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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Maslin Beach
Maslin Beach
Vanguard // Unrated // June 24, 2003
List Price: $29.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Don Houston | posted July 27, 2003 | E-mail the Author
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Movie: Outside of a porno or two, I haven't seen many movies that spend much time on a nudist beach as a setting. In Maslin Beach, I got to see one such movie where all the action took place on the famous beach in Australia known for it's clothing optional status. The movie is about relationships, some more secure than others, in a variety of vignettes that ranged from a couple who've been drifting apart to a perverted old guy hitting on a young cutie with many others in between. With a cast of zany misfits, all with different needs and desires, director/writer Wayne Groom seemed to make up the script as he went along and while they misfired more often than not, there were a number of moments where the tidbits made a lot of sense.

So, you take a brand new director, an offbeat setting, a cast of barely known Australian actors, and mix them all together in a pot. What do you get? Mixed results for the most part. It falls into the category of romantic comedy as much as anything else but there wasn't a lot of really funny antics going on and the romantic aspects were often downplayed as well. That makes the movie as difficult to describe to any I've watched in recent years. In some sense, the movie seemed to rely to much on the gimmick of the nudist beach-even though the cast came in all shapes, sizes, and ages. I think if Groom had a really clear idea of what he wanted to convey with this one, it wasn't readily apparent and the best I could figure out as a theme was that people need to be more open and honest with themselves as much as their significant others.

The movie itself was more of an interesting diversion than anything else. There was a lot of nudity here but not a lot of overt sexuality. If you're in the market for relationship movie, a quirky one at that, you'll likely find this one as a perfect example of the "stranger than real life" genre. The acting was okay but I think the best rating I can give this one is Rent It due to the fact that it seems like the movie is either unsure of what it wants to be or was just so loosely scripted as to appear that way.

Picture: The picture was presented in 1.33:1 ratio full frame color. The picture lacked sharpness and detail, it was a low budget independent movie after all, but I didn't see a lot of artifacts and the fleshtones looked moderately accurate. The grain was also minimal but the sun was bright enough that it washed out some of the colors.

Sound: The sound was presented in stereo English with no subtitles but I didn't notice any real separation of the audio channels. Not bad but not great either.

Extras: trailer to the movie.

Final Thoughts: If you want to see real looking people in various stages of problems with their relationships working it all out on a nudist beach, you may find this one interesting. More of an ensemble cast than a couple of leads with a plot, Maslin Beach provides some interesting moments but falls short of providing anything lasting of value.

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