Air Blu-ray Review
The world has been destroyed and most everyone with it. Deep inside a bunker, two men wake up from a type of cryogenic sleep. The time clicks up to 90 minutes and starts ticking down. The two men quickly get to work checking computer gauges and changing air filters. They are technical custodians, who awaken after months at a time. They are given a specific amount of time with breathable air to make sure a crew of the worlds specialists remain unharmed in their cryogenic sleep.
AIR is fascinating idea that I think might work better as a short story. The science fiction surrounding the human nature story is generally an appealing one. The lack of knowledge of why, when and how the world became full of toxic air is unnecessary to the core story and the filmmakers make a point to treat that as the background rather than the focus. The minimal use of the outside adds to the lonely, claustrophobic setting. Small rooms and long halls all covered in plastic sealing what limited air our characters have adds to the overall constrained fear.
The problem is everything within the 94 minute film, could have been condensed to about a half an hour. AIR stretches on beyond its reach. I loved the minimalist approach but it felt as if they realized the material was too light in the editing room, keeping longer takes than necessary of the characters walking around just to reach the qualification for a feature film.
Norman Reedus (“The Walking Dead”) and Djimon Hounsou (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY) play the two custodians, Bauer and Cartwright. While I like both actors, I wish they would have been given more to work with. Adding the hope of greatness, “The Walking Dead” producers David Alpert and Robert Kirkman add their names to the producing credits. Director and writer Christian Cantamessa constructs an interesting world with two amazing actors, but doesn’t give AIR anything to do beyond that. In a story where clean air is limited and time is of the essence, the characters meander on through lengthened shots and repetitive dialogue. The pace would be better suited to emulate the urgency within the story. Instead, the pace breathes too comfortably with big deep breaths in a film where the struggle should be tighter and quicker.
My biggest difficulty with AIR, is that it was very close to being something much more. The entire setup and premise is completely compelling but the ultimate action and dialogue lack captivation. I wish I liked AIR because I respect its minimal efforts. Unfortunately it was too minimal in material to be considered a feature film.
Video: (MPEG-4 AVC 1080p, 2.38:1) The dark gray tones clearly reveal the bleakness of the situation
Audio: (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) Not much sound do to the story and environment but everything is heard clearly.
An Account of Confinement: Creating Air (8:02): This is a more detailed look at the story, production and filming of AIR. Many of the people involved explain the origins and what they were going for or mood they were trying to create in the film
The Custodians (7:10): This is a more in depth look at Bauer and Cartwright as told by Norman Reeds and Djimon Hounsou.