water shots are real actors on real water, and that makes it all the more thrilling; it also means no big stars, because no sane high-priced star is going to risk their life riding some of these waves.  The stunt work is great, and the film’s end shots of random people getting crushed are sweet.

When the movie is not showing us anything in the water, it almost totally blows.  However, what gets it over the hump is one sequence involving Matt, the previously-mentioned quarterback, and his boys as they try to convince the girls to give them surfing lessons; the two big black guys that get trained in the ways of the water are friggin’ hilarious.  Otherwise, the romance between Anne Marie and Matt is painful to watch, and the “drama” that unfolds between the three girls and their lives is total steaming horseshit.  It will be noted though that for maybe the first time in her career, Rodriguez spends most of her screen time not pouting, which is significant if you have seen “Girlfight”, “The Fast and the Furious”, or this year’s “Resident Evil.”

So, in this case, the good barely outweighs the bad.  And, since the movie is turning an unbelievable profit (it made back its budget in its opening weekend), one wonders:  when will we get the sequel?

Rating:  Matinee


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
© 1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09