Set in Mexico, Beat shows us the final days of the relationship between Burroughs and hiswife Joan Vollmer. While Burroughs vacations in Guatemala with his latest boy toy, Vollmergallivants about with two other members of the beats, notably a rather innocent Ginsberg.Somehow this is all going to lead to the fatal William Tell trick with the gun. Keifer Sutherlandturns in a startling bit as Burroughs, perfectly mimicking his speech patterns. But the film itself islittle more…than a low-key road trip cum soap opera.
Though the sound is limited to a 2.0 mix (no 5.1 here), said mix is very strong. The music, asone would expect, sounds wonderful, but the sound FX are top-notch as well. The sense ofenvironment is almost complete, and the left-right separation is strong too. There is a slight blipabout 50 minutes in, though.
Very nice here too. The blacks are solid, the image as sharp as one could desire, and thecolours contrasts and flesh tones nothing less than superb. The format is 1.78:1 anamorphicwidescreen.
The menu is still and silent. Select the Lions Gate logo, and you get trailers for Beat, ChelseaWalls and Vulgar. Interestingly, the Beat trailer contains numerous scenes not in the final cut ofthe film itself. This is explained in the commentary by writer/director Gary Walkow and co-editor Steve Vance (it seems the first act of the film, set in New York, wasn’t working and sowas reduced to brief flashbacks). The commentary is a good one, covering both the intentionsbehind the film, as well as how it was shot. There is also a photo gallery, and it is LABELLED!Now that is a rare and pleasing touch.
Given its subject matter, the film should have been more interesting. Nice transfer andcommentary, however.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary
- Photo Gallery