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Sahara
DVD disk
Aug 30, 2005 By: Quigles
Sahara order
Director:
Breck Eisner

Actors:
Matthew McConaughey
Steve Zahn
Penelope Cruz

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
An underwater exploring team (leading man Dirk Pitt and wisecracking Al Giordino) attempt to discover the ruins of a battleship that could cross rivers, while at the same time, are on a mission to unravel the secret of a possible plague. Pointless action and ridiculous plot turns follow. Now excuse me while I take a nap. ZZZZZzzzzz.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
SAHARA is INDIANO JONES, minus nearly everything that made those movies so wonderful. The lead is about as charismatic as a loaf of bread, the love interest is duller than dirt, and the plot makes less sense than your mommas arse-hole (ya, I said it wanna fight about it?). The only saving graces for me were the few non-generic action scenes every now and then. Well, that, and Steve Zahn. Whats most surprising is that Zahn is given barely anything to work with, yet is able to create a character actually worth giving a shit about. Plus hes funny as hell. McConaughey on the other hand was flat out boring as the lead, which is made even more pathetic since (according to the DVD extras) he had been fighting for the role since before the script had even been written. Luckily for him though, he has a female love interest thats just as dull, so he doesnt have to worry about being outshone by her.

Nearly all of the movies action scenes follow suit of any standard Hollywood piece of trash, meaning close-up and quick-cut fist fights, lame shoot-outs where the heroes are invulnerable to bullets, as well as pretty much every other action clich you can think of. Because of this, I was particularly pleased when a few really cool action scenes were thrown our way. They were too few and far between, but when they finally managed to surface, they left with a bang. The score also helped jazz things up a bit.

Whats really odd about this flick is that technically, its very well made and structured, despite being laughably ridiculous and overly long. Many of the movies scenes are highly stylized, and admittedly look pretty cool, but it doesnt really amount to much when everything just feels like its been done before, and much better at that. However, if youre the type of person who doesnt care how standard a movie is, or how completely inane and unbelievable the plot is, then maybe SAHARA is for you. If nothing else, you have Zahn to enjoy, and some decent action scenes too. Then again, you probably wont miss much if you skip it.
THE EXTRAS
An above average set of extras given to an extremely average movie.

Commentary (with director Breck Eisner): Surprisingly, this is a very good listen. Eisner details every interesting aspect of the movie, and overall delivers a satisfying commentary. Its very technical, which is good because a much more laid back commentary is also given.

Commentary (with Eisner and McConaughey): I would have much preferred a commentary with Steve Zahn included, but hey what are ya gonna do? The two speakers chat it up in this light, semi-informative commentary. Its not nearly as technical as the previous one, but does deliver some insightful discussion worth listening to.

Across the Sands of Sahara (15:01): This is your standard praise-fest, which although has some nice behind-the-scenes footage and interviews, never really taught me anything I didnt already know, except for maybe that WAY to much effort was put into this flick.

Visualizing Sahara (20:07): Here we have a very interesting piece with information of everything from the basic look of the film, to the visual effects, to the clothing, and so on. Worth checking out.

Cast and Crew Wrap Film (9:45): Think of this like a MTV-style video slideshow of various behind-the-scenes antics of the cast and crew. It doesnt show anything of interest, so it finished with me thinking, What the shit was that?

Deleted Scenes (4:52 with optional commentary): There are four of them. The scenes are basically a minor subplot about the plane, and Zahn being funny. I was mainly surprised to find (in the commentary) the director talking about cutting some of Zahns stuff to keep the pacing of the film up, when I personally thought the first half of the movie just kept repeating itself and deserved some cutting. More of Zahn wouldve just made the movie better, not worse.

There are also 5 Previews.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
SAHARA tries to feel epic and exciting, but it isnt. The majority of actions scenes are standard, and the acting is disappointingly bland. I think its safe to say that Steve Zahn carries this picture. As for the DVD, the extras certainly enhance the flick to possible rental quality, although you should proceed with caution. Know what youre getting yourself into before you check it out, or you may end up tossing your DVD player out the window.
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