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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Surf School
Surf School
Lionsgate Home Entertainment // Unrated // July 17, 2007
List Price: $26.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Nick Lyons | posted August 2, 2007 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:
Ever since "American Pie" resurrected the teen comedy genre, studios have been releasing mass quantities of teen flicks in the hope of landing a moneymaking franchise. In this act of desperation, studios release a lot of dreck. Dreck like "Surf School."

The plot follows a group of five high schoolers who decide (for virtually no reason) to enter a surfing contest in Costa Rica to beat the odds. Along the way, they meet babes, a monkey, a ghost girl, hippies, and a crazy surf coach who rambles on about Mahi-Mahi.

If I were to teach a comedy and screenwriting class, I would show this film as a clear example of what not to do. "Surf School" ignores the most basic story elements. For instance, the first plot point should involve them going to Costa Rica. However, this group of five characters are thrown together and head to Costa Rica without any thought or an acceptable explanation. These characters have no motivation other than to try and beat the bullies, but they don't even know how to surf yet miraculously learn in a matter of days. It's simply bad writing and it only gets worse from there.

Audiences are also tortured with bad jokes about monkeys, crabs, and a speech impediment that are repeated at least six times each. An unwritten rule of comedy is to not repeat jokes ad-nauseum. In addition, a horrendous song constantly plays throughout the movie whose lyrics consist of the words SURF SCHOOL (my eardrums have yet to recover.) To top it off, the star power consits of Sisqo. Yes, Sisqo Dragon has apparently come out of hiding for "Surf School." I guess we don't need a "Where is he now?" special on Sisqo anymore.

The DVD

Video:
The only redeeming quality of this DVD is the picture. The 1.78:1 widescreen video quality is better than this film deserves. With so many great and classic films receiving poor transfers, it is a travesty that "Surf School" gets a sharp looking image.

Sound: I think Lionsgate is lying to everyone. Much like the Lionsgate "The 4 Musketeers" disk I reviewed, the "Surf School" disk claims to have Dolby Digital 5.1/2.0 sound. Again, I get no sense of a Dolby track. Half the time it sounded like the characters were mumbling gibberish (which they were but that is besides the point.)

Extras: Aside from a few lousy Lionsgate previews at the start of the disk, there is not a single extra. To quote C-3PO, "Thank the maker."

Final Thoughts:
Avoid this film at all costs. If you're wanting to watch a a teen comedy, virtually any other film will suffice.

Film and television enthusiast Nick Lyons recently had his first book published titled "Attack of the Sci-Fi Trivia." It is available on Amazon.com.

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