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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Shag: The Movie
Shag: The Movie
MGM
List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted May 18, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

A cute idea, but judging by its box office performance, it's turned into more of a cult rental item than a theatrical success. The movie stars Annabeth Gish, Bridget Fonda, Phoebe Cates and Page Hannah as four girls from a small South Carolina town who decide to sneak out from their proper upbringing for a little fun at Myrtle Beach.

Of course, there's the wild one (Fonda), the soon-to-be-married one (Cates) and the otherwise boring one who changes her image (Hannah). All of the characters could have easily become cliched and dull, but its a credit to the actresses that they really do a fine job making the characters seem fully realized - especially Fonda, whose performance is one of her best. The screenplay by Robin Swicord("Practical Magic") also has an excellent sense of period speak and slang. The production design also captures the era quite well.

Overall, it's a light, fun film and I can see why a female audience could keep the movie going as a cult rental item.


The DVD

VIDEO: "Shag" is presented in non-anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen, and the picture provides a mediocre viewing experience. Sharpness varies throughout the movie; some of the night scenes when the girls are crusing around in their car provide decent sharpness, but other scenes look noticably soft - and dimly lit scenes sometimes look a bit too dark. Many scenes are wanting in detail and definition, although some look better than others.

There's some additional problems, as well. Shimmering is apparent throughout the film, although not quite often enough to be distracting - just somewhat irritating. Pixelation is also visible on a couple of occasions, as well as some minor print flaws.

Colors were really the best part of the overall image, although they weren't always consistent. Scenes when the girls were driving through Myrtle Beach provided a colorful background full of neon and lights. It's a very average presentation from MGM - not terrible for a non-anamorphic presentation, but certainly showing some problems along the way.

SOUND: "Shag" is presented in Dolby 2.0. This is a fairly unexciting audio presentation, with the film's period tunes being the only real element featured throughout the film. Other than that, the piece is dialogue-driven. Audio quality seemed fine, but unexceptional - music was clear, but a little thin sounding. Dialogue was easily understood, but sounded rather flat and unnatural.

MENUS:: Menus are non-animated, with very basic film-themed images serving as backgrounds.

EXTRAS: Trailer.


Final Thoughts: "Shag" is a fun little film with good performances from the 4 female leads. MGM's disc, though, is simply a basic effort, with little attention paid to the video quality and nothing in the way of extras. For fans who want to own the film on disc, they will likely be pleased that the film is out on DVD, but may not be too thrilled with the quality of the disc.

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