Plot: What’s it about?
Bryan (Ryan Browning) and his brother Will (A.J. Buckley) have always loved to get wild, especially when their friends Corey (Dante Basco) and Matt (Derek Hamilton) were around. The four friends would do anything to have fun, even it involved a little risk and some kind of injury, as they simply loved the rush. When Corey’s grandfather was around, he would take part in these adventures and even come up with all news ones, making him an instant hero to all four youngsters and a true part of their team. Even years later as the four leave college, they’ve retained their love for extreme sports and while Corey’s grandfather hasn’t been around in a while, they all remember him and still think fondly of him. After all four worked low level jobs to save cash, they embark on a road trip to end all road trips, but while surfing in Mexico, word arrives that Corey’s grandfather has passed on. This prompts a change in plans, as now the friends head toward Yakima to pay their respects. But little do they know that this alternate road trip will offer more fun, wild times, and memorable moments than they’ve ever dreamed of…
As this movie is based on the recent “extreme” sports craze, I was doubtful it would be tolerable, though it still seemed to be worth a look. As it turns out, the film has ample footage of skateboarding, surfing, motocross racing, and assorted other “extreme” sports, but it winds up as a decent, often quite good road trip movie. I do wish more focus was on the storyline instead of the obvious stand-ins performing the sports stunts, but Extreme Days has some humorous moments and provides solid entertainment. As a Providence production, it has Christian themes and values throughout, but the filmmakers never force the message and this approach is highly effective, as it informs and entertains. I know some will be driven off because of the Christian message, but rest assured, this is not the usual Christian produced picture. It has elements of crude humor, wild sports scenes, and just lots of fun moments, with the message delivered in small, but noticeable doses throughout. As long as they’re not a closed minded person, fans of road trip movies & “extreme” sports should give Extreme Days a look.
It could be because she’s the sole female within the major cast members, but Cassidy Rae stood out to me as the most memorable performer of Extreme Days. It wasn’t hard for Rae to stand out, since she has stellar good looks and tremendous screen presence, though she isn’t given a whole lot to work with here. I was pleased to see her character expand and deepen at times, especially as she becomes more of a real part of the group, which is a natural, well executed process, to be sure. Her character has ideals and morals, but she doesn’t push them on others, so she comes off as a strong willed & dedicated, yet not overbearing person. In truth, this is the kind of character more Christian funded films need, as it shows that one can hold those values in high esteem, but also be a fun, likable person. Other films with Rae include Evolver, Lying Eyes, Journey of the Heart, and the Tv series Models Inc. The cast also includes Dante Basco (Hook, But I’m a Cheerleader), A.J. Buckley (The Forsaken, The In Crowd), and Derek Hamilton (Out Cold, Disturbing Behavior).
Video: How does it look?
Extreme Days is presented in a 1.85:1 widescreen transfer, which is not enhanced for widescreen televisions. I was pleased with the visuals on the whole, though an anamorphic treatment would have been welcome, of course. The print has some minor scuffs and debris, but nothing that’s too serious, so no real complaints there. Some scenes were filmed on a handheld camcorder and it shows, but aside from those scenes and some with stock footage, the image here is terrific. The colors are bold and vibrant, which is vital here, as the visuals are soaked in bright hues. I saw no troubles with flesh tones either, while black levels look accurate and refined at all times. As I mentioned, I do wish Spartan would have made this anamorphic, but aside from that, this is a great looking visual presentation.
Audio: How does it sound?
This movie might be extreme, but the included Dolby Digital 5.1 track isn’t, instead it settles for simply acceptable. As expected, the rock soundtrack opens up the surrounds and adds some spice to the experience, but aside from that, there’s not much to discuss. A few scenes have a small amount of surround presence, but even than it isn’t too impressive, just low impact stuff to enhance depth somewhat. The dialogue is clean and sharp however, with no errors in the least to bring up here. This disc also includes a 2.0 surround option, as well as subtitles in English and Spanish, should you need those.
Supplements: What are the extras?
An audio commentary is the main attraction, as four cast members provide behind the scenes anecdotes and such. The session is brisk and humorous, as the cast members reveal some of the more entertaining stories, as well as talk about the film’s stunts, characters, and overall messages. This disc also includes a twenty-five minute featurette, some talent files, a PAX217 music video, a television spot, and the film’s theatrical trailer. The "Promotional Material" included houses the trailer, a short featurette on how to survive the Blade II video game a theatrical press kit and a music video by Cypress Hill "Child of the Wild West". All in all, it’s a rather good movie complimented by a substantial amount of supplements. This, however, is what we want so no complaining out of me! Fans of the movie and genre will be more than satisfied.