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Beach Blanket Bingo

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  •  
    Mark Tolch
    Senior Member

  • Beach Blanket Bingo



    Released By: Olive Films
    Released On: February 17th, 2015.
    Director: William Asher
    Cast: Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello, Deborah Walley, Harvey Lembeck
    Year: 1965
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Film:

    The 1960's were a strange time in which a string of movies could be made hugely successful simply by having a few teen idols, some catchy songs, and very little else. Truly, if you're looking for substance and depth in a film like 1965's Beach Blanket Bingo...well, you're more likely to find ethnic diversity on display. Hint: there is no ethnic diversity on display. But that doesn't mean that it's not a fun flick, and watching it definitely won't cause any stress on your brain.

    Frankie (Frankie Avalon) and Dee Dee (Annette Funicello) are doing what they usually do, hanging at the beach and singing fun songs with their other bikini and swim-trunk clad friends. The usual shenanigans are broken up by a skydiving stunt, a promotional gimmick for teen pop sensation Sugar Kane's new skydiving-themed album. As a result, Frankie develops an interest in skydiving, thanks in part to Bonnie the instructor. Unfortunately for Frankie, Bonnie's interest in him has little to do with him and more to do with making her boyfriend Steve jealous, something that Steve reacts to by taking an interest in Dee Dee.

    Despite everyone's interest in everyone else, the gang still find a whole lot of time to shake their asses on the beach and at parties and at clubs and just about everywhere else there's room to get their lily-white groove on. Even the serious issue of skydiving, even rear-screen projection skydiving takes a backseat to the fun, and it seems like the gang will continue to party forevermore. But when Sugar makes the papers for saving local dunce Bonehead from drowning, she draws the attention of Eric Von Zipper and his leather-clad gang of juvenile delinquents. Determined to save the object of his affection from "those surfer bums", Eric puts the snatch on Sugar, requiring the beach kids to put aside their differences quickly to rescue her.

    A date with a mermaid, a slapstick cameo from Buster Keaton, and an impromptu roasting by Don Rickles are just a few of the things that will cause you to slowly shake your head in disbelief at Beach Blanket Bingo. The situations, the conflicts, the resolutions, and just about all aspects of the film are mind-numbingly...silly...the music is non-offensive, the low-angle bikini shots are overdone....there is no evidence anywhere in the film that it demands to be taken seriously. And that's a good thing. If, even for a second, one takes Beach Blanket Bingo seriously, the effect is completely ruined and the man behind the curtain is revealed.

    Indeed, Beach Blanket Bingo is best approached with the mind dulled and the afternoon sunny, at which point it can be enjoyed for what it is; sheer silly camp, made only for the purpose of entertainment with no danger of generating controversy or mixed opinions or interpretation. It may be argued that it's a whitewashed vanilla film that has no moral fiber whatsoever, but that's not an argument I'm going to make. It's pointless, it's mindless, and it's a damn fine way to blow through 90 minutes on a winters day.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Olive brings Beach Blanket Bingo to blu-ray in a 2.35:1 transfer that reinforces their great reputation for solid presentation. Detail is fantastic, the beach scenes look great, those low-angled bikini shots display the solid dynamic color range, and there's no real issue outside of a bit of dirt here and there. Like the other Olive film releases, it looks amazing for a film that's celebrating a half a century birthday.

    The DTS-HD Master audio stereo track is what you would expect, with well-balanced dialogue and a rich soundtrack that puts the music from the film (and there's a fair bit) right where it should be. No hisses or pops were evident.

    A trailer for the film is also included.

    The Final Word:

    It's Beach Blanket Bingo, and it looks great. If you want fun, well, that's the name of the game.



    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!




























    • C.D. Workman
      #1
      C.D. Workman
      Senior Member
      C.D. Workman commented
      Editing a comment
      Terrific review, Mark. Extremely well written; it makes me want to get this BD.

    • C.D. Workman
      #2
      C.D. Workman
      Senior Member
      C.D. Workman commented
      Editing a comment
      And those screen caps look fantastic.

    • Mark Tolch
      #3
      Mark Tolch
      Senior Member
      Mark Tolch commented
      Editing a comment
      Aw, thanks, Chris. I'm not a fan of my own writing, but i enjoy doing it, so it's nice that somebody else likes it. And the blu looks fantastic.
    Posting comments is disabled.

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