The Blue Lagoon Blu-ray/DVD

Sunday, 09 April 2017 23:00 Written by 

The Blue Lagoon - out now on dual format Blu-ray and DVDBased on the 1908 novel by Henry De Vere Stacpoole, “The Blue Lagoon” follows cousins Richard (Christopher Atkins – Dallas, “The Pirate Movie”) and Emmeline (Brooke Shields – “The Midnight Meat Train”, The Middle) as they learn to fend for themselves and experience a sexual awakening after being marooned on a tropical island. The movie’s director is Randal Kleiser of “Grease” and “Flight of the Navigator” fame.

Initially the pre-pubescent youngsters have the knowledge and company of Paddy, the ship’s cook (Leo McKern – Rumpole of the Bailey, The Prisoner) to support them, but the lure of a barrel of rum puts paid to that. Thereafter the kids must care for themselves, and hope that eventually someone will come looking for them. As their vessel went down in flames they do not know if anyone else survived, and they could be considered lost forever.

As a child growing up in the 1980s, I had fond memories of this dream-like tale that I had not seen again for many years. It features a wondrous place of clear blue water, golden sandy beaches and lush jungle, and a couple of characters with barely a care in the world.

Atkins and Shields put in decent performances, and their innocent (initially, at least), charming personas shine through. Mind you, if I was stuck on an island like theirs (actually shot in Jamaica and on a Fijian island), with an abundance of fresh fruit and fish, I would probably be just as happy about my existence!

Watched again now, some 30-odd years later, the film suffers from a slow but sure slide into blandness once McKern’s wonderful turn as the colourful cook-turned-surrogate-parent comes to a premature end.

Although the movie looks splendid there are only so many sequences of fishing, hut building, teenage larking about and bickering that one can take before tedium sets in. Once or twice the plot threatens to go in a different, more edgy direction, but ultimately resists the temptation.

“The Blue Lagoon” has always been a controversial film, primarily because of the amount of adolescent nudity on display, irrespective of how artily it has been filmed (quite, as it happens). Indeed, one can barely conceive of the story being made like this today. Is it borderline soft pornography and child exploitation or a sensitive exploration of nascent sexuality? Both viewpoints could probably be argued.

If you are looking for a fairly tame adventure story that looks marvellous, especially on the sparkling Blu-ray, “The Blue Lagoon” probably will not disappoint. I would recommend watching it on a miserable, rainy day as it transports you to a place where you can almost feel the tropical warmth on your face.

Special features include:

  • High-definition presentation
  • Isolated music and effects track
  • Two separate audio commentary tracks, featuring director Randal Kleiser, Brooke Shields, Christopher Atkins and writer Douglas Day Stewart
  • An Adventure in Filmmaking – featurette on the films production
  • Theatrical trailer

“The Blue Lagoon” (1980) is out now on dual-format Blu-ray and DVD (two discs), courtesy of Eureka. The main feature has a running time of 104 minutes approx., carries an '15' certificate and retails for £14.99, or less from www.culttvstore.com BY CLICKING HERE

 

Last modified on Tuesday, 11 April 2017 07:08

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