"Bill's in Guatemala with, uh, his boyfriend."
72 minutes. If you take away the beginning and ending credits, there is only 72 minutes of movie here. Had this been a good movie, I would have found it completely unacceptable. But, because "Beat" happens to be painfully boring, I was overjoyed when the ending credits rolled in after 1:15 hours. Sorry if I'm getting ahead of myself, but I felt the need to vent here.
"Beat" is the story set in 1951 about famed writer William S. Burroughs (Kiefer Sutherland) and wife Joan (Courtney Love). Bill has run off with his boyfriend, who provides him sex in exchange for money. Lonely, and taking care of her children, Joan is visited by poet Allen Ginsberg (Jon Livingston) and his friend Lucien Carr (Norman Reedus). After a night of drinking, all three decide to take a trip to the country and seek out a volcano they read a newspaper article about. The story gets even more ridiculous as past indiscretions and predicaments mar their journey.
It's a shame that "Beat" is a bad movie. The turns from present to flashback are very stylish, and overall, the acting isn't bad. Hell, even Courtney Love does a pretty good job with what she's been dealt with. Unfortunately, the script doesn't allow for developed relationships between the characters; and feels very hollow when it's all said and done.
Lions Gate presents "Beat" in Anamorphic widescreen 1.78:1. I am really impressed with the transfer, as skin tones, backgrounds, flashback scenes, are incredibly vivid and clean. I did notice some sporadic dirt on the print, and some graininess in night scenes and as the picture faded to black; but I'm really nitpicking here. To me, it almost feels criminal to waste such good picture quality on a mediocre film.
The audio is presented here in Dolby 2.0. The classical score sounds good, but the sound levels of certain scenes of the movie seem a little off (I had to turn up the volume on my television to compensate). But overall, the audio is acceptable. Nothing flashy, but nowhere near as bad as the movie itself. A 5.1 mix would have been unnecessary, in my opinion.
The stylish static DVD menu resembles the one from of Memento: LE, only less complicated. Your options include: "Play Movie", "Scene Index", "Special Features", "Subtitles", and the Lion's Gate logo which, when selected, allows you to view trailers for "Beat", "Chelsea Walls", and "Vulgar."
The first of two extras is a full-length commentary from the Director Gary Walkow and Editor Steve Vance. It's a very informative commentary, as they discuss the script, shooting certain scenes, the actors, as well as many other items. There's hardly a quiet moment, but unfortunately, they're very dull and monotone. I would have rather heard a wasted Courtney Love join in on commentary here, as it would have provided for some laughs at least. The second extra is a photo gallery.
If you didn't already figure it out, I didn't like this movie. It's very short, but still very boring. The extras are also very thin, but I doubt multiple commentaries with Courtney Love, deleted scenes, and a making-of documentary would be enough for me to even recommend renting this movie. Skip it, baby.