Steep DVD Cover Art
SRP $26.95 1.78:1(16:9) DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 SONY
 
Steep BRAY Cover Art
SRP $38.95 1.78:1 DOLBY TrueHD 5.1 SONY
 

SONY is releasing the extreme ski documentary, "STEEP," on dvd and blu-ray.  While there are some great moments in this documentary, it doesn't live up to the excitement of the trailer we saw with "MY KID CAN PAINT THAT." Unfortunately, the documentary raising questions about whether a child, or her parents were actually responsible for abstract art she allegedly painted and was selling for large amounts of money, is more exciting than the "extreme skiing" documentary!  While "STEEP" offers some fantastic footage, and breathtaking moments, they're few and far between, buttressed by ponderous interviews that shed little light on the sport or the athletes!  There are better ski films out there.

SONY has provided the correct 1.78:1 aspect ratio for the dvd(with 16:9 enhancement)and blu-ray, encoded at 1080p/AVC MPEG-4. Interview sequences, shot in HD, offer the most consistently solid image, with impressive color levels and detail. The rest of the actual ski footage varies in quality and content, shifting between Super 16 and HD. Super 16 footage is known for its ability to produce wonderful color, but also causes grain. And, there is plenty of grain here, although it's much more intrusive on the dvd than on the blu-ray.  The HD footage offers some sensational images, with real "jump off the screen" impact. However, even this footage is under-realized. The dvd is decent, but never comes close to the contrast or detail found on the blu-ray, making its necessity, for only an average "ski" documentary, really questionable, although there are some great images on the blu-ray to still make its purchase tempting.

SONY has provided a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix for the blu-ray and Dolby Digital 5.1 mix for the dvd.  There is no real-time sound to compliment the ski footage, so the mix really only enhances the music. The rest of the mix offers narration or interviews, with dialogue center-channel focused. Fidelity is fine, but TrueHD capability is really underused here as well. The music is fine, but never memorable, and it doesn't make enough use of the surrounds to really make it worthwhile commenting on. The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is even more underwhelming.

There are ample extras provided, including a full length commentary, which is.....guess......dull! Also included are featurettes, a still montage, interviews and trailers(in full HD on blu-ray).