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Sandy Ricks is sent by his mom to Coral Key, a rustic island in the Florida keys, to spend the summer with his uncle Porter Ricks. Sandy dislikes everything about his new environment until a new friend comes into his life, a dolphin named Flipper, that brings uncle and nephew together and leads Sandy on the summer adventure of a lifetime. Written by
Wayne Coleman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Universal Studios version of "Flipper" (1996) is a great heartwarming film for the entire family with good values and sentimentality. It is the story of Sandy Ricks, a teenager from Chicago who reluctantly spends his vacation with his Uncle Porter Ricks in the Bahamas. This ultimately changes the teenagers life and he grows up in the process. He learns to appreciate nature and to have a respect for the environment. I grew up in the 1960's and the NBC television show "Flipper" was my favorite childhood show. Elijah Wood is perfectly cast as a 1990's Sandy Ricks and gives an excellent performance. As much as I liked the NBC television show and MGM theatrical feature films with Luke Halpin as Sandy in the 1960's I liked this feature the best! I feel Elijah Wood is the best Sandy Ricks. With respect to Luke Halpin I feel Elijah Wood has more of a range of acting talent and emotes more as an actor which makes his performance excellent and more believable. I think Elijah Wood is the best young actor working today in films. Director Alan Shapiro also wrote the screenplay and has done an excellent job as both writer and director of this film. Paul Hogan gives a comical and likable performance as Sandy's Uncle Porter Ricks. Mr. Hogan's performance perfectly offsets Elijah's role as Sandy. I am a big fan of underwater films. This film was beautifully shot in the Bahamas like "Thunderball" (1965 UA) was. The director of photography was Bill Butler A.S.C. who lensed the film "Jaws" in 1975. Mr. Butler is a very talented cinematographer. The underwater director of photography was Pete Romano. He did a superb job with the underwater cinematography. I enjoyed the film score by Joel McNeely. This good film score featured Crosby, Stills and Nash among other talented artists. This motion picture was shot in Panavision like "Thunderball" in the aspect ratio of 2.35:1 If possible try to see this film in a scope version as originally framed and visioned by Alan Shapiro and Bill Butler. Another very nice thing is that Mr. Shapiro gave the "original" Sandy Ricks (Luke Halpin) a small part in this remake. He portrayed Bounty Fisherman #3 in this film. This was a very kind gesture on Mr. Shapiro's part! As you can tell I am a real true fan of this film. Sadly this beautiful film was met with harsh words by the majority of movie critics. I originally saw this movie on my birthday, May 31st of 1996 in a movie theater. It meant a lot to me. I have it on numerous video versions. The VHS versions are in "pan and scan". The laserdisc version is "letterboxed" 2.35:1! I even have a VCD in 2.35:1 from Hong Kong which is "letterboxed". But my most prized possession is an "original" 16mm theatrical feature print which I will treasure for the rest of my life! Thank you Mr. Shapiro, Elijah Wood, Paul Hogan and everyone involved for making this a memorable movie for me to enjoy!
P.S. I must add that the quality of the Universal DVD is superb! It is the best DVD as far as quality I have ever seen. The color and resolution is spectacular. The soundtrack is great. I think Universal must have used the same transfer for the DVD that they did for the laserdisc version. The 35mm scope print is "mint" and Alan's film really has a wonderful look to it. A great tribute to a wonderful film! The DVD's resolution is even superior to the laserdisc quality! It's just spectacular! Thank you Universal Home Video for the great quality control and transfer. Many thank's for doing a superb job on this wonderful family film. Also many thank's to you Alan for all your extreme kindness to me!!! It's a real honor to know you!!! (Review Revised/Updated June 27, 2005)
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