Jun 082017

Altitude is the latest in a long line of bad direct-to-video releases, and the newest from Grindstone Entertainment. The plot, and effects for that matter, seemed to come straight from a SyFy original movie.




Genre(s): Action, Thriller
Lionsgate | R – 88 min. – $19.99 | June 20, 2017

Date Published: 06/08/2017 | Author: The Movieman


Directed by: Alex Merkin
Writer(s): Jesse Mittelstadt, Richard Switzer, Tyler W. Konney (story), Jesse Mittelstadt (screenplay)
Cast: Denise Richards, Greer Grammer, Kirk Barker, Jordi Vilasuso, Chuck Liddell, Dolph Lundgren
Features: Trailer
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, English, Spanish
Disc Size: 22.9 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A


THE MOVIE — 1.5/5

Note: This review contains plot SPOILERS so reader’s beware!

Gretchen Blair (DENISE RICHARDS) is a disgraced hostage negotiator who, upon the film’s opening, does something truly stupid raising the ire of her boss. She’s kicked off the team and sent packing back to D.C. where she’s destined to sit behind a desk for the remainder of her career.

On the flight to D.C., after an altercation with another passenger who was in her seat, she’s actually upgraded to business class, sitting next to a British man named Terry (KIRK BAKER), whose woos and charms have no effect on her. But upon seeing another passenger, Matthew Sharpe (DOLPH LUNDGREN), his demeanor changes and offers Gretchen $50 million to help keep him alive as his ex-partners, including his ex Sadie (GREER GRAMMER) is also on the flight disguised as a flight attendant, as well as a few brutes (one played by CHUCK LIDDELL).

Initially Gretchen doesn’t believe him but once she discovers the dead body of another flight attendant, the shit gets real and now she’s set to not only save Terry but the rest of the passengers with the aid of the on board Air Marshall, Luke Byres (JORDI VILASUSO), who is more or less a rookie. Luckily Gretchen just so happened to have trained for hostage situations on this very model of an plane thus knows it like the back of her hand. What luck.

Altitude is more or less Turbulence meets Passenger 57 with lesser actors, worse writing (somehow as Turbulence was an awful film) and, thanks to what had to have been a shoe-string budget, featured Asylum/SyFy level visual effects. But even if one was to ignore or forgive the movie for its lack of budget, there’s really not much else to admire. Denise Richards isn’t exactly a compelling heroine; Kirk Baker lacks charm to make him likeable enough to root for him; Greer Grammer (daughter of Kelsey Grammer) has her moments playing a crazy ass villainous but does nothing memorable where even her death scene was lame; and Dolph Lundgren spends the majority of the time in the cockpit flying the plane and only has one real fight scene and is just a cardboard cutout of an antagonist. Oh, and Chuck Liddell, despite featured on the cover, really has nothing to do so any fans might want to take that into consideration.

The film was directed by Alex Merkin who previously directed Across the Hall which, from my recollection, a half decent little thriller that was making the most out of a small budget, the same can’t be said for Altitude. As such, this isn’t the worst film I’ve seen, even this year, and I can’t say I was disappointed either as based on the cover artwork, it was exactly what I expected…



This release comes with a title-embossed slip cover. Only feature is the Trailer (1:42; HD).

PreviewsAftermath, Extortion, Isolation, Arsenal, Marauders


VIDEO – 3.5/5

Altitude is presented with a 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. The picture quality isn’t terrible as there is sharp detail; colors were decent especially on the plane as we get a splattering of blues onboard while skin tones appear natural looking. The downside is, there were noticeable instances of extreme banding and being high-def, the computer graphics while the plane is flying looked particularly bad.

AUDIO – 3.25/5

The movie has a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track where dialogue levels were clear enough and even the ambient noises of the aircraft in air comes through the rear channels, however depth is inconsistent and when the action picks up, it’s rather dampened. On the whole, it’s a basic lossless track and probably was limited with some below average sound design in post.


OVERALL – 2.0/5

Overall, Altitude is the latest in a long line of bad direct-to-video releases, and the newest from Grindstone Entertainment. The plot, and effects for that matter, seemed to come straight from a SyFy original movie. The Blu-ray released by Lionsgate is light on features while the video/audio transfers were average.





Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>