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Sanctum [DVD]

Richard Roxburgh , Rhys Wakefield , Alister Grieirson    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)
Price: £3.55 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Sanctum [DVD] + The Adjustment Bureau [DVD] [2011]
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Product details

  • Actors: Richard Roxburgh, Rhys Wakefield, Alice Parkinson, Dan Wyllie, Christopher Baker
  • Directors: Alister Grieirson
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: None
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Audio Description: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Universal Pictures UK
  • DVD Release Date: 13 Jun 2011
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004G5Z0DM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,839 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Sanctum, the epic underwater adventure from three-time Academy Award®-winning executive producer James Cameron (Avatar, Titanic), follows a team of underwater cave divers on a treacherous expedition to the largest, most beautiful and least accessible cave system on Earth. When a tropical storm forces them deep into the caverns, they must fight raging water, deadly terrain and creeping panic as they search for an unknown escape route to the sea.

Master diver Frank McGuire (Richard Roxburgh of Moulin Rouge!, Mission: Impossible II) has explored the South Pacific’s Esa’ala caves for months. But when his exit is cut off in a flash flood, Frank’s key team—including 17-year-old son Josh (Rhys Wakefield of The Black Balloon, Broken Hill) and financier Carl Hurley (Ioan Gruffudd of Fantastic Four series, W.)—is forced to radically alter plans.

With dwindling supplies, the crew—including Carl’s girlfriend, Victoria (Alice Parkinson of Where the Wild Things Are, X-Men Origins: Wolverine), and Crazy George (Dan Wyllie of Muriel’s Wedding, Chopper)—must navigate an underwater labyrinth to make it out. Soon, they are confronted with the unavoidable question: Can they survive, or will they be trapped forever?

Special Features:
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Feature Commentary
  • Sanctum: The Real Story

From Amazon.co.uk

If there's an undersea adventure with high-tech equipment, macho posturing, and lots of underwater photography, you know James Cameron must be swimming around the vicinity. Add the fact that Sanctum was released to theaters in 3-D, and it's clinched. Cameron served as executive producer to this crazy tale of a cave-diving expedition forced to improvise when a typhoon inundates their New Guinea location. (The film, shot in Australia, is allegedly based on a true event by co-screenwriter Andrew Wight, but it might be safe to conclude that the original incident was a jumping-off point for the high melodrama on display here.) A globetrotting billionaire (Ioan Gruffudd, of Fantastic Four) is underwriting this exploration of a hidden cave maze, which explains why he gets to bring his girlfriend (Alice Parkinson) along. As a measure of their thrill-seeking habits, we are told they met on an Everest climb. The cave-diving boss is a crusty old pro (Richard Roxburgh), who is rough on his underlings and even rougher on his teenage son (Rhys Wakefield); naturally, the cataclysm that follows will be an occasion for some extreme father-son fence mending. As cornball as these elements are, and as generally toneless as director Alister Grierson's ear is with the dialogue scenes, Sanctum does work up some bona fide thrills: the sheer power of water is unleashed at a few memorable spots, as is the panic of losing an oxygen tank at a crucial moment. It's also pretty brutal, with a steep body count and a few grotesque bits of bodily injury. It ought to be easy to dismiss Sanctum as a silly piece of boy's adventure, but--curse you, Cameron!--one must admit that the thing is awfully effective. --Robert Horton

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Darth Maciek TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
The title of this excellent film is particularly well chosen, as "sanctum" means a secret place known only to few people and also a sacred or holy area. This film tells the story of a group of people who are forced by circumstances to enter such a place - and then try desperately to find a way out... This review contains some limited SPOILERS.

Produced by James Cameron this film contains some elements which remind of his own films: masterful use of lights and shadows, a predisposition for blue and gray, some very dramatic fast happening scenes. It was however directed by an Australian director, Alister Grierson, who made only one film before, "Kokoda" (a rather good war movie). With the exception of Ioan Gruffudd actors were unknown to me, but they all did an excellent job.

The story is relatively simple. A group of cave-divers is slowly and methodically exploring and mapping a HUGE complex of partially inundated caves in New Guinea. An unexpected development will force them to explore this place in depth (pun very much intentional) and on the double, taking enormous risks - and I am not saying anything more.

This film has absolutely NO supernatural elements - do not expect monsters, mysterious forces, etc. Everything is realistic, sometimes inspired by real problems met by speleologists and cave-divers in the real life - even if the accumulation of all those events during just one expedition is of course rather unlikely, but after all this is an adventure film...

The atmosphere of the place of action is absolutely unique. There are moments when I really had the impression that heroes entered a kind of grandiose heathen temple, immensely ancient and so holy that it was never meant to be seen by humans.
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52 of 58 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
I bought this because I was out of the country when it went on general release, and 2 weeks later I couldn't find a cinema within 100 miles that was still showing it, never mind the 3D version.

I'm a caver. I've caved all over the world (though sadly not in PNG, yet...). I've even been on a couple of expeditions.

What did this film get right? The location, for a start. Thick limestone + lots of water = big caves as several expediations to Borneo & China have shown in recent years. PNG was as good a place as any to base the story. Do you really get sinkholes as big/deep as that in the film? Yes, you do. 500 m deep and maybe half that across would not be uncommon. You wouldn't ordinarily parachute into sinkholes - the proximity of the rock walls and uncertain air currents would make that extraordinarily risky (though there are people that have base jumped into las Golondrinas in Mexico). Abseiling (rapelling for North American readers) on ropes is the usual method as was shown. The gear the team were wearing was pretty authentic, as was the gear they used. Modern rebreather diving technology is extraordinary; the world record for a cave dive was set last year in Pozo Azul in Spain: 8.8 km and 50 hours in water of 11C. So the basis for the film was pretty sound too. The 'passion' for caving shown by the lead explorer was also authentic. The lure of virgin discovery is extraordinarily strong.

So where did the film go wrong? Well, I've yet to hear of a caving expedition with anything like the level of resources portrayed in the film! Caving expeditions - even those on which National Geographic participates - are generally run on a shoestring. And as for running electric power down a few km of cave passge to the dive base...
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE CAVE HAS FLOODED! 15 Jun 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
SANCTUM is a 2011 australian adventure film directed by Alister Grierson and starring Richard Roxburgh and Rhys Wakefield. What a brilliant film! I was utterly gripped all the way through. I love these kind of films as they make me shiver as the scenes are unbearably intense! The actors were chosen well. I was very impressed and thought everyone did wonderfully. Best of all was the photography. WOW! The setting of the forest, the ocean and the dark cave itself was magnificently beautiful. There were also moments of dark humour that i thought worked well with the story.

Frank McGuire is an underwater diver expert who has been on countless explorations. This is his greatest yet! With his son Josh and his crew members, they dive deep into the carvornous cave, unaware that there exciting dive into a new world will become a terrifying nightmare that slowly picks them off one by one. They also have a deadline, as the cyclone raging avove will flood the cave. Trapped. And the only way out is down!

Can i just say, SANCTUM is not for the faint hearted. There are some pretty grusesome deaths and this film builds up to a tear-jerking climax. But as long as you dont get too worked up over these things, you'll be fine! Definately worth watching if you like tension, lots of peril and a great storyline! 10/10!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just breathe for heavens sake... 25 Mar 2014
Format:Blu-ray
Josh McGuire welcomes his friend Carl and his girlfriend Victoria in Papua, New Guinea, and they immediately fly to the Esa-ala Caves where Josh's father Frank McGuire is heading a cave diving expedition.

Josh has a bitter relationship with his father and Carl is the sponsor of the expedition.

When Frank and the diver Judes explore an unknown cave system with a restricted access, Judes has an accident and dies.

When the team is preparing to hoist her body, there is a storm that blocks the exit from the cave.

The group is trapped with few supplies and has to find a way out to the sea through the labyrinth of the cave system. But fear and panic are their greatest enemies...

It's not the best film to watch in 2D.

Sometimes its blatantly obvious where the crew shot the 3D that it becomes rather annoying.

And thats the gimmick of the film, 3D.

watch the film standalone, and you basically have a very depressing Poseidon adventure, minus the guest stars and the fun.

The cast do what they have to do, but the audience can only take so many death by drowning incidents, and sacrifices.

The visuals are stunning, and they kind of make up for the lack of script, and predictable lines.

Roxburgh gives his best Batman voice as the guy who has done it all. The rest of the cast are just fodder, and you'll find yourself longing for the fast forward button.

Good to look at, painful to hear.
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