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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Just 45 Minutes from Broadway" )

 

directed by Henry Jaglom
USA 2012

 

Actress Pandora Isaacs (Tanna Frederick of Jaglom's HOLLYWOOD DREAMS and IRENE IN TIME) and her "civilian" sister Betsy (Julie Davis, FINDING BLISS) have returned to their family home during Passover for different reasons: Pandora to lick her wounds after yet another disastrous relationship, a reluctant Betsy to introduce her "normal" fiance James (Judd Nelson, THE BREAKFAST CLUB) to her eccentric theatrical family (along with another bombshell). The attempts of the family - father George (Jack Heller, CRAWLSPACE), mother Vivian (Diane Salinger, ALICE), her brother Larry (David Proval, MEAN STREETS), and family friend Sally (lyricist Harriet Schock) - to "act" normal go out the window with Pandora's grand entrance. Betsy's own inner drama queen comes out as she tries to prevent her thoroughly captivated fiance from being seduced into the chaos that is her family's way of life.

Jaglom's films have been compared to the works of Woody Allen, and JUST 45 MINUTES FROM BROADWAY is one of his films that seems to have been similarly inspired by Ingmar Bergman's chamber films with its handful of characters coming together at a country house or cottage and reflecting on the choices they made in their lives. The script is depicts the lives of actors as liberating but full of both professional and personal heartache, and also looks at the extent to which the normal lives of "civilians" are also performances. Dedicated to actors and actresses "and the families who refused to disown them", Henry Jaglom's JUST 45 MINUTES FROM BROADWAY takes a while to get started but it ultimately makes for a very charming drama. The project began as a stage play featuring the principal actors (except for Nelson) that played for nine months in Los Angeles, and filmed excerpts from a live stage performance bookend the film. These sequences take a highly mobile approach to encompass all of the movements of the actors and the nuances of their performances and it's a little disorienting; but the film proper's more conventional coverage then takes on a strangely theatrical feel (particularly the climax where the front porch and driveway of the house almost feels like a stage as it encompasses all of the action). Nelson at first seems out of his depth surrounded by stage actors, but his hesitant "odd man out" is actually quite appropriate as his character comes to certain realizations about himself; however, Davis and Frederick are both captivating from the start, and Proval's performance will surprise viewers only familiar with him from THE SOPRANOS. Jaglom's older brother Michael Emil (the star of his earlier films SITTING DUCKS and CAN SHE BAKE A CHERRY PIE? and usual supporting actor in his later films) appears here as George's uncle during the Passover Seder dinner.

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release: 17 October 2012 (USA)

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DVD Review: Breaking Glass Pictures/Rainbow Films - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution

Breaking Glass Pictures/Rainbow Films

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:51:56
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.30 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 none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Breaking Glass Pictures/Rainbow Films

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
•  Audio Commentary by director Henry Jaglom and actors Tanna Frederick, Judd Nelson, David Proval, Diane Salinger, Jack Heller, and Harriet Schock
• Never Before Seen Outtakes (16:9; 18:17)
• Selected Clips (16:9; 12:19)
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:25)
• The Films of Henry Jaglom (trailer reel)

DVD Release Date: July 16th, 2013
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

Comments

Breaking Glass' cover lists the title as 45 MINUTES FROM BROADWAY while the film itself (as well as the disc art) feature the original title. The dual-layer, progressive, anamorphic transfer of this 35mm feature looks a bit soft - although the bitrate is reasonably high - but not overly manipulated (although the colors might have been slightly boosted in addition to the day-for-night adjustments done on the digital intermediate). The 5.1 track of this dialogue-driven film is almost completely front-oriented with nothing in the surround channels but a rare door slamming and some crickets chirping (there is also a perfectly serviceable 2.0 stereo downmix - that might produce very much the same effect as the 5.1 mix with ProLogic engaged - but it is not selectable from the menus). The disc is closed-captioned, but the captions have trouble keeping up with the rapid pace of the dialogue.

Jaglom and his main cast members are on-hand for a commentary track in which they discuss the project's origins as a stage play and their identification with their onscreen roles. There's a lot of back-slapping, but it makes for a pleasant way to re-watch the film. There are a handful of deleted scenes and outtakes - given the improvisational nature of the dialogue and the exuberance of the characters, it's hard to tell if certain bits are gaffs or not - including some extensions and some more stage play scenes that have equivalent "film" versions in the feature. There is also a superfluous selected clips section, as well as an extensive trailer reel section for all of Jaglom's works.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Breaking Glass Pictures/Rainbow Films

Region 1 - NTSC

 

 




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