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Aquamarine (2006)

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Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Director Elizabeth Allen and producer Susan Cartsonis Rating:8.0/10 (1 vote) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by frankasu03 on March 14th, 2017:Find all reviews by frankasu03
God bless the mid-'00s; really the "heyday" of DVD releases. Virtually all of the releases during that time were blessed with "bonus features," and commentary tracks, whether they were "tentpole" blockbusters, or fare like "Aquamarine." How a rather slight, inoffensive, "tween" fantasy like "Aqua" was given such loving treatment on home video is quite astounding. Director Elizabeth Allen and Producer Susan Cartsonis really deliver on all fronts in this commentary. The film language is kept very simple, and acts as a nice entry for prospective filmmakers to learn about basic elements like "ADR," "color timing," and makeup effects. Substituting the Gulf Coast of Florida with Melbourne Australia, "Aquamarine" (or Eck-Wa-Mah-reen, as the locals called it) made great use of Australian stalwart actors and actresses, imported cars to mimic North American automobiles, and created sets of structures only found in the States, like say, Water towers. A sobering fact brought to attention is that only 7% of the Directors in the D.G.A are female. This pair demonstrates the strength that female filmmakers can bring to a project based on empowerment and fantasy. And the stories about working with under-aged actresses are in great supply. To learn that 14-year-old leading ladies like Emma Roberts and "Jo-Jo," were limited to 6 hours of work per day, required extensive schooling, and could not work beyond 10 P.M. is quite involving. Sara Paxton acquired her "GED" prior to filming which allowed her to participate as an "adult" actress. This was essential as the leading Mermaid needed to perform lots of stunts, including swimming with an actual fish-tale. Now, when that tale acquires spectacular colors and animates to life, that is the work of puppeteers and CGI, respectively. Quite a lot of technical issues in an otherwise modestly budgeted family film. All of the bases are covered, especially those involving "boob coverage" as the ladies refer to; that is, the combination of "pasties" and strategically-placed hair that obscured the more problematic "wardrobe malfunctions" that were in play. Normally, I deviate towards genre fare, with more effects or horrific elements, but I found this track to be so engaging, I could help but finish it in one viewing. Solid track, 8/10
Commentary 2: Actors Sarah Paxton, Emma Roberts and Joanna 'JoJo' Levesque (selected scenes only) Rating: no votes yetLogin to vote or review