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PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
The Endless Summer II (1994)

The Endless Summer II (1994)

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Released 19-Aug-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Adventure Menu Animation & Audio
Dolby Digital Trailer-Rain
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1994
Running Time 105:24
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (60:12) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Bruce Brown

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Bruce Brown
Dana Brown
Robert August
T.J. Barron
Jeff Booth
Bruce Brown
Todd Chesser
Tom Curren
Mike Diffenderfer
Darrick Doerner
Herbie Fletcher
Sunny Garcia
Johnny Boy Gomes
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $24.95 Music Gary Hoey
Phil Marshall

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, some humorous credits are worth waiting for

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Is this the best surf movie ever made? If you'd asked me that a few years ago, I'd have said that in my opinion there is no doubt whatsoever. However, now I'm in a quandary that comes about from Bruce Brown's son Dana (who shared writing and producing credits with his Dad on this film) creating Step Into Liquid (you can read BrandonV's excellent review here), which just may be a superior production. I think only time will tell if the latter movie is as rewatchable as this effort though, so in my mind the jury is still out.

    Back in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Bruce Brown was a Californian surfer who used to take his movie camera around and film the antics of all his surfing buddies (who just happened to generally be surf legends of their own time). He'd add his own unique commentaries peppered with his dry sense of humour, and show the films in halls and public places wherever he could. His target audience wasn't huge due to the fact that surfers weren't as prolific as they are now (every second person seems to call themselves a "surfer" these days!), but his films were hugely popular. His largest project was a little gem called The Endless Summer, which had a bigger budget that took himself and two young surfers around the globe, chasing waves in previously unsurfed areas, as well as meeting up with other surfers the world over. The movie was a hit, and some people even claim it was the spark that ignited the global search for waves that has caused surfers to spread themselves all over our blue planet like ants, looking for their own Cape St. Francis experience.

    Step forward 28 years, and surfing is now a mainstream multi-million dollar industry, and someone decides to throw some money Bruce's way to make a modern version of his classic 1966 movie. The result is a global trip for longboarder 'Wingnut' Weaver and pro surfer Pat O'Connell, with a full film crew as companions, and a whole host of the best surfers in the world captured on camera. They visit South America, Fiji, Australia, Africa, Indonesia, Hawaii, and Texas, just to name a few locations. I like the way Brown decides to take a longboarder with him - it really adds a touch of connection with the original, not to mention the fact that Wingnut provides many of the most entertaining moments of the film.

    Ok, so the plot is basically a couple of guys travelling the world's best surf spots, meeting pro surfers and characters wherever they go, so what makes that so interesting? It's hard to actually explain to someone who hasn't seen the film itself, but The Endless Summer II is part surf documentary, part travel guide, part lifestyle film, part commentary on society, and part pure fun. It's just a film that brings a smile to your face, and I don't think that would be limited to only surfers, as anyone with a sense of adventure or the travelling spirit will find this movie a joy to watch. The whole Australian segment features almost no decent surfing, and yet is still one of the most entertaining parts of the film. The quirky characters, funny commentary, interesting stories, and out-of-the-water action all add so much charm to the whole event.

    Being a genuine surfer himself, Brown knows how to avoid surf movie clichés and is able to actually make fun of some of the stranger habits of those that enjoy this lifestyle. It doesn't hurt that he's also the sort of guy who'll film a humorous plane crash, and sneak the film out of the country before authorities can get their hands on the evidence! He also has a knack for capturing the sheer beauty of the ocean and puts together some shots that will just leave your jaw hanging (a talent his son seems to have refined, as seen by some of the great camera angles found in Step Into Liquid). I've been waiting a long time to see this film on DVD and be able to project it onto my wall, and now that it's here it doesn't disappoint at all.

    If you're a surfer, there really isn't any question about recommending this movie - it goes without saying! However, even if you're not, but you want to see images of some of the world's most beautiful places, humorously explored by a couple of real characters, and with a dry-wit commentary that never lets up, or if you just want to see lions in South Africa trying to tear our hapless heroes apart, then give this film a go. I watched this at the cinema just before I left Australia for a couple of years of overseas travelling, and it actually inspired me to change some of my destinations... that's how good it is.

    One thing I do notice about this movie, watching it now, is the pace that surfing progresses at is incredible. Seeing heroes of my early surfing days, like the two Toms, makes you realise how dated some of their surfing appears now. In my mind though it is still just as impressive and awe-inspiring, but just don't expect to see any 360 aerials!

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Transfer Quality


    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, 16x9 enhanced, which is the same ratio as the original theatrical release.

    Sharpness is up to scratch, with only the occasional grainy or softer shot (sometimes due to the filming conditions though). Black levels in the rare darker areas are solid, with good shadow detail.

    Colours are bright and dominated by blues and greens, due to the setting of the film (the ocean, and tropical islands!). There are bright coloured outfits and equipment, and no signs of bleeding or chroma noise. Colour-wise, this film is a thing of beauty.

    Film to video artefacts are almost non-existent. There are a few minor examples of aliasing that appear when viewing on a large screen (in other words a projector), but besides that the image is fairly free of such problems. Film artefacts are also very minimal, which you'd expect when considering the age of the source. There was one large artefact during a scene in South America, though, which goes right down the right hand side of the screen. This is the exception rather than the norm.

    There is just the one subtitle stream on this DVD; English for the Hearing Impaired. I sampled this stream and found it to be close to 100% accurate. It can get a little confusing when it's following both the voice-over and the on screen characters, but it does as good a job as possible of keeping track of who's who.

    The layer change on this DVD takes place at 60:12, and is well placed and discrete.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There is just the one audio track on this disc; English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s). There is no 5.1 mix unfortunately, despite what you might be lead to believe by the Dolby Digital trailer just before the main feature.

    Dialogue is clear and easy to understand, which is important considering how much of the movie hangs on the commentary. The only time there is any trouble with understanding the onscreen lines is with some of the characters filmed on location, sometimes combined with an accent. This is not the fault of the transfer though.

    The music by Gary Hoey and Phil Marshall is very suitable for the onscreen action, varying in volume and tempo, depending on the desired mood. It's not as heavy and loud as you'd get from your average surf video, partly due to the fact that it is more theatrical. A nice touch is a new rendition of the original The Endless Summer theme.

    The surrounds get no inherent use, due to the nature of a 2.0 soundtrack. Likewise with the subwoofer. There is some decent bass contained on the track, though, that will give your subwoofer some use if your amp is redirecting bass to it.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    Menus are 16x9 enhanced, with music and scenes from the movie playing in the background. Very nice actually.

Theatrical Trailer (1:53)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with stereo audio, this grainy, ugly trailer hardly inspires a desire to watch the main feature. It does, however, manage to capture the spirit of the film by its end, after a very boring start. Only of novelty interest really.

Photo Gallery (3:06)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, with stereo music playing in the background, this is just a mediocre, cycled collection of thumbnail images taken from the movie and its production. Like the trailer, this is a pretty uninspiring extra.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

    There's no competition - our version is the winner here due to being 16x9 enhanced.


    An excellent surf movie, which I really hate to actually call a "surf movie", since it is so much more than that. This should be in every self-respecting surfer's library. I'd even recommend it to non-surfers, as I've shown it to many in the past and had very positive reactions. This is a movie that I never get tired of watching, and I've seen it enough times to know the dialogue off by heart!

    Video is more than acceptable, and a huge improvement over other Regions.

    The audio transfer is about as good as you could expect from a stereo track.

    Extras are sadly lacking in both quality and quantity, bringing the overall score for this disc down lower than it should be.

Ratings (out of 5)


© David L (Only my Mum would have any interest in my bio)
Sunday, January 30, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDOmni 3600, using RGB output
DisplaySony 1252QM CRT Projector, 250cm custom built 16x9 matte screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS797- THX Select
SpeakersAccusound ES-55 Speaker set, Welling WS12 Subwoofer

Other Reviews NONE