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Treasure Island (1999)

Cast: Lance Baker, Nick Offerman, Jonah Blechman, more...
Director: Scott King
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: All Day Entertainment
Genre: Drama, Independent, Experimental/Avant-Garde
Running Time: 84 min.
Languages: English
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System Requirements

Treasure Island is an experimental, 16 mm black-and-white drama written, directed, and photographed by producer Scott King. The loosely constructed plot shows the private lives of two British code-crackers (Lance Baker and Nick Offerman) during WWII who decode letters and look for hidden meanings behind the words. As a counterintelligence ploy, they decide to drop a dead body off the coast of Japan before a discovered invasion. The film then turns to these men's personal lives and the problems with the women they love, along with the secrets they hide. Frank is married to two women yet is pursing a third, while Samuel and his wife Penny are in a ménage à trois. As the pressures of their lives begin to eat away at them, the dead body starts to enter Frank and Samuel's subconscious, interacting with the private stories of their lives. The film continually asks the question, "What is real and what is fiction?" Treasure Island won the Freedom of Expression Award at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival. ~ Arthur Borman, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Self-indulgent and somewhat horrifying by ThoseMoes July 1, 2005 - 4:52 PM PDT
2 out of 3 members found this review helpful
I really high had hopes for this movie. It's an old throwback to WWII, with code hackers, espionage and even some gay sex! What's not to love? I don't know how he managed it, but he took a great idea and created something so boring and ridiculous it's almost painful to watch. Or maybe that's giving it too much credit. The lighting and cinematography is nice. Technically he seemed to know what he's doing, but the story and acting were AWFUL and BORING. I was suckered in my the seemingly interesting subject matter, but God Damn - this was awful.

Pretentious, amateurish, pseudo-intellectual by GGoodsell May 1, 2005 - 12:15 PM PDT
3 out of 5 members found this review helpful
The DVD is essential to understanding this feature film at hand. Click on the live documentary of the film's premiere at Sundance, and you see the director nattily dressed in 1940's gear addressing a surly audience who have just seen TREASURE ISLAND. One wiseacre asks him what the movie is all about, to which the auteur replies, "You know, most people I know ask me that question BEFORE they see my movie!" Scattered laughter and applause.

Scattered laughter and applause will not greet many people who pop this film into their entertainment systems. Indeed, one wonders how many victims lie in wait who rent this sight unseen, expecting Robert Louis Stevenson's classic of pirates and derring-do. This film, as it stands involves two counter-intelligence agents trying to break a code in the waning days of World War II. The corpse of an effeminate young man provides a catalyst for homosexual fantasies in the more butch one, as the Jimmy Stewart manqué maintains several relationships with four or more women.

The director explains that the film was the result of his confronting his homosexuality and his treatment of women, which confirms that the project is self-indulgent, therapeutic crap. Far worse than it sounds, not even semi-explicit sex can save it. TREASURE ISLAND is no treasure, the bitterest pill audiences have had to swallow since Todd Haynes' POISON (1991). Oy!

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 4.04)
26 Votes
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