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20th Century Fox presents
Frostbite (2004)

Billy Wagstaff: I admit, when I first got here, I was a jerk. I--I was trying to be someone that I'm not, and I was wrong.
Gash: Yeah, well, something most of us learned in the fourth grade, but, please go on.

- Adam Grimes, Mat Schwartz

Review By: Nate Meyers   
Published: February 14, 2005

Stars: Adam Grimes, Carmen Nicole, Peter Jason, Phil Morris, Traci Lords
Other Stars: Baelyn Neff, Oliver Macready, Ron Zimmerman, Christian Oliver, Gus Farewell, Rick Overton, Matt Baker, Kareem Matthews, Troy Bellinghausen, Mat Schwartz, Adam Crosby, Suzanne Stokes, Buffy Tyler, Nicole O'Brian, Kimberly Choma, Nicole Bennett
Director: Jonathan Schwartz

MPAA Rating: R for sexual content including nudity and dialogue, language, crude humor, some drug use
Run Time: 01h:22m:53s
Release Date: February 15, 2005
UPC: 024543167006
Genre: comedy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
F FD+C+ D

DVD Review

I knew sitting down to watch Frostbite that it was going to be bad. Really, how good can a low budget comedy about a Venice Beach druggie who enters into a snowboarding academy be? The only problem is, "bad" is too generous a term for this; anybody will know going in how everything turns out before the first frame flickers up on the screen, and the 83 minutes that elapse before the movie's conclusion should rank high on the UN's torture list.

Billy Wagstaff (Adam Grimes) leaves his meaningless life in California after being accepted to Pine Mountain Academy. His bestfriend, Casey (Carmen Nicole), comes with him for the obvious fact (well, that is, obvious to everybody but the two of them—wow, that's original!) that she loves him. They arrive in Schittville—that's about as clever as the script gets—where they meet an odd assortment of doped-up snowboarders, a sleazy, blind real estate man (Ron Zimmerman), and the proprietor of a coffee shop, Naomi (Traci Lords). I might not be ethically allowed to say this, since the majority of her work is illegal and unseen by me, but Lords' performance here suggests that her best work is behind her.

Continuing on with the story, Billy is immediately hated for no apparent reason by the rest of the students at the academy. Even worse, however, is the disapproval of the academy's founder, Colonel Jaffe (Peter Jason), towards Billy's flashy snowboarding moves. If he doesn't care for Billy's snowboarding style, why did the Colonel admit him in the first place? Not surprisingly, the Colonel kicks Billy out of school, which leads to Billy uniting with the true inventor of snowboarding, a seemingly schizophrenic alcoholic named J.P. (Phil Morris). The two devise a scheme to win back the mountain from the evil Colonel Jaffe. I can only suspect that director Jonathan Schwartz pointlessly includes footage of Hawaiian Tropic and Playboy models throughout the movie in hopes of distracting adolescent males from the stupidity of this plot, thereby suckering them into renting this for parties.

The stupidity of the plot is not the problem here, however. Inane comedies like Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle are every bit as idiotic, but there's a creative energy that results in big laughs. Meanwhile, Frostbite goes from one plot device to another, only pausing for the gratuitous erection joke and the clumsiest attacks on the Bush Administration this side of Bill Maher. The snowboarding scenes are dull and the required bar room brawl is horribly handled.

As bad as the filmmaking is, the acting is even worse. It's tough to believe there's a diamond in the rough among the young actors here, especially with Adam Grimes. His performance is over-the-top and bland simultaneously. Yet the low point comes from veteran Peter Jason as the Colonel. Admittedly, he doesn't have much to work with here (there's only so much one can do when pretending to masturbate with a bazooka), but his clichéd "military mad man" is an insult to all the brave soldiers in uniform.

Considering the quality of this movie, there's only one positive thing I can say: at least it's over.

Rating for Style: F
Rating for Substance: F

 

Image Transfer

 OneTwo
Aspect Ratio1.78:1 - Widescreen1.33:1 - P&S
Original Aspect Ratioyesno
Anamorphicyesno


Image Transfer Review: Both the original 1.78:1 aspect ratio and a pan-and-scan transfer can be found on this DVD, with each getting the single layer treatment on opposite sides of the disc. The image is dull, with a lot of mosquito noise and artifacting throughout. Colors are lifeless and contrast is only average. Depth is unnoticeable in the image and the detail is weak, only adding to the aggravation of having watched this movie.

Image Transfer Grade: D+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is also uninspired. Mostly the surround speakers are used for the soundtrack of currently popular songs, which results in this being a front heavy mix. Some sound separation and directionality occurs, but only on occasion and nothing that is memorable. Dialogue is easily audible—now, only if it were worth listening to.

Audio Transfer Grade: C+

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 20 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
4 Deleted Scenes
1 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
2-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: On the first side of the disc are four deleted scenes. Blind Danny at Naomibucks (02m:32s), Blind Danny's Spitball Flashback (01h:34s), and Blind Danny's Proposal (02m:17s) all add onto existing scenes with the blind real estate dealer mentioned earlier. The fourth, J.P. Back in the Day (03m:12s) is a continuation of J.P.'s big speech about the history of snowboarding. All of them play in anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen and contribute nothing to the movie, so were wisely cut.

On the second side of the disc, there is a featurette, Frostbite: The Making of... (07m:06s), which amounts to little more than a publicity piece for the movie. There's some behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the cast, but it's tough to tell if they're joking. One of the girls talks about how she aspires to be a Hawaiian Tropic girl and Ron Zimmerman compares the movie to Spartacus. I certainly hope that these are jokes. Either way, like Frostbite itself, these features aren't of much value.

Extras Grade: D

 

Final Comments

The front cover of the DVD warns, "SNOWBOARDING HAS NEVER BEEN THIS HOT!" A more accurate warning would read, "VIEWING THIS FILM MAY CAUSE BRAIN DAMAGE." The image transfer is lifeless and below average quality, as is the sound mix. Extras are scarce, which in a way is a plus because it indicates this movie will be forgotten relatively quickly.

 


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