Beach" on DVD
From the director
of "Trainspotting" comes "The Beach," a mishmash of a movie with the potential
of scuttling the promising career of Leonardo DiCaprio.
is travelling through Thailand when he comes across a map guiding him
to a secret island on which is, supposedly, a beach for which to die.
With two friends, they swim across shark-infested waters to find the place,
and make their fantasies come true.
After avoiding a group
of heavily armed marijuana farmers, they stumble across the beach, only
to discover that it's also the home of a motley group of most British-sounding
youngish people who've scraped the mud of civilization off their collective
shoes in order to build a super secret Utopian colony at the beach.
It's a "hippie commune"
fantasy come to life, and Richard and his companions are welcomed into
the little society and turn their backs on civilization.
Naturally, all isn't
as it seems, and during the rest of this unfortunate movie the mettle
of all the beach's inhabitants is tested - and in nearly all cases found
This really is a painful
movie. You can't help but like DiCaprio's Richard and his friends, but
there isn't a lot else to like. The other major characters are a bunch
of people living in a self-indulgent, arrested childhood and when push
comes to shove they fail miserably to prove their humanity.
Likewise, the movie
itself tries to be a bit "Lord of the Flies" and a lot of "Apocalypse
Director Danny Boyle
goes out of his way to draw "Apocalypse" parallels, from DiCaprio's voice
over narration to many shots that look as if they were recreated (read
"stolen") from Coppola's masterpiece.
He might have gotten
away with it had he not had "Apocalypse Now" playing on a big screen in
the background of an early shot.
On the upside, the
film looks and sounds great, as does the widescreen, Dolby Digital DVD.
Extras include 9 deleted
scenes (we would have like to see a few more scenes deleted!), a running
commentary by director Boyle, a gallery of storyboards, some TV commercials,
and the trailer.
You also get an "All
Saints" music video called "Pure Shores."
The Beach, from 20th
Century Fox Home Video
approximate 120 interminable minutes, Widescreen (2.35:1), Dolby Digital
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tilda Swinton, Virginie Ledoyen, Guillaume
Canet and Robert Carlyle
Produced by Andrew Macdonald
Written by John Hodge, Directed by Danny Boyle
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