Straight Up: Helicopters in Action
Review by Ross Anthony

Up in the Swiss Alps, an avalanche buries an occupied auto. A rescue helicopter lands in imperfect conditions to dig them out. "If you have to go to the hospital, the best way is by helicopter."

After this beaming intro., the film nestles into a shot of a helicopter hovering just a meter off the ground. Taking up the area of the huge screen, it's easy to see the operator and how the levers and pedals control blade angle and craft direction. This short lesson proves interesting and we move on to varying helicopters on the job: Comanche, smuggler catchers, tilt-rotors and my personal favorite -- high powerline repair. The repairmen crawl out of the copter directly onto the high voltage wires donning cloaks of woven steel. Simply, fascinating. And then the Logging coptors lift huge planks into the air. The filmmakers mount that big LF camera on one of those logs -- so we feel like we're picked up by the copter and taken for a ride. Then the nature glide, hovering behind the endangered black rhino of South Africa. "Straight up" rounds out helicopter functions with a coast guard rescue.

Given the current world situation, the combat sequence may not play well with various audiences, but this film certainly gets off the ground with a strong share of "IMAX Moments."

  • Straight Up: Helicopters in Action. Copyright © 2003.
  • Narrated by Martin Sheen.
  • Directed by David Douglas.
  • Produced by SK Films.


Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit: RossAnthony.com

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:54:32 PDT