South Pacific (2001)

January 28, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

As World War II rages across the Pacific Islands, one such island hosts a wealth of people, from all sorts of backgrounds and homelands. A lot of American soldiers have been stationed there, but many civilians, locals, and even outsiders also call the island home, which makes it a most interesting place to be, without a doubt. A nurse named Nellie (Glenn Close) resides there at the present time, as well as a plantation owner (Rade Sherbedgia) and soon enough, some romance will spark between them. It might not seem like the right backdrop for love, but this island so close to conflict hosts a lot of romance, believe it or not. At the same time, Lt. Joseph Cable (Harry Connick, Jr.) has arrived on the island to look around, but he could end up finding more than he plans on, including a beautiful young woman. As time passes and the war continues to escalate, will it tear these people apart from each other, or will the bonds grow even stronger under the great pressure of the current duress?

I’m at a loss as to why a new version of South Pacific was needed, but here it is, a made for television version even. Although this has more going for it than most made for television features, South Pacific still comes up short, especially when compared to the original motion picture adaptation. I mean, it is decent for what it is, but it has a better than average cast & material and as such, I expected this to be above & beyond the usual. This one seems mixed from the start and in truth, I think it should have never been made, at least not without some serious changes. Glenn Close (Fatal Attraction) heads the cast and also produces, while such names as Harry Connick, Jr. (Independence Day), Rade Sherbedgia (Mission: Impossible 2), and Robert Pastorelli (Modern Vampires) provide some of the more prominent supporting roles. Even with a decent cast, this movie never takes off, thanks to lackluster performances, both in normal sequences and the musical numbers. In truth, I could find very little to like with this updated South Pacific and if you’re interested, I think a rental should suffice, but I’d recommend seeking out the original movie version instead.

Video: How does it look?

South Pacific is presented in a full frame transfer, as intended. I doubt this visual presentation will blow anyone away, but it looks better than broadcast, which is the main issue with a release of this kind, I think. The image is clean and sharp with minimal flaws, although some edge enhancement is visible from time to time. Even so, this is a solid looking effort, with vivid colors, natural flesh tones, and accurate black levels, not much to complain about. I do think this one looks better on the small screens however, as the edge enhancement and shimmering were more powerful on my big screen, but the image was still more than adequate.

Audio: How does it sound?

I was surprised to see 5.1 surround options here in both Dolby Digital and DTS forms, but I suppose fans will be quite pleased. As this is a musical, it has some good audio moments and both tracks sound good, but don’t expect too much here. The surrounds open up when the musical numbers kick in, then fade out again, with minimal presence outside of those scenes. Even so, the material seems to have been handled in a natural, effective fashion and that’s good enough, I think. The vocals on both songs and normal dialogue sound terrific, with no problems in the least to discuss. This disc also includes English subtitles.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes a well made twenty minute behind the scenes featurette, as well as a deleted musical sequence.

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