Twenty-something Richard travels to Thailand and finds himself in possession of a strange map. Rumours state that it leads to a solitary beach paradise, a tropical bliss - excited and intrigued, he sets out to find it.
The story of Frank Abagnale Jr., before his 19th birthday, successfully forged millions of dollars' worth of checks while posing as a Pan Am pilot, a doctor, and legal prosecutor as a seasoned and dedicated FBI agent pursues him.
Garland's novel centers on a young nicotine-addicted traveler named Richard, an avid pop-culture buff with a particular love for video games and Vietnam War movies. While at a hotel in Bangkok, he finds a map left by his strange, whacked-out neighbor, who just committed suicide. The map supposedly leads to a legendary island paradise where some other wayward souls have settled. Written by
Mike Arndt <email@example.com>
The island was initially chosen by location scouts for Fox Studios not because of its astounding natural beauty, but because of its potential for a landscaping redevelopment. The script called for a clearing on the beach large enough to play football, so they bulldozed a large swath of the native trees and vegetation. They also planted a hundred non-native palm trees just to get the right look, essentially introducing an exotic species to the island that could take over and effectively change the habitat forever. While the whole thing was an eyesore for the locals, the real damage didn't come until the filmmakers left the island. The usual seasonal storms hit the beach, but this time the sand dunes didn't have the protection of their natural vegetation. They collapsed immediately and washed out to sea, damaging the fragile coral reef on their way out.
Environmentalists were outraged and accused the filmmakers of bribing the Thai government to get around legal requirements; for instance, the National Park Act, which was specifically designed to prevent this exact sort of thing. Allegedly Fox donated the equivalent of $100,000 to the Royal Forestry Development in Thailand; the normal fee for filming on the island is less than one percent of that. Afterwards, they were allowed the freedom to remodel the island as much as they pleased after the money changed hands.
Environmentalists responded by taking legal action against Fox Studios, its local coordinator Santa International, and the Thai government officials. Seven years later, the court penalized the film company for unnecessary ecological destruction and ordered them to repair all environmental damage to Maya Beach, which is much more than just planting a few trees. They are also expected to rebuild the marine life population that was wiped out.
In a fitting twist, the message of the movie is that trying to preserve an untouched paradise is futile. See more »
Keaty explains the rules of cricket and asks if anyone still doesn't understand. Richard and Étienne both raise their left hands. The camera angle changes; when Richard is shown again, he is raising his right arm instead. See more »
My name is Richard. So what else do you need to know? Stuff about my family, or where I'm from? None of that matters. Not once you cross the ocean and cut yourself loose, looking for something more beautiful, something more exciting and yes, I admit, something more dangerous. So after eighteen hours in the back of an airplane, three dumb movies, two plastic meals, six beers and absolutely no sleep, I finally touch down; in Bangkok.
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Here is another of those films that got panned by critics all over the place, but I liked the movie and thought it was unfairly criticized.
Two things are not up for debate: the film is entertaining and the cinematography is gorgeous.
Leonardo DiCaprio's lead character is not particularly likable, but that's nothing new for him. He's good at playing the boyish, cocky immature type. He's also good at narration, which he provides here, as he has in a number of other films. In fact, I wish there were more of it in here.
French actress Virginie Ledoyen is a new face to me, and a pretty one. I found her intriguing, and not just because of her face Actually, all the characters were pretty darn interesting in this film and you get a varied group.
The scenery from Thailand is magnificent. By the way, "the beach" that's in this film really exists, just as it's seen here. The story is interesting, too, for the full two hours. My only complaint was that they might have toned down the language, particularly with all the f-words.
Don't listen to those national critics who blasted this. I think you'll be entertained.
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