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Chasing Mavericks
BLU-RAY disk
Mar 12, 2013 By: J.A. Hamilton
Chasing Mavericks order download
Director:
Curtis Hanson, Michael Apted

Actors:
Gerard Butler
Jonny Weston
Elisabeth Shue

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
When a kid obsessed with surfing realizes the legendary Mavericks are so close to his doorstep, he turns to the neighbor who saved his life as a kid and who just happens to be a slayer of Mavericks.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I'll admit that I don't know the first thing about surfing aside from what I've seen in movies (primarily my many viewings of POINT BREAK), and although I can't fully appreciate man's obsession with the sea, I both understand and respect it as the ocean is my greatest fear...or at least what lies below its surface (seeing a great white shark = poop myself). I do understand ambition and chasing dreams however, and this flick excelled in that department with Jay and his extraordinary story. Many in his position would dwell on the negative, but this kid was always of the "glass half full" mentality, which is impressive considering his age.

Jay's kind heart and nobility had me from the very beginning when he saves Kim's dog. Now I know this is based on true events, but damn if some of these events don't go beyond the realm of luck (and bad luck). Having never known my real father, I get Jay's relationship with Frosty. I felt for both characters. Jay's life was rough, but he had big dreams that kept him going. Frosty was more rough around the edges and felt lost all around. The relationship between Frosty and his wife was heartfelt, what a truly spectacular woman, but I was worried that as his and Jay's relationship bloomed, it almost felt like he was ignoring his own kids a bit. His character does grow throughout the film, but the dark turn things take really is heartbreaking.

The love story between Jay the ocean was every bit as compelling as his love story with Kim. From a High School perspective this flick nailed their situation. They pushed in the whole idea of drugs, peer pressure and bullying as well, but thankfully didn't dwell on any of them. The thug gang didn't do nearly as much damage as I thought they would, and I was impressed by the way Sonny came around at the end. I wasn't too thrilled with the mother/son aspect of Jay's life, especially the cash situation. I figured there was more to it, and realized I was right after watching the deleted scenes.

CHASING MAVERICKS is not just a surfing movie, it's a cool story about a guy with the heart of a champion who's willing to do anything for a dream. There's a lot to take away from this film, from father and son dynamics to broken family issues and even love, but one thing it nails home is how fragile life is and how we need to live as much as we can while we're here and not let anything hold us back. Gerard Butler is best when he's kicking ass and taking names, but his presence here was one I enjoyed and Jay's story isn't one I'll soon forget.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary: Michael Apted, Brandon Hooper and Jim Meenaghan collaborate for the commentary which is definitely worthwhile if you're interested in a deeper look into Jay's amazing life story.

Deleted Scenes: I wasn't a fan of his mother (Elisabeth Shue), and even though my dislike was merely bubbling on the surface, I can see why they cut these scenes as they paint her in an even darker light.

Surf City: Everyone involved insists this film needed to be shot in northern California, needing to keep the places and people as close as possible to the real thing. Looked genuine to me.

Shooting Waves: Another piece on authenticity. The waves and everything that happens in the water were as real as it could get. Again, looked great to me.

Live Like Jay: The cast, crew, family, friends and peers all come out to honor Jay's life and how positive and inspirational a person he was. R.I.P. brother.

Surfer Zen: Surfers say you really need to be out there for yourself to truly understand their relationship with the ocean and I believe it. I'm just too damn petrified to try and experience it.

Previews: There's a theatrical trailer, a handful of other previews as well as an Ultraviolet Copy of the film.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
There aren't many surfing movies out there, and fewer still come off as appealing to non-surfers, but this is a story unlike the rest and a film that encompasses much more than just riding some waves. I would recommend this film to just about anyone.

Extra Tidbit: You were right, Vic, this movie's pretty awesome.
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+0
11:06AM on 03/12/2013
I caught this on a cross-country flight recently. I thought it was gonna suck, turns out to be a nice little drama.
I caught this on a cross-country flight recently. I thought it was gonna suck, turns out to be a nice little drama.
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