The Beach (Rental) (2000)

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Rental Version Only
Available for Rent

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Theatrical Trailer-1.70:1 non-16x9, Dolby Digital 2.0
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 114:11
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Danny Boyle
Studio
Distributor

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


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, during

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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 is 16x9 enhanced. The packaging incorrectly claims that this transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1.

    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 10:20.

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

    Only three trivial instances of grain were noticed, at 47:22, 77:27 and 87:38. Otherwise, this DVD appears to be totally free of any grain, which really made it a pleasure to watch this film on a big screen.

    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.

    Note that this disc is a single-sided, single-layered disc, not a dual layered disc as stated on the packaging.

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

Audio

    There is only one audio track on this disc, which is an English 384kb/s Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. With this disc only having one soundtrack, I feel it should have had a 448kb/s bitstream.

    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

    The extras content is very poor, with just one non-16x9 enhanced Theatrical Trailer.

Menu

    The Menu is not 16x9 enhanced, but it looks just as good in 16x9 mode. It features pictures of Leonardo DiCaprio and Virginie Ledoyen. The menu selections are; Play Movie, Chapter Selections (30) and Theatrical Trailer.

    The Chapter Selections are beautifully laid out and have a quick access index.

Theatrical Trailer (2:32 minutes)

    This trailer is of extremely good quality, and is presented in the unusual non-16x9 enhanced aspect ratio of 1.70:1, with a 192kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack. Personally, I was a little disappointed that it was not 16x9 enhanced.

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 (Rental) version of this disc misses out on;     The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;     Since this is only the Rental version of this disc, we will have to wait and see what we get in the way of extras on our sell-through version in around 6 months time.

Summary

    I have to admit that I enjoyed this movie just as much this time around as I did the first time at the cinema. Presentation-wise, this is an exemplary DVD and this is how all DVDs should look and sound.

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

    The audio quality is superb.

    The extras content is very poor.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Paul Williams (read Paul's biography)
Saturday, October 21, 2000
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-SV919THX
SpeakersFronts: Energy RVS-1 (3), Rears: Energy RVSS-1 (2), Subwoofer: Energy EPS-150 (1)

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