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Monday, June 24, 2024

Point Break (4K UHD Review)


The Film
The Video (Overall)
HDR Effect
The Audio
The Supplements


A rookie FBI agent infiltrates a group of Southern California surfers suspected of being a bank robbery gang known as "The Ex-Presidents" due to their masks.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

The year before directing Point Break, Kathryn Bigelow had directed the crime thriller Blue Steel. The former is a step down in intelligent filmmaking but a step up in the available canvas for the then still up and coming filmmaker who would go on to direct such films as The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty.

Keanu Reeves plays rookie FBI agent Johnny Utah assigned to partner with veteran Gary Busey’s Agent Pappas. A string of bank robberies in Southern California by a gang wearing masks of the ex-presidents Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, Carter, and Reagan, has Reeves going undercover to infiltrate a group of surfers whom Pappas is convinced are responsible for the robberies. Reeves gets too close to the group’s leader, the surfing guru and adrenalin junkie Bodhi, played by Patrick Swayze, and also becomes romantically involved with Bodhi’s ex-girlfriend.

There is nothing in Point Break to get your brain working too hard. You’ll realize this from one of the opening lines when John C. McGinley’s Ben Harp tells Reeve’s Johnny Utah that he’s “young, dumb, and full of c*m”. Yeah, that is the kind of film we are in for. Bigelow gives us a testosterone fueled journey of football on the beach, riding big waves and skydiving, filled with bad choices, some plots holes, and decisions by characters that will have you scratching your head. But, you know what? It is sunny, shirts are off, the action is good, and Keanu Reeves sounds like an authentic surfer dude.

  • Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves in Point Break (1991)
  • Lori Petty in Point Break (1991)
  • Point Break (1991)
  • Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves in Point Break (1991)
  • Point Break 4K Ultra HD Combo (Shout! Studios)
  • Point Break 4K Ultra HD Combo (Shout! Studios)

The Video

Point Break arrives on 4K Ultra HD from a new master and restoration from a 2023 4K scan of the interpositive in Dolby Vision. Encoded in 2.35:1 HEVC 2160p (4K UHD), it looks pretty good, but perhaps not as good as it could have had it come from the original negative. The grain is a little coarser, the dynamic range a little more squeezed, and the overall brightness a little dimmer than it could have been. That said, it looks natural and organic, with very little issues with source damage. The specular highlights have some decent ‘pop,’ but they do not necessarily look three-dimensional. In the scene where the ex-presidents set the car on fire at the gas station, for instance, the flames standout out nicely and show a bit of some extra color gradations. There is good sparkle in the water droplets during the surfing scenes as well.

The Audio

The original audio mix for Point Break was Dolby SR in the theaters and it comes to this 4K Ultra HD Combo release with English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0 stereo mixes. The 5.1 has a lot of ambience and atmospherics. This is not the sort of mix you might hear for a film like this today, but it works. The low end for the massive waves – which surround you as they rush through – is pretty good, but it is a big, bombastic low end that staggers and rattles. It is deep enough to be believable and to feel the action and that is good. The dialogue has just a little clipping in some spots but is generally the good with natural dynamics. The early 1990s rock soundtrack is a little thin with a little bit of a tizzy sounding high end, but it blends well.

The Supplements

The included bonus features are all archival featurettes and some deleted scenes of extremely poor visual quality. Trailers and a gallery are also included.

Bonus Features (Blu-ray Only):

  • Additional Scenes (1080p; 00:04:35)
  • “Adrenaline Junkies” Featurette (1080p; 00:06:01)
  • “It’s Make or Break” Featurette (1080p; 00:23:03)
  • “On Location: Malibu” Featurette (1080p; 00:08:32)
  • “Ride the Wave” Featurette (1080p; 00:06:08)
  • Theatrical Trailers (1080p; 00:04:14)
  • Still Gallery (1080p)

The Final Assessment

Point Break was not one of my favorite films in the 1990s, but it is a decent popcorn film that delivers some satisfying visuals and great action sequences. Just turn off your mind, pop some corn and chill.

Point Break (Collector’s Edition) is out on 4K Ultra HD Combo December 5, 2023, from Shout Studios.

  • Rating Certificate: R (for violence, language and brief nudity)
  • Studios & Distributors: Largo Entertainment | JVC Entertainment Networks | Shout! Studios
  • Director: Kathryn Bigelow
  • Written By: Rick King | W. Peter Iliff
  • Run Time: 122 Mins.
  • Street Date: 5 December 2023
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Video Format: HEVC 2160p (4K UHD)
  • HDR Format: Dolby Vision (HDR10 Compatible)
  • HDR10 Metadata:
    • MaxLL: 1007 nits
    • MaxFALL: 408 nits
    • Minimum Luminance: 0.0001 nits
  • Primary Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1
  • Secondary Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Stereo
  • Subtitles: English SDH

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A rookie FBI agent infiltrates a group of Southern California surfers suspected of being a bank robbery gang known as "The Ex-Presidents" due to their masks.Point Break (4K UHD Review)