‘The Wave’ proves to be crashing success

“The Crush” was Alicia Silverstone’s big break. Here she poses for PETA just before making the movie.
“The Crush” was Alicia Silverstone’s big break. Here she poses for PETA just before making the movie. Special to Tribune News Service

This week’s picks include a foreign film and a campy classic.

“The Wave” Grade : Never judge a film by the description. This is a film from Norway that looks at what happens when a tsunami hits. That isn’t the greatest lure to watch the DVD.

The idea that a giant wave could hit the coast of the country just seems too unbelievable. But the giant waves are a real threat the country faces because of all the mountains that line the fjords. When there is a major avalanche, a giant wave can be sent rushing down the waterway.

Geiranger is one of Norway’s top tourist draws. But the mountain Åkerneset looms over the village. Geologist Kristian (Kristoffer Joner) is going to a new job with an oil company after several years at Geiranger’s warning center. Before he can leave the moment he has feared happens.

That’s what happens in this 2015 film that was Norway’s official submission for the 88th Academy Awards. It didn’t get nominated, but a quick look at the acting, special effects and emotional impact and it’s obvious why the movie was so heavily touted.

Director Roar Uthaug has put together a movie that takes time to establish the players and pulls no punches when the disaster happens. The blend makes for a great production even with the subtitles.

“The Crush” Grade : The 1993 film starring Cary Elwes and Alicia Silverstone is played with so much campiness it turns a very serious topic into a sadly laughable offering. It wanted to be a 1990s answer to “Lolita” but never finds that serious tension.

What you get is Silverstone playing a 14-year-old who fixates on her much older neighbor (Elwes). It starts with flirting but when the teen is rejected she takes a page from “Fatal Attraction.”

The problem is Silverstone doesn’t have the acting skills to make the scenario come across as real. Elwes plays his part with such coolness you can almost see the frost.

It’s the collision of these two misfires that makes this movie a camp classic. It helps to play a drinking game while you watch.

Also new on DVD June 21

▪ “Janet King: Series 1: The Enemy Within”: The eight-part Australian series focuses on a senior crown prosecutor.

▪ “How to Get Away With Murder: The Complete Second Season”: Viola Davis stars in the ABC drama.

▪ “Tom and Jerry: Back to Oz”: The cat and mouse face a new foe in Oz.

▪ “Midnight Special”: Father goes on the run to protect his young son.

▪ “Knight of Cups”: Writer goes in search of love. Christian Bale stars.

▪ “Rollercoaster”: America’s amusement parks become the target of terrorists.

▪ “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2”: It’s wedding bells again in the sequel to the romantic comedy hit.

▪ “Goldilocks and the Three Bears and Other Fairytale Adventures”: Four stories to teach reading skills.

▪ “Wondrous Boccaccio”: Ten young men and women leave plague-stricken Florence to visit the countryside.

▪ “Workaholics: Season Six”: Adam, Ders and Blake are back in 10 episodes.

▪ “Transformers Rescue Bots: Heroes of Tech”: Chase, Heatwave, Blades and Boulder return for five new adventures.

▪ “The Black Jacket”: Former Black Panther teaches course that brings gangs, community together.

▪ “I’ll Take Sweden”: This 1965 Bob Hope film also stars Tuesday Weld and Frankie Avalon.

▪ “Power Rangers: Ninja Storm”: Power Rangers must save Earth from the evil Lotho.

Also on Digital HD on June 21

▪ “Miracles from Heaven”: 10-year-old is cured of a chronic illness after surviving an accident.

▪ “The Divergent Series: Allegiant”: Tris and Four face a new world, far more dangerous than ever before

▪ “Everybody Wants Some!”: Richard Linklater’s informal follow-up to “Dazed and Confused.”

Rick Bentley: 559-441-6355, @RickBentley1