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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "A Long Way to Paradise" or "All for One" or "Force Majeure")

 

Directed by Joseph Ruben
USA 1998

 

In this tense, twisted thriller of passion and betrayal, two men face the decision of a lifetime. They had been three buddies, living the life in Malaysia, a life of drugs, sex and freedom. Sheriff and Tony return to America, but Lewis decided to stay on. Two years later, a lawyer arrives in New York. Lewis is rotting in a prison cell sentenced to die because of them. The only way he can be saved is if Sheriff and Tony return to serve three years in a living hell.

One woman must do whatever it takes to persuade and she only has five days to do it. But as the day of execution draws closer, no one can predict what fate has in store for those who stay and those who leave and Return to Paradise.

Based on the French film Force Majeure, Return to Paradise was overlooked at the time of release despite critical acclaim and features solid early performances from Joaquin Phoenix, Vince Vaughn & Anne Heche.

***

Lewis, Sheriff and Tony are three friends vacationing in Malaysia. Sheriff and Tony eventually leave to pursue careers in New York, but Lewis stays behind to work with orangutans. Two years later, Sheriff and Tony learn that, because of their past actions, Lewis has been arrested for drug possession. With Lewis facing a death sentence, the friends are left with a difficult decision: return to Malaysia and split Lewis' sentence, or let him die.

Posters

Theatrical Release: August 10th, 1998

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Review: Imprint - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Imprint - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:51:51.204        
Video

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 43,847,004,263 bytes

Feature: 33,003,134,976 bytes

Video Bitrate: 33.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2007 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2007 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

Subtitles English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Imprint

 

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 43,847,004,263 bytes

Feature: 33,003,134,976 bytes

Video Bitrate: 33.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

NEW Force Majeure: Directing Return to Paradise interview with director Joseph Ruben (28:10)
NEW A Godless Place: Scoring Return to Paradise interview with composer Mark Mancina (11:33)
Archival interviews with actors Vince Vaughn + Anne Heche (4:18) and Joaquin Phoenix (7:16)
Theatrical Trailer (2:19)


Blu-ray Release Date: April 7th, 2023

Transparent Blu-ray Case inside slipcase

Chapters 13

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Imprint Blu-ray (April 2023): Imprint have transferred Joseph Ruben's Return to Paradise to Blu-ray. It is cited as being "from a 4K scan of the original negative". The 1080P looks marginally digitized although I could find no extreme examples of edge enhancement - only a touch of low frequency halos. It looks a shade overly smooth and flat but this is consistent and may be a function of the source. The oddly lit Southeast Asia beach scenes were filmed in Thailand. Grain is not prevalent. Home theater aficionados sensitive to this should be warned. This appearance, while certainly not ideal, didn't deter my enjoyment of this strong film. 

NOTE: We have added 44 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Imprint offer the option of a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround track or a, surprisingly more robust, linear PCM stereo track - both 24-bit and both in the original English language. I didn't note a lot of discreet separations in the surround. Return to Paradise has aggressive moments but none that stand out with egregious bass. It is clean and clear. The pleasing score was by Mark Mancina (Beyond Suspicion, also with Anne Heche.) Some may also note Domenico Scarlatti's Sonata In F Minor. I liked the suspenseful interludes and tropical flare. The dialogue is consistent and audio effects supportive via the lossless transfers. Imprint offer optional English (SDH) subtitles on their Region FREE Blu-ray.

The Imprint Blu-ray offers new interviews with director Joseph Ruben ('Force Majeure: Directing Return to Paradise') for 1/2 hour and composer Mark Mancina ('A Godless Place: Scoring Return to Paradise') for a dozen minutes. These are relevant reflections on the film from over 20-year ago. Certainly of interest. There are also brief archival interviews with actors Vince Vaughn + Anne Heche plus another, longer one, with Joaquin Phoenix. Lastly is a theatrical trailer. 

Joseph Ruben's Return to Paradise is a well-made film that totally slipped through my radar. It offers a look at the moral dilemma of two friends, played by Vince Vaughn and David Conrad, returning to accept responsibility for a drug charge in Malaysia which in-turn saves a third friend (Joaquin Phoenix) from a death sentence. If one of them returns, it will be six years in prison but if they both come back it's three years apiece. Hmmm... The judge gives a compelling speech on respecting the customs of the country with reasons behind their strong stance while castigating the US and how drugs are destroying their cities. I always find Anne Heche (RIP) likeable and the entire 'emerging star' cast offers deft performances. Strong themes of responsibility and loyalty arise. I found this a very effective film. Despite reservations on the image we applaud the Imprint Blu-ray for bringing Return to Paradise out in 1080P with new supplements. You definitely might want to see this. Certainly recommended!

Gary Tooze

 


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Distribution Imprint - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

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