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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r


directed by Ron Judkins
USA 2013


Suffering from writer's block, graphic novel artist Sam's (Michael O'Keefe, APARTMENT 143) successes are long behind him. A New York artist who went mainstream with a bad Hollywood adaptation of a novel compromised by the input of a co-author striving for social significance and meta-commentary, Sam spends his days in Southern Californian suburbia in his toolshed office attempting to write what he knows and winding up with an equally stagnated middle-aged character unable to get off the sofa. His wife Mary (Catherine Dent, 21 GRAMS) has renewed her therapy license seems less supportive as she inadvertently treats him like one of her patients, his gay neighbors Jeff (Blake Bashoff, MINORITY REPORT) and Paul (Sean Patrick Thomas, THE FOUNTAIN) think he's a pervert, his neighbor on the other side Sherrie (Julie Mond, PRIEST) thinks he is a peeping tom when he notices her showering nude in the backyard after jogging, and his agent is a frustrated voice on the radio ready to take legal action against him. After a misunderstanding, Jeff reluctantly tries to make amends only to become starstruck when he realizes who Sam is and provides him with some insight into the downward trajectory of his art. In return, Sam provides a sympathetic ear to Jeff's frustrated ambitions and feeling like Paul only wants a "wife". After catching Sam watching her shower in the backyard, Sherrie tries to flirt with him but they end up in a frank conversation about sexual desire and aging during a road trip for Jeff to address his lingering feelings for an ex-lover. Mary starts to become suspicious of Sam's whereabouts during the day and resentful about his seeming ability to talk about the things most important to him to everyone else but her; feeling like she is part of his dissatisfaction and may not have any place in the newfound "lightness of being" he has started to feel after sighting the new incarnation of his character in an "unfettered" vagabond (Ross Kidder) living on the Los Angeles river.

Eric Cotenas


Theatrical Release: 25 October 2013 (USA)

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DVD Review: Strand Releasing - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Strand Releasing

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:36:00

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.6 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.


Audio English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles English SDH, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Strand Releasing

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
� Audio Commentary by director Ron Judkins
� Cast Interviews (6:01)
� Director's Breakdown of a Scene (3:34)
� Animation Backstory (4:59)
� 'Women on the Set' featurette (4:17)
� Theatrical Trailer (1:40)
� Previews for 'Set Fire to the Stars', 'A Wolf at the Door', 'Cupcakes', and 'Lilting'

DVD Release Date: September 22nd. 2015

Chapters 8




Strand Releasing's high-bitrate progressive, anamorphic DVD is a strong presentation of this digitally-lensed film with good detail in close-ups and some minor downscaling edge-enhancement. The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is dialogue-heavy but gives the neighborhood some ambiance in the surrounds and some less predictable effects during the animation scenes. Optional English SDH subtitles are included.

Although the extras seem minor in terms of running time, they are substantive. Director Ron Judkins appears in an audio commentary in which he discusses how the film mirrored his own life as well as how the animation was not written into the script and planned as an afterthought (only for the filmmakers to discover how it could be used to fill in backstory and make some transitions seem less abrupt). The cast interviews find the actors giving mostly sound-byte friendly remarks while O'Keefe discusses the way his character's career trajectory mirrored his own as a young actor whose early successes did not translate to fame. Unlike the commentary, the "Director's Breakdown of a Scene" relies too much on play-by-play as he explains the characters actions like a descriptive video service track rather than how he attempted to convey their motivations cineamtically. The animation backstory featurette reiterates some information from the commentary track with illustrative visuals. "Women on the Set" is a phone interview that highlights the "army" of talented women working behind the scenes on the film. A trailer for the film and previews for other Strand titles rounds out the extras.

  - Eric Cotenas


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Region 1 - NTSC


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