The Perfect Storm - Rescues (2000)
Review by Dindrane

Produced by Susan O'Connor Fraser & Connie Segreto
Narrated by Richard Gebhardt and Truitt Blassingham

Rating: NR

Anamorphic: N/A

My Advice: Rent it.

The Perfect Storm: Rescues presents films of amazing sea rescues--some successful, some tragic--along with a documentary about what it takes to become a Coast Guard rescuer. Viewers will see footage from various events when the sea attempted to claim a ship and her crew. From waves reaching upwards of one hundred feet to icy water and freezing temperatures, the rescuers and victims of storms and accidents must face incredible conditions to keep body and soul together.

Part One presents the footage itself, showing on-the-scene views of storms and rescues that will amaze you. There are six different rescues of people from ships, including one in an ice field; most of the ships are fishing vessels that are too overloaded and start to sink--a great message in favor of vegetarianism or at least less consumerism and greed. Part Two shows how rescuers are trained by the Coast Guard.

The audio and video quality is understandably uneven, given that much of this disc is recycled film shot by actual U.S. Coast Guard boats during rescues. Yet, even when the camera lens is covered with raindrops or jerking about in storm-tossed seas, youíll always be able to see the action. The editing was done carefully so that youíll be able to tell what is going on, even when you canít hear much but cryptic orders, raging seas, or sputtering engines.

There are no extras on this disc, unless you could the documentary about the training of the rescuers, which is not, of course, a rescue itself. It would have been nice to have had more than six rescues, but perhaps those are the only ones for which the Coast Guard has clear film. It really is too bad that only these six are covered, even though the chosen rescues are quite interesting.

Anyone who enjoyed the film The Perfect Storm will appreciate this DVD. It has all the action--and since itís real, itís even more exciting. The rescues are very interesting and engaging, so anyone interested in boats, the sea, or rescue personnel will enjoy watching this film. Children will probably be fascinated by the undersea footage, especially, though theyíll also like the energy of the rescues and the tension of not knowing whether or not the boat in question or the entire crew will be saved. The disc overall is a wonderful lesson in avoiding greed, as many of the ships that sink are overloaded fishing vessels with overworked crews trying to make one more buck before heading home. Sensitive souls will be very distraught by some scenes, given that real people are losing their lives on occasion, but will be relieved to know that most of the rescues are successful.

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