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Back To The Beach Blu-ray Review

You won’t want to go ‘Back To The Beach.’

In this spoof of 60’s beach movies, Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello play exaggerated versions of themselves. Frankie was once a singer, surfer and actor but now he’s a Ford dealership owner in Ohio living with his wife (Annette) and their son (a punk-rock kid named Bobby). Annette (a former Mouseketeer) is now a housewife who shops. To say their life is missing the fun they once had is an understatement. The family decides to take a vacation to Hawaii but they decide to stop off in Los Angeles to see their daughter Sandy. This is when all hell breaks loose. Sandy is trying to hide the fact that she has a boyfriend from her disapproving parents, Annette and Frankie have a fight, Annette thinks Frankie is falling for his old friend Connie, and Bobby falls in with the local beach punks. Will the family have a happy ending?

Now that summer is in full swing, Paramount has opted to release 1987’s ‘Back To The Beach’ as part of their Paramount Presents line of Blu-rays. The studio could have picked a better summer movie as this cheesy comedy is a real endurance test.

Those of you with a fondness for the two main stars or the beach movies of yesteryear may get something out of this comedy, but to me, this movie represents nothing more than wasted potential. The premise is ripe for comedic potential and a playful meta take on beach movies. Unfortunately, all of that promise goes out the window as the movie starts off on the wrong foot and only gets worse with each passing second. The humor tries too hard and simply does not work unless you like dopey sight gags and random cameos from musicians (Dick Dale, Fishbone and Stevie Ray Vaughan) and sitcom stars of the past referencing their own shows ala Don Adams, Bob Denver and Alan Hale Jr., Barbara Billingsley and Jerry Mathers and the late Tony Dow. Oh, and Pee-wee Herman shows up for some reason for an out of synch lip synch of “Surfin’ Bird” to no doubt capitalize on his stardom at that point in time. There’s also roles that Paramount would probably rather not advertise with Lori Loughlin as Sandy and O.J. Simpson in a “Naked Gun” esque cameo.

The cast certainly doesn’t turn in their best work here. Neither Frankie Avalon or Annette Funicello could sing at this juncture and Demian Slade (who plays Bobby) is miscast. Connie Stevens probably gives the movie’s best performance.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: Widescreen 1080p. How does it look? Expect another pristine transfer of a catalogue title.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? A lively and satisfactory 5.1 track. 

Extras include a Digital copy and a new ‘Filmmaker Focus’ interview segment with director Lyndall Hobbs.

July 30, 2022 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

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