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directed by Matt Ross
USA 2012

 

A touring writer (Chris Messina, DEVIL) and an itinerant data analyst (Marin Ireland, REVOLUTIONARY ROAD) carry on an affair in a series of hotel rooms over the course of several years, remaining committed to each other even as their lives apart seem to carry on happily (both having married seemingly well-matched partners). Somewhat over-familiar (although not exactly predictable) with settings that seeming stagebound rather than claustrophobic and insular, 28 HOTEL ROOMS is more of an experiment than an entertainment. Actor-turned-director Matt Ross (AMERICAN PSYCHO) wrote an initial script, workshopped it with actor Messina (who also executive-produced), rewrote it, and then continued to rework the story with the actors once shooting commenced (often as a series of twenty-minute takes), the approach taken in the settings and unclear passage of time allowed the actors to reinvent their characters without completely disrupting continuity. It also allowed Ross to experiment with a number of different techniques (from some effectively jarring cuts to an inventive-if-tiresome high-speed time-lapse sequence for one of the assignations) while cinematographer Doug Emmet (without the structural limitations imposed on him in PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4) gets to give each of the hotel rooms a different look with his varied lighting schemes. Messina and Ireland both turn in intriguing performances, managing to create some depth into characters that might have just been "woe is me" yuppie characters that a director expects us to empathize with simply because they are attractive. Hopefully, Ross will be able to carry over this collaborative approach in writing, rewriting, and improvisation to a future project that is as much compelling as it is provocative; while Messina and Ireland are actors to watch out for.

Eric Cotenas

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Theatrical Release: 2012 (USA)

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DVD Review: Oscilloscope Laboratories - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Oscilloscope Laboratories

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:22:36
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.52 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

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

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 5.1; English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English SDH, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Oscilloscope Laboratories

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Deleted Scenes (16:9; 31:41)
• Interview with director Matt Ross (16:9; 11:14)
• Original Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:03)
• Trailers for MONOGAMY, BELLFLOWER, WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN, and FOUR LOVERS

DVD Release Date: 12 February 2013
Digipack in Matte-Finish Slipcase

Chapters 14

 

Comments

Oscilloscope Laboratories' barely dual-layer encode nicely represents that low-lit high-definition cinematography. The 5.1 track is restrained but goes for a realistic ambiance of the hotel room settings and their surroundings (a 2.0 track is also available and is perfectly serviceable). Optional English SDH subtitles are thoughtfully provided, but the dialogue is always clearly recorded (especially for a film that emphasizes improvisation in the dialogue and blocking).

Roughly thirty minutes of deleted scenes are included, contextualizing the editing and re-editing of the film (for which over one hundred hours were recorded) with several differently-structured edits prepared. Some of the deleted scenes include overly expository dialogue, arriving and departing the hotel rooms, and a scene that might be a first meeting (better left out of the film). The director appears in a thoughtful Sundance interview (more revealing than the usual featurettes prepared by the filmmakers themselves or by the DVD company to pad out the extras package) in which he discusses the collaborative approach.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Oscilloscope Laboratories

Region 0 - NTSC

 




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