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Back To The Beach

review by Zach B.




In this tounge-in-cheek update to the popular Beach films of the 60s (complete with a host of cameos - watch O.J. run away from a crime the first time!), Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, along with their rebellious son Bobby, head to Hawaii for a long overdue from vacation (stress has hit the Avalon household in Ohio). Along the way, the couple (and son) make a pit stop in Los Angeles and decide to visit their daughter (Lori Loughlin) who is hiding somethimg important from them. However, things get pretty wacky and rather familiar as Frankie and Annette re-visit their old stomping grounds and re-capture the good old days.

Fun Fact: Co-star Lori Loughlin got an even bigger break not too long after this movie was released on a little family situation comedy called "Full House."



Looking pretty fantastic is the 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. The print is a little dirty with some specks, blemishes and a scratch here and there, and while they appear often and can be a bit annoying it's never completely unbearable to see the picture. There's no edge enhancement to speak of, the flesh tones look good and color saturation is decent but nothing really extraordinary. The exterior scenes look really good though - namely the scenes at the beach with the sand and ocean. Pretty great work overall.



The English 5.1 Dolby Digital track is much stronger than I anticipated, and that's a great thing. The track gets off to a robust start with that TWA plane flying overhead. Surround use in the movie is pretty constant though thankfully - the airplane humming, the ocean waves, the surfing and all that crazy beach partying. The speakers also fly pretty high with the fun musical score from Steve Dorff and the pretty cheesy rock songs - the music definitely adds to the atmosphere. Dialogue is not distorted and certainly easy to make out as well. In all, this is a fun track that benefits from being in 5.1. An English Dolby Surround and French Stereo track are on the DVD, plus English subtitles and English closed captions.



A retrospective on the Beach films or interviews would have been good, but as expected there is nothing in this department.



Though there probably should have been something extras-wise on this catalog title, fans of the Beach series will have no qualms about adding this reunion/update to their collection. Besides, the price is right, the 5.1 track is kicking and the transfer is not too shabby. Surfs up!

Studio: Paramount

Retail Price: $14.99

Features: None

Specs: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Surround, French Stereo, English Subtitles, English Closed Captions, Scene Selection (17 Scenes)

Released: June 1st, 2004



MPAA Rating: PG

Running Time: 92 minutes

Starring: Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello, Lori Loughlin, Tommy Hinkley, Demian Slade, Joe Holland and Connie Stevens

Screenplay by: Peter Krikes & Steve Meerson and Christopher Thompson
Story by: James Komack and B.W.L. Norton and Bruce Kirschbaum
Based on characters created by: Lou Rusoff

Directed by: Lyndall Hobbs