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Blu-Ray : One to Avoid
Ranking:
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Release Date: January 18th, 2011 Movie Release Year: 1993

Fire on the Amazon

Overview -

In Bolivia’s Amazon basin, massive deforestation and industrial greed threatens to destroy the lush jungle. When a well-known environmental activist begins to investigate this impending disaster, he is assassinated. American photojournalist R.J. (Craig Sheffer, Nightbreed, “One Tree Hill”, “Psych”), and the activist’s assistant Alyssa Rothman (Bullock, The Blind Side, Speed) join forces to find out who committed this crime, and will find themselves falling in love…and into danger.

OVERALL:
One to Avoid
Rating Breakdown
STORY
VIDEO
AUDIO
SPECIAL FEATURES
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
25GB Blu-ray Disc
Video Resolution/Codec:
1080p/MPEG-4 AVC
Length:
78
Aspect Ratio(s):
1.85:1
Audio Formats:
English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Surround Sound
Subtitles/Captions:
English
Special Features:
Trailer
Release Date:
January 18th, 2011

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

Ranking:

I think I'm well within my rights to wonder how in the world Sandra Bullock went on to become such a big star after she did 'Fire on the Amazon.' Keep in mind that this is after she appeared in 'Demolition Man,' so she wasn't a nobody. She went from gallivanting with the likes of Wesley Snipes and Sylvester Stallone to slumming it in the jungle with some dude named RJ.

From beginning to end 'Fire on the Amazon' feels like a really bad student project that somehow has the budget to film in the rainforest.

The plot isn't quite clear, but it involves RJ (Craig Sheffer) who is a photographer who's been sent down to Bolivia to document the region's unrest. The unrest is because developers are tearing down the forests where the native people live. The natives protest, RJ becomes involved. Thinking that there's an underlying motive to this whole deforestation thing going on, RJ recruits Alyssa Rothman (Bullock) to help him investigate what's really happening.

As is always the case, the big corporation has evil motives behind what they're doing and they send out their endless supply of henchmen to do their evil bidding.

RJ and Alyssa fall in love. Hot, steamy, slightly awkward love. Bullock and Sheffer are involved in the most nonsensical sex scene I've ever seen filmed. For no apparent reason these two have all of a sudden fallen for each other. It may be because they were drugged at the native fire ceremony. Isn't that always the case? Get drugged at an Indian celebration, and the next thing you know you're waking up next to Sandra Bullock after you just made sticky, uncomfortable love to her. That sex scene still gives me the heebie-jeebies just thinking about it.

The entire movie is horribly acted, from the top down. This is one of those films where you can swear that the actors are reading cue cards that are placed slightly off screen.

I'm sure Bullock wants to forget all about this movie. It makes her work in the 'Miss Congeniality' franchise look Oscar-worthy.

This is just a painful cinematic experience all around. The plot about the local Indians and their struggle with The Man lumbers along at a sloth's pace. It's hard to not hit stop and just find a better movie.

Why this rock-bottom catalog release even saw the light of day on Blu-ray is unfathomable. In short I wouldn't wish 'Fire on the Amazon' on my worst enemy.

Video Review

Ranking:

Anchor Bay brings 'Fire on the Amazon' to Blu-ray with a serviceable 1080p AVC-encoded transfer. It isn't the most amazing catalog presentation you'll ever see, but it does get the job done so to speak.

Fine detail is actually presented pretty well here. Even though some of the faces have that all-too-familiar scrubbed look to them, you can still see facial wrinkles, facial hair, and beads of sweat. Colors are well rendered also, with deep dark greens taking over as most of the movie takes place in the Bolivian jungles.

Blacks aren't as great as they could be. They're rather crushing most of the time, especially during the party and subsequent out-of-this-world weird love scene between the two leads. Shadows don't add much depth and dimensionality to the picture and leave it looking pretty flat when darkness creeps in. Softness aside, this seems like a functional, but ultimately forgettable Blu-ray transfer.

Audio Review

Ranking:

This is one of those audio tracks that lacks any sort of depth. Everything happens on the surface, creating a very hollow, canned sound. The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio presentation is a pretty sparse affair. Dialogue sounds tinny and whiny. Sound effects sound empty. The surrounds are almost completely silent save a few cawing birds or whooping village people. The soundtrack sounds like it's playing from a rusty old cassette.

LFE does pop up every now and then when the bulldozers roar to life and start knocking down the forest. As trees crumble to the ground, a fair amount of bass can be felt. The intermittent occasions when the lower frequencies decide to kick in are the best sounding parts of the movie. Everything else is irritatingly below par.

Special Features

Ranking:
  • Trailer — The trailer is included.

Final Thoughts

What a turd! Let's just forget that this movie and its unbelievably unsexy sex scene ever existed. There's no reason to watch this Blu-ray either, because it's video and audio don't really offer anything in the way of entertainment. You must skip over this one. I command you.