Posted in: Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on June 24th, 2006
The sad thing about building a strong acting career is one usually has to take on roles better forgotten to get to the pinnacle of success. I’m sure Johnny Depp still has the occasional nightmare of being associated with Private Resort (on an artistic level anyway); and he is about to be reminded of this forgotten-with-good-reason teen sex comedy as Sony debuts it in the digital format just in time for summer. The release Sony offers bills Depp as the main star, and while his role is substantial, the film is m…re of a vehicle for Rob Morrow, and a paycheck for Hector Elizondo. You even get to see a pre-”Diceman” Andrew Clay playing his typical Brooklyn street tough self. I will say this: next time you feel the need to attack abysmal teen sex comedies of today, take this as Exhibit A that these foul, odorous wastes of celluloid are actually getting better… even at their worst.
Private Resort takes place in Florida during Spring Break. There are enough misunderstandings and ambiguous hijinx to fuel an entire season of Three’s Company, but none are as well executed in the environment of this film. Depp and Morrow are “two sex-starved teens” spending their spring break at a posh Florida resort, where there is but one order of business… getting laid. Unfortunately (for them and us), they must contend with a ruthless jewel thief (Elizondo), an eccentric barber, a villainous security guard, and a stereotypically obnoxious jock before that can happen. Will they or won’t they? It doesn’t matter. I guarantee you it will not be a concern as this 82-minute crap fest drones on. Follow Depp’s career post-superstardom. This work from his early days has nothing to offer in comparison.
The 1.85:1 anamorphic presentation is a swell-looking picture with bright colors and sharp contrast throughout. There is the occasional flash, but I don’t remember this being a factor beyond the first act. Perhaps it’s something one gets used to. Regardless, the transfer is a beauty, and why shouldn’t it be at only 21 years of age? Only a minimum of grain to speak of with no edge enhancement detected on my 36-inch screen. The resort offers a number of lush locations and scenery. I wish the laughs, characterization, and story development could have shared in such detail.
Offered with a 2.0 track, Private Resort sounds fine with the exception of a little muffling on the musical numbers. (This is very noticeable during the opening sequence.) The effect is one of those “love-it-or-hate-it” things, where you either find the dated sound too much to handle, or you love the fact it all sounds as cheesy today as it did then. Dialogue levels are consistent and strong, as they should be given the film’s youth. Bass is pretty much non-existent, but the overall volume of the track clocks in about where it should.
Nothing. Not even a specialized menu accompanied my copy of the film. (I’ve seen more professional ones on burned discs of home movies.) Sony really didn’t go to much trouble with this one, and I can’t say I blame them.
Our love of celebrities and hardcore fandom must be kept in check. For the life of me, I don’t know how 22 reviews on Amazon could rate this film at four and a half stars. FOUR AND A HALF. I didn’t even smirk. These jokes were stale (even then), and have since been executed with more enthusiasm and professionalism. It’s a dreadful motion picture, but it does have a pretty good A/V presentation. If this is your thing, the price will be easy to handle. Just don’t expect much fanfare. And if you’re a Depp fan, who has yet to see this film, don’t expect much, period.
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