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CROCODILE HUNTER:  COLLISION COURSE

Review by Chastity Campbell

Stars: Steve Irwin, Terri Irwin
Director: John Stainton
Audio: 5.1 Dolby Digital, 2.0 Dolby Digital French/Spanish
Video: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Studio: MGM
Features: See Review
Length: 89 Minutes
Release Date: December 17, 2002

“Crikey, he’s a big bloke!”

Film **

“Look at the size of her, ain’t she a beauty!”  No, Steve Irwin, the infamous Crocodile Hunter isn’t talking about his wife, Terri, he’s talking about the 7 foot long Croc that he’s just dove into the water to wrestle to the surface and relocate!   

Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course is a DVD release that most younger kids or families with younger kids can relax and enjoy.   It’s good clean family fun…well, unless you count the number of times poor Steve and his wife are covered in muck, mud, sand, and grit; then it gets pretty dirty! 

The plot is a bit complicated and overly dramatic at times, but in the end we all learn some valuable lessons about animals, nature, and Vegemite!

Our Outback adventure begins when a satellite orbiting the earth explodes and a beacon that was housed inside to take top-secret photos plummets to earth and lands pretty much in the jaws of a huge crocodile.  Now Mr. Crocodile thinks this is a tasty treat, so he gobbles it up.   Steve and his wife Terri hog tie and prepare to relocate this huge croc because he’s been stirring up all kinds of trouble for people trying to use the water source where he has chosen to live.

Along the way, Steve and Terri find a baby Joey, a huge hairy spider, a very poisonous snake (that almost takes a bite out of Steve), and some poachers.   Are they poachers, or are they secret under cover CIA agents trying to locate the beacon?   They are agents, but Steve mistakes them for poachers which leads to a few awkward and laughable moments.  There is a bit of trickery going on, as one of the agents is really there to foil the other two, and you get to see a bit of hair brained scheming that leaves one high in the air, and the other two not so dry! 

There’s a very mild mannered wild life officer played by David Wenham, who as a side story, is teamed with Brozzie Drewitt, a ticked off cow farmer who wants to kill the big croc but almost becomes his dinner.   He spits her out, though…seems she’s a tough old bird!  

As I said before, this movie is a good clean family type film that, with it’s positive inflections regarding the environment, conservation, and respecting animals’ natural habitats, allows you to relax and enjoy it as a family without having to cover the kids ears, or make them leave the room.   If you’re a Steve Irwin fan, you’ll love this movie, if you’re not, then you probably won’t be able to appreciate it to the extent it was meant! 

The film itself was shot from Steve and Terri’s point of view, much like his show on Animal Planet.  The scenes with the Poachers/CIA Agents and wildlife officer are all done movie style.   The switching between styles isn’t too bothersome, although the formatting for Steve and Terri’s scenes were separately boxed and tended to make you want to scoot closer in order to see everything. 

I would recommend seeing this movie if for no other reason than to hear the way Steve talks!  He’s a riot with his enthusiasm and excitement, and you’ll get swept right along with them as you view this DVD.  

Video ***

The video quality of this 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer was brilliant.  All of the landscapes and river shots were full of colors, and tones that came across really well.  There were no visible blemishes that I could detect, and the editing was wonderful.  

The only problem I had was the use of what I would call mini-boxing when Steve and Terri were onscreen.  All of their scenes were filmed in mini-box while the rest of the scenes were filmed in widescreen formatting.   It wasn’t a real problem and didn’t detract from the over all look and feel, but it was a little annoying. 

Audio ***

 

The audio on this one was really nice and crisp.  When Steve got close to a croc, you could hear the blooming thing breathing.   The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix was well balanced and gave you a real time feeling when they were out on the boat and all the natural sounds were present.   Very nice combination of what I’m sure were real life sounds effects and studio effects.  You could hardly tell the difference at any given time.   

All audio and dialogue were easily discernable, and at no time were there any dips of digital clips.  

Features ****

This DVD was loaded with features, interactive menus, games you can play with your DVD remote and more.

The first featurette is the “Making-Of Documentary”.  It takes a behind the scenes look at all the blood, sweat, and fears that went into making this movie.

“Lights! Camera! Animals!” gives you a good look at how they got the crocodiles, and all the other animals involved in filming to do what they did so well. 

There are a host of deleted scenes all explained, and explored by director John Stainton. You’ll get to see the stuff that was cut from the film, as well as a simplified answer as to why it was cut.

The behind the scenes effects footage shows you how the stunts you’ll see in the film were done with little to no bruising.  Yeah, right tell that to Steve…in one scene both knees are bloody and his elbow is bandaged!

There’s a photo gallery completely filled with photos from the set at the zoo as well as some taken while filming in the Outback.  The original theater release trailer and television teaser trailer for this movie are included on the disc as well.  

The Baha Men Music Video Pop-Up Croc Track is included and I’m sure you’ll recognize the song easily enough.  It’s a re-make of the very old and popular Crocodile Rock song!

I’ve saved my favorite feature for last because I just thought this one was so cool.   It’s the Outback Interactive Games that you can play with your DVD remote.   You get to answer trivia questions about animals and the Irwins.  You can play a game where you’re in a plane and dropping dynamite on poachers.  There’s even one where you pick your path through the Outback and answer questions along the way to get to the final location and save the crocodile from poachers.  It is so cool, and whether you’re five or fifty, it’s a neat little thing to have on a DVD.

Summary:

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Bloke or a Sheila; you’ll be able to find something about this DVD to enjoy.  So get your gear together and hit the trail mate, you’re huntin’ DVDs!