Beyond Borders

Beyond Borders

DVD Rating: **1/2

Reviewed by: Josh Morrall

Read Josh Morrall's film review of Beyond Borders

The light-weight extras for this epic film are representative of Beyond Borders' failure at the box office. Had it been a hit, we would be looking at two discs here.

The commentary with director Martin Campbell is informative and covers all aspects of the film's production, as well as offering insight into filmmaking technique. Apparently there is also a producer present somewhere on this track... but you won't be hearing much of him.

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The Making Of featurette, Behind The Lines, is extensive in its coverage of the filmmaking process and acts as both a documentary of the history upon which the film is based, as well as an on-set diary. There are the good old "It was wonderful working with..." interviews, which no featurette would be complete without, but these are few and far between allowing you to enjoy the extensive detail given to production design and the film's devotion to reality. The cuts between the Making Of and the film itself are useful and well timed, showing how the elements of filmmaking combine to produce the finished article.

The script to Beyond Borders is far, far from being perfect, so the interview with the screenwriter seems redundant to me. His conversation is as limp and two dimensional as his writing and it is hard to care about his opinions when the only experience he has had of the developing world are 30, or so, interviews with relief workers. His interview should have been cut into small segments and strewn throughout the Making Of.

Angelina Jolie's personal journey during the shooting of the film is explored in small detail by the Making Of and in her promotional interview, but it appears that this is not enough. She is also given an entire extra to herself, which concerns her efforts as Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations. This is very similar to the 10 minute clips that are dotted throughout Comic Relief, showing a celebrity in a developing country interacting with the people.

The interviews on offer are promotional segments with Jolie, Clive Owen and the director. These last at least 20 minutes and are boring and unedited. Most of what is said can be gained from the featurette, or director's commentary, and appear to have been stuffed in only to fill up the disc.

As it is, these extra features are more than enough to mull over and, if anything, are in excess. I did not miss the Deleted Scenes as the film's two hour runtime was more than enough to quench my thirst for desert panoramas. The only extra worthy of your time is the Making Of, which is well made, informative and interesting. The commentary is also worth a listen, but only for those wishing to learn about the director's technique.

Despite the fact that the extras are hardly anorexic, I found myself wishing there were less of them, as they only repeat what the others have already said. Adequate, at best, but worth it for the Behind The Lines featurette.

Reviewed on: 08 Oct 2004
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Beyond Borders packshot
American socialite becomes infatuated with British aid worker in Ethiopia.
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Product Code: P9144DVD

Region: 2

Ratio: 2.35

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1

Extras: Director and producer commentary; Behind The Lines featurette; Writing Beyond Borders; Angelina Jolie: UN Goodwill Ambassador; 3 interviews.

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