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SUNSHINE SUPERMAN (director/writer: Marah Strauch; screenwriter: Eric Bruggemann; cinematographers: Vasco Nunes/Nicolay Poulsen; editors: Marah Strauch/Eric Bruggemann/Kevin McGuinness; music: KAADA; cast: Jean Boenish, John Long, Carol Price, Bob Boenish, Sally Kroeker, Charlie Ducat, Rick Harrison, Bill Wendt, Dave Blatell, Kent Lane, Jim Winkler, Phil Mayfield, Phil Smith, Fred Husoy, Einar Fride Myskja, Kjell Erik Stromskag, Erik Fonz; Runtime: 102; MPAA Rating: PG; producers: Eric Bruggemann/Marah Strauch; Magnolia Pictures; 2014)
“Heart-stopping cliff-jumping doc.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Marah Strauch’ heart-stopping cliff-jumping doc, an extreme sports thriller, profiles the colorful legendary engineer-turned-cliff-jumper Carl Boenish. He’s known as the father of the extreme sport called BASE jumping. The BASE acronym stands for “Building, Antenna, Span, and Earth.”

The guy loved diving off mountains and skyscrapers before not making it one time when in 1984 jumping off the Norwegian ‘Trol Wall’ mountain range. This came after he and his wife jumped successfully off that mountain range, setting records, just a few days before.

Carl’s 16mm archive footage, the state of art aerial photography, all the jumps of himself that Carl filmed, the well-executed re-enactments and interviews with Carl’s loyal cliff-jumping wife Jean and fellow jumpers make up the gist of the engaging film. The thrill-seeking sport hardly interested me, but daredevils are often interesting characters and that is certainly true here.

Also, Boenish was technical adviser for Burt Lancaster’s excellent The Gypsy Moths, which did justice to those who choose such a life as daredevil parachutists. Though this pic does not excel, it makes for passable entertainment.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”