Back to the Beach Blu-ray review
Aug 06, 2022- Permalink
For roughly five years between 1963 and 1968, the beach party film genre was a summer hit with teens and if that genre had a king and queen, it would be Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello. The pair presided over several beach movies like Beach Blanket Bingo and Muscle Beach Party. The films all followed the same formula: teens on holiday, square adults, surf music and silliness. Jump forward to 1987, and Frankie and Annette reteamed for Back to the Beach, which both parodied and paid homage to the genre. To celebrate its 35th anniversary, Paramount has released the movie as part of its Paramount Presents Blu-ray series. I had a chance to look at the standard packaging version released outside the U.S.
The 1080p AVC encoded digital transfer is presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The film was restored and mastered from a new 4K scan of the original film elements and the results are great. The image has great detail whether it’s the sand on the beach, the fabric of the various outfits, or the facial features of the performers. The colour palette does the summer beach setting justice with popping primaries, sunny skies and blue waters. Shot on film, the grain structure looks very natural.
On the audio side, the movie comes with an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack and a French Dolby Digital 2.0 track. It’s a slightly front-heavy mix with the surrounds getting occasional work here and there for ambient effects. The score is another star and the pop songs sprinkled throughout the film are bright and lively. Dialogue is clear and well prioritized in the mix.
If you’re in the US and get the Paramount Presents packaging, the film comes with a slipcover that opens to reveal the movie’s original poster. Outside the US, the Blu-ray is presented in a standard clamshell case with no slipcover. Both versions come with a digital code. There’s only one extra, a short featurette with director Lyndall Hobbs discussing her director’s journey.
The Back to the Beach Blu-ray gives really nice sound and video to a goofy, fun film the whole family can enjoy. It doesn’t take itself seriously and is good way to head to the beach on a rainy summer’s day.