The Beach: Collector's Edition (2000)

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Released 30-May-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Introduction
Menu Audio
Theatrical Trailer
Storyboards
Music Video-Pure Shores-All Saints
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Deleted Scenes-8 +/- Director's Commentary
Alternate Ending-+/- Director's Commentary
Audio Commentary-Danny Boyle (Director)
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 114:11
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (71:32) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Danny Boyle
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio
Virginie Ledoyen
Guillaume Canet
Robert Carlyle
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $36.95 Music Angelo Badalamenti


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (96Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.40:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Czech
Danish
English for the Hearing Impaired
Finnish
Hebrew
Hungarian
Icelandic
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese
Swedish
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Richard (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a traveller looking for adventure, currently in Bangkok. He comes across Daffy (Robert Carlyle), a man who appears to have gone completely mad. Daffy tells Richard about an island paradise which has The Perfect Beach. Richard does not believe him, but Daffy leaves Richard a map, showing him the location of The Perfect Beach. Richard asks Francoise (Virginie Ledoyen) and her boyfriend Etienne (Guillaume Canet) to join him on his adventure to this island paradise.

    There are some wonderful truths uttered by Leonardo DiCaprio's character, Richard. My favourite is his closing statement, which I will not spoil for you. Another other favourite is "We all travel thousands of miles just to watch TV and check into somewhere with all the comforts of home. You've got to ask yourself - what is the point of that?"

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is extremely clear and sharp at all times, with no low-level noise present. Shadow detail is exemplary, however I would suggest you watch this movie in a room with controlled ambient light so that all the picture detail can be seen. This is especially important for the opening night scenes in Bangkok.

    There appears to be have been some mild edge enhancement used. For most of the film you cannot see it, but it is there. The first scene where I noted it was at 5:09.

    The colour was exemplary - beautifully saturated, rich and vibrant.

    I don't know if I missed seeing much of the background grain when I reviewed the rental version of The Beach or that there is more grain in this version. Either way, there are several scenes in this version which contain some background grain. Thankfully, it is never too strong and never spills over into the foreground picture, so really there isn't too much to complain about here.  Personally, I think I must have missed this grain the first time around. The more noticeable instances of this can be found at 20:08, 47:22, 77:27, 81:30 and 87:38.

    No MPEG artefacts were seen. Another astounding thing about this transfer is the total lack of aliasing. I saw no aliasing whatsoever throughout the entire course of the transfer, an amazing feat on the part of the DVD's authors.

    Apart from one medium-sized film scratch at 45:27, there are only a handful of tiny and totally inconsequential film artefact specks.

    This disc is an RSDL disc, with the layer change placed between Chapters 18 and 19 on a scene change, at 71:32. There is a small pause, but due to the scene shift that occurs at this point, it is totally undetectable when watching the movie. This is one of the best placed layer changes I have seen (or not seen - in this case).

    Packaging Error: The Portuguese subtitle stream is not mentioned on the packaging.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are two audio tracks on this disc, an English 384Kb/s Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, plus a 96Kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded Director's commentary.  With this disc only having one main soundtrack, I feel it should have used a 448kb/s bitstream. I listened to both audio tracks.

    The dialogue was extremely clear and easy to understand throughout the entire movie. Virginie Ledoyen's French-accented English was a little hard to understand on a couple of occasions, but that's hardly a transfer fault.

    Audio sync was not a problem at all with this transfer.  I did notice a couple of occurrences of looping or dialogue replacement, but these were minor and inconsequential.

    Angelo Badalamenti's musical score is wonderful, and really enhances the film's presence.

    The surround channels were aggressively used on many occasions for music and ambience. They also get used for some subtle and occasionally not-so-subtle effects, including a couple of directional/split rear effects. Sound placement is excellent and great use is made of the front soundstage. For some surround sound highlights check out 8:30, 13:13, 26:26, 50:48, 59:40, 80:38 and 87:44.

    The subwoofer use is excellent, and this is one of the best soundtracks I have heard in this respect for a non-action movie. The subwoofer is continually used to subtly add bass to most scenes and is highly active during many of the dramatic scenes. Some great examples can be found at 00:55 - 3:00, 13:13, 14:20, 19:39 and 88:57.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There is a pretty good selection of extras present.

Menu

    The menus are presented in the 16x9 enhanced aspect ratio of 1.78:1. There is a 22 second lead-in video clip with an accompanying Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s) soundtrack.  The Main Menu is underscored by music and offers further animation once an option is selected. The Main Menu selections are; Play Movie, Language Selection, Chapter Selections (30 with index) and Special Features.

    The Chapter Selection and Special Features menus also have musical underscoring.

Audio Commentary - Danny Boyle (Director)

    This commentary features Danny Boyle in the centre channel speaking over the film's 96Kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack. Whilst not being one of the best audio commentary I have ever heard, it is nonetheless a very worthwhile addition to this disc. There are quite a few gaps in the commentary that last for several minutes at a time and on two occasions the film's soundtrack broke through and obscured the commentary itself.

Theatrical Trailer (1:27 minutes)

    The theatrical trailer is of reasonable quality, presented in the non-16x9 enhanced aspect ratio of 1.85:1, with a 192Kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack.  It is worth noting that this is a different theatrical trailer to what was presented on the Rental DVD.

Storyboards (114 pages)

    After the instruction page, each page has either one or two black & white scene sketches.

Music Video - "Pure Shores" by All Saints (4:04 minutes)

    The Pure Shores video clip is of very good quality, presented in the non-16x9 enhanced aspect ratio of 1.85:1, with a 192Kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. There is some very strong, but deliberate grain present.

Cast & Crew

    This section contains Biographies for Leonardo DiCaprio, Tilda Swinton, Robert Carlyle, Virginie Ledoyen, Paterson Joseph, Guillaume Canet, Lars Arentz-Hansen, Danny Boyle, Andrew MacDonald, John Hodge, Darius Khondji, Andrew McAlpine, Masahiro Hirakubo, Richard Fleming, Alex Garland and Angelo Badalamenti.

Deleted Scenes + Alternate Ending (9 - 25:17 minutes)

    There are eight deleted scenes plus an alternate ending, which you can listen to with or without the Director's commentary.  Each of the scenes are individually selectable from the deleted scenes menu.  They are presented in the 16x9 enhanced aspect ratio of 1.80:1, with a 192Kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. The picture quality would be very good if it weren't for frequent and terrible vertical jumps that plagues all nine scenes, which of course is very off-putting and ultimately, disappointing. The nine scenes are;

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;     The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;     The R4 version does miss out a few extras, so you will have to decide if you want the superior picture quality of PAL or the extra extras. Me personally, I'd go for the R4 version, but that's just me.

Summary

    I have to admit that I enjoyed The Beach just as much this time around as I did the first time at the cinema. Presentation-wise, this is an excellent DVD.

    The picture quality is superb, and would have been reference quality if it weren't for some minor edge enhancement and grain.

    The audio quality is superb.

    There is a pretty good selection of extras present.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Paul Williams (read Paul's biography)
Friday, May 18, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-725, using Component output
DisplaySony Projector VPH-G70 (No Line Doubler), Technics Da-Lite matt screen with gain of 1.0 (229cm). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS989
SpeakersFronts: Energy RVS-1 (3), Rears: Energy RVSS-1 (2), Subwoofer: Energy EPS-150 (1)

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