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Newcastle (DVD Review)

19 Aug, 2009 By: Angelique Flores


Street 8/25/09
$24.95 DVD
Not rated.

The tagline for this film is “you’re only young forever once.” And it certainly does make you think back about high-school years when your biggest concerns are the boy or girl you’re crushing on and having fun with friends.

In Newcastle, Jesse, Andy, Scotty and Nathan are teenage friends whose main concern is surfing. The guys take a weekend camping trip with two of their crushes, Deborah and Leah, and Jesse’s indie rock brother Fergus, who is gay and anything but a surfer dude like the others. But Jesse’s older brother Victor, a former surf champ who has lost his way, shows up and causes trouble.

Unlike a lot of coming-of-age films, Newcastle has a lot of depth in the characters and the plot. Besides issues such as growing up and teenage love, it addresses friendship, family issues, homosexuality and death. And it skillfully manages to present all these topics without making you feel overwhelmed. If anything it just felt like a slice of these kids’ lives.

Newcastle should reach a wider audience beyond teens. The surfing scenes are beautifully shot, both from above and underwater, and should appeal to anyone into the sport.

Women and gay men will appreciate all the young beefcakes frolicking around in nothing but board shorts and sometimes nothing at all.

Those looking for gay cinema will appreciate the storyline between Fergus and Nathan, which addresses the teasing that most teens deal with but also portrays the guys in a normal, non-stereotypical way.

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