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Product Reviews

Postcards From Paradise

Postcards From Paradise

Postcards from Paradise
Ryan Ray
Seven Films / Joyful Noise
45 minutes (+15 minutes bonus features)

Paradise Found

Postcards From Paradise 1

Overall Grade: 3.5 / 5

Surfing: 3.5 / 5
Music: 2.5 / 5
DVD Features: 2 / 5
Replay Value: 3 / 5

I was really looking forward to Postcards from Paradise, based on a few recommendations and good reviews, and it lived up to most of my expectations.

This film is all surfing, and pretty much nothing else. There are a few token interviews and some quick shots of the landscape, but nothing exceptional in this department. This was a little disappointing, since the landscape shots were pretty nice and gave the locations a little more dimension.

Postcards from Paradise is perfect for those of you who want a straight up surfing video with no artistic fluff.

Surfing: Postcards features 100% pro-style shortboarding. There were some great waves and some incredible airs, and overall the action is excellent. It doesn’t quite reach the level of Campaign or Freakshow, but it’s generally above-average. All surfers are named, with the likes of Kelly Slater, Jamie O’Brien, Taj Burrow, Dean Morrison, Chris Ward, Shane Dorian, Andy Irons, Mikala Jones, the Bali boys, and more. It was good to see the Bali boys featured here since they usually fly under the radar.

Waves/Location: Location is the star in Postcards, taking you on a tour of some of the most celebrated tropical island surf spots in the world—-paradise to anyone, but especially so if you’re a surfer. Tahiti, Indonesia and Bali, Hawaii, and the Mentawais are all showcased in their wave-filled glory. Spots like Teaupoo and the North Shore are prominently featured, as well as G Land in one of the bonus footage clips. It sometimes got confusing as to where they were, since the film seemed to jump around from location to location. I think the film would have benefited if all the location segments were kept together.

Music: Nothing groundbreaking. It had a variety of punk, ethnic and alternative, but nothing really grabbed me. Artists featured include Olivia, Mute Math, Day of Fire, Slightly Stoopid, Salvador and The Beautiful Girls.

Editing: Pretty average here. I wish they wouldn’t have cut the scenery and wide perspective lineup shots so short. Some shots were cut too short, and there were too many random “surfer walking with board” shots inserted. Thankfully there were no slow motion shots so the speed of the waves could be fully appreciated.

Cinematography: Unfortunately the only water shots in the film are in the beginning introduction. The rest is restricted to a shoreline perspective. This is unfortunate since the water shots they did have were pretty good looking. The film looks absolutely beautiful, and the DVD transfer is virtually immaculate. My version had a blue frame inserted somewhere in the middle, but I’m not sure if that’s on every DVD. Kelly Slater’s section had this strange green tint that they really should have cleaned up, and about 1/3 of the sections were shot during overcast days which I think detracts from the overall theme the film is trying to portray.

Extras: Nothing spectacular. There’s a section showcasing G-Land, and another section featuring some pros at a very “un-paradise” location. Interview outtakes from the Bali interviews were so-so. A few trailers for Shades of Bali, Kumbaya and The Circus, and some promotional trailers for surf shops and companies were also included, which I’m not sure count as extras.

Overall Postcards from Paradise is a good film, but it’s hindered by the fact that it’s pretty a run of the mill surfing video. Nothing groundbreaking here, but that’s perfect if all you want to watch is some great surfing on some of the world’s best waves.

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