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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Swim Fan
Swim Fan
Fox // PG-13 // March 11, 2003
List Price: $27.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Ron J. Epstein | posted March 10, 2003 | E-mail the Author
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P R I N T
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"Amy can't stop talking about her perfect boyfriend… even when I tell her to stop."

The Feature:
So, there I was. Sitting in a crowded theater with my friends about to watch some movie that I have already forgotten about. After twenty minutes of name-that-actor trivia, and awful commercials, I was finally treated to the "Swim Fan" trailer. After it ended, my friends and the entire theater were in hysterics. I didn't get the joke, and still don't. But ever since that day, I was dying to see "Swim Fan", but not one of my friends, including my girlfriend, would see it with me. So I waited for it's DVD release; and what-do-you know, I'm the lucky guy who gets to review it!

"Swim Fan" is essentially a high school remake of "Fata Attraction." Ben Cronin (Jesse Bradford) is the school's top swimmer. He's got it all; great friends, a likely college scholarship on the horizon, and a sweet girlfriend named Amy (Shiri Appleby). Enter Madison Bell (Erika Christensen).

Madison is new at school, and through a series of run-ins, is befriended by Ben. Now, it doesn't take a brain surgeon to know what happens next… One fateful night, Ben and Madison hook up. Despite being cool with the fact that Ben has a girlfriend, Madison starts displaying some psycho tendencies too over-the-top for me to name in this review.

To be truthful, "Swim Fan" is NOT a good movie. The plot is predictable, the dialogue is laughable, and most everything else is something bad that ends in an "-able." Even so, I enjoyed "Swim Fan." Maybe it's because I like these awful remakes filled with a teen cast. Or maybe it's because I didn't come in thinking that "Swim Fan" was going to reinvent the wheel.

This movie is perfect for those of you who enjoy the films covered in G. Noel Gross' CineSchlock-O-Rama.

Video:
Fox presents "Swim Fan" in Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1 on one side of the DVD, and Full Frame 1.33:1 on the other. Man, I can't remember the last time I a popped in a DVD with widescreen and full frame on opposite sides of the disc. They could have easily crammed both versions of the film and all the bonuses on one dual layer DVD. Anyways, "Swim Fan" looks really good. Colors are vivid, especially in the poolside scenes where the bluish glow of the pool dominate the color palette. Flesh tones look good, and the print is virtually free of dirt, artifacts, and pixelation.

Audio:
The audio is presented here in Dolby 5.1, Spanish 2.0, and French 2.0. The 5.1 sounds really good, as the soundtrack takes good advantage of my sound set up. The cello scenes sound particularly good, and character dialogue and "tense" scenes are crisp and clean. Overall, a very solid effort.

Menus:
A rocking DVD menu filled with scenes from the movie offers the choices of "Play", "Language Selection", "Scene Selection", and "Special Features."

Extras:
Fox has done a good job providing supplements on this DVD. Unfortunately, they are provided in such an awkward way. The first extra is a commentary by director John Polson, and actors Jesse Bradford and Erika Christensen. This is available on BOTH sides of the DVD. This is a really fun commentary, as Jesse and Erika crack frequent jokes, and don't take themselves too seriously.

The WIDESCREEN side of the DVD has deleted and extended scenes with optional director commentary. None of them are particularly great, as you can see why they weren't in the final product.

The FULL FRAME side of the DVD has a 10-minute featurette called "The Girlfriend From Hell." It's made out of the standard fluff that most featurettes are composed of. The actors and director talk about the character, and that's about it. We learn essentially nothing, and that's okay. In addition, there is also a trailer for the movie "28 Days Later." I'm surprised we weren't given a trailer for "Swim Fan", or all those television spots that were all over TV when this was in theaters.

Final Thoughts:
This is a toughie. "Swim Fan" is definitely a cult movie to say the least. This movie is not for everyone; much like "Good Burger" (another bad movie that I, along with 90% of the DVDTalk Forum, have an affinity for). For those of you looking for something to watch, why not take a chance and rent this movie. The commentary is enjoyable, and the audio/video is very good. Overall, I've seen plenty of bad movies in my lifetime, and I'm happy to say that "Swim Fan" isn't one of them.

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