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New Line Home Cinema presents
The Real Cancun (2003)

"I just want to see some boobies."
- Alan

Review By: Kevin Clemons   
Published: August 11, 2003

Stars: a lot of drunk and horny college kids
Director: Rick de Oliveira

Manufacturer: WAMO
MPAA Rating: R for strong sexuality, nudity, and partying
Run Time: 01h:27m:08s
Release Date: July 01, 2003
UPC: 794043652127
Genre: documentary

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

My recollection of the only spring break spent far away from my college is a tad hazy. I find it difficult in the following years to recall just what exactly I did or did not do, though I am sure there was drinking and a lot of it, I might add. During my viewing of The Real Cancun, I began to hope and pray that my actions were entirely different than that of those presented. Never before haveI felt as much embarrassment as I did while watching the events documented here. This is not to say that these antics are entertaining; they're most definitely not. Those deriving entertainment from watching people with no personality get wasted and show no remorse for their actions will find The Real Cancun a treat. Those who don't, like me, might see the film as a sign of the coming apocalypse.

The Real Cancun is the brainchild of the creators of the MTV hit, The Real World, and like that show, it follows the misadventures a group of strangers during an all-expense paid trip to a random location. The place this time happens to be Cancun during spring break, and while the environment is ripe for fun and excitement, the participants are about as dull as they come. There is the standard geeky virgin, the muscle-bound jock, the flirtatious and beautiful twins, and even the two opposite-sex best friends who have "never been anything more," as well as many others. Ah, what would a reality show be without this cast of crazies?

One would think that given the exotic locations, the beautiful participants and even the uninspired melodrama found in the numerous instances of innocent flirting, there would have been at least one moment where The Real Cancun would be interesting. Instead, the film is a barren wasteland of entertainment; there fails to be even a single moment that can be considered intriguing or exciting. The editing is done in such a frenzied way that even the moments where the group is seen partying, the camera does not hold long enough for the viewer to peek inside the party in a voyeuristic sort of way. There are so many cuts that the scenes resemble a music video more than a feature-ength film.

There are elements that point to missed opportunities. The film could have been a look at the down and dirty aspects of what college kids do when ingesting seemingly brain-numbing amounts of alcohol while far away from parents and their educational institutions. But instead, The Real Cancun becomes something of an advertisement for the dumbing down of the American culture. The participants drink, have sex, generally lose all inhibitions and are seen having the time of their lives. If the film were to take a satirical look at its participants, this could have been at least interesting, but it seems the filmmakers are merely praising this sort of behavior. When young and na´ve Alan witnesses a wet t-shirt contest for the first time, the look of awestruck shock on his face is priceless. Those watching may also find themselves with the same expression, only without Alan's giddy wonderment.

And yet, if there is an element of the film to which the audience can identify with, it is Alan, the Texas Tech freshman who had never tasted alcohol before arriving in Cancun. As he wanders through the film, he begins to see the things he only dreamed of, and does things he never thought he would do. This is where the similarity ends, as he seems to be enjoying himself, and it can be argued that most of us watching The Real Cancun will not have the same experience. Nor would we want to.

Rating for Style: C+
Rating for Substance: F


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.78:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Though the film itself is very poorly done, the same can not be said about the 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. This is a simply stunning image; the digital video source comes off very nicely, offering the cleanest of transfers. Sharpness and detail are spot on, while colors appear vibrant, with no bleeding or distortion. Black levels are solid with no grain evident, while I noticed no edge enhancement to speak of. This is a very nice transfer.

Image Transfer Grade: A


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is done very nicely by New Line as the pop music soundtrack fills the room amazingly well, while the center channel offers very crisp and decipherable dialogue throughout. The .1 LFE track offers nice bas support throughout with a nice back up for the music soundtrack.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 17 cues and remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
7 TV Spots/Teasers
6 Deleted Scenes
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL

Extra Extras:
  1. Cast insights
  2. Highlights from the theatrical premiere
Extras Review: The extra features are about as shallow as the participants in the film. Cast Insights is a nearly half-hour look back at the experience by the cast members. Many discuss the making of the film, but there is little to learn here, aside from the sense that each person truly thinks that the film is a work of art.

A collection of six deleted scenes are available but none add anything to the proceedings. Instead, it is just more of the same sort of shtick. There is footage from the premiere as the cast is planted in the middle of Hollywood at the famous Egyptian theater. The interviews are fairly short and each cast member explains how big they think the film will be. Finally, the original trailer and seven television spots are offered.

Extras Grade: C


Final Comments

The Real Cancun takes the already disturbing idea of reality television and gives it a much larger canvas on which to spread. It seems as though the creators are throwing gasoline on an already burning fire. I can only imagine what is next: a fake millionaire "himbo" who goes to an island where other contestants force him to see how much alcohol he can ingest until he makes a fool out of himself? Coming soon to Fox.


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