Author Topic: Beyond the Sea (2004)  (Read 1300 times)

Offline Antares

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Beyond the Sea (2004)
« on: March 03, 2010, 04:03:56 PM »
Beyond the Sea

Year: 2004
Film Studio: Lions Gate Films, Archer Street, QI Quality International
Genre: Drama
Length: 118 Min.

Kevin Spacey

Kevin Spacey...Writer
Lewis Colick...Writer

Arthur E. Friedman
Andy Paterson (1960)
Jan Fantl
Kevin Spacey
Michael Burns
Peter Block
Jason Constantine
Jim Reeve
Steve Robbins
Thierry Potok
Henning Molfenter
Joanne Horowitz
Douglas E. Hansen
Mark Damon

Eduardo Serra (1943)

Kevin Spacey (1959) as Bobby Darin
Kate Bosworth as Sandra Dee
John Goodman (1952) as Steve Blauner
Bob Hoskins as Charlie Cassotto Maffia
Brenda Blethyn (1946) as Polly Cassotto
Greta Scacchi (1960) as Mary Duvan
Caroline Aaron (1952) as Nina Cassotto Maffia
Peter Cincotti as Dick Behrke

       It is always a scary proposition when you read about an actor taking on the mantle of director, screenwriter, producer and lead actor of a film. The results can vary from un-even or amateurish, to an exercise in ego driven pretentiousness. Sadly, these three descriptions can be easily affixed to Kevin Spacey’s turn as crooner Bobby Darin in Beyond the Sea. Right from the onset, Spacey seems a little confused as to what kind of film he is trying to make. He wants to celebrate the life of the man he idolized in his youth, but bio-pics tend to be cliché ridden and schmaltzy. To combat this notion, Spacey decided to insert small choreographed vignettes into the project which seem sorrowfully out of place. Not only do these routines throw off the timing of the film, but they reinforce the viewer’s conception that this movie was not made to celebrate the memory of a musical icon, but to showcase the perceived talents of the film’s star.  
       I went into this film with both eyes wide open. Back in the mid-seventies, the nation took a nostalgic trip back to the Eisenhower years. American Graffiti had become a blockbuster hit that helped young Rock & Roll fans discover the music of the doo-wop generation. Of all the singers of that time, I found myself most attracted to the stylish vocalizations of Bobby Darin. Darin was an amalgamation of many various forms of singing. He could hold his own with the likes of Elvis or Paul Anka for the R & R crowd, but he could also belt out a jazzy ballad that the fans of Sinatra and Bennett could enjoy. What separated this talented man from his peers was that he was also gifted with the ability to write his own songs, a rare accomplishment in those days. Yet Spacey barely even gives this side of Darin’s talent a mention. Instead the viewer is given snippets of the singer’s early life that never fully explains how he attained success in the world of entertainment.

       When all is said and done, Beyond the Sea can be best described as a schizophrenic mish-mash of ego driven idol worship by its creator. Maybe Spacey should have just focused on the director’s role instead of playing a character he was unquestionably too old to play. Or maybe he should have stuck to one formula in spinning this story. Either way you cut it, Beyond the Sea is a mildly entertaining film that will not satisfy your appetite if you’re a fan of Bobby Darin, a gifted artist who was taken too soon from this world.

Ratings Criterion
- The pinnacle of film perfection and excellence.
- Not quite an immortal film, yet a masterpiece in its own right.
- Historically important film, considered a classic.
- An entertaining film that’s fun or engaging to watch.
– A good film that’s worth a Netflix venture.
- Borderline viewable.
– A bad film that may have a moment of interest.
– Insipid, trite and sophomoric, and that's its good points.
– A film so vacuous, it will suck 2 hours from the remainder of your life.
- A gangrenous and festering pustule in the chronicles of celluloid.

« Last Edit: January 02, 2014, 05:14:43 PM by Antares »