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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

directed by Dave McLaughlin
USA 2007

 

Growing up, Jack O'Toole (New Kids on the Block's Joey McIntyre) has looked to Uncle Pete (Andrew Connolly, PATRIOT GAMES) as a father figure since his own father Martin (Sean Lawlor, IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER) became embittered and withdrawn after losing a leg in a construction accident and having to take a job as a janitor in the building he was working on. When Peter himself takes a fatal slip off a roof and dies, Jack is as devastated as his own cousin Billy (Lance Greene, R.I.P.D.) and Aunt Grace (Annette Miller, THE COMPANY MEN). Touched by the stories spun by family friend Augie Burke (Vincent Dowling), dubbed "the last of the great storytellers", and the mix of laughter and tears they inspire, Jack is inspired to write a play about the wake. Despite not being able to express his concept in words to his own skeptical family - including his wife Kate (Jill Flint, GARDEN STATE) - he spends every free moment over the next ten months crafting a script. When no one seems interested in producing the play, Jack impulsively quits the family carpentry business - in the middle of patching up their fixer-upper home no less - and takes a part-time job at the local pub to focus on producing and staging it himself. With absolutely no experience in the theater, Jack lucks out in meeting actress quirky Lena (Eliza Dushku, WRONG TURN) who works for a casting agency and offers her services in exchange for one of the lead roles. With Lena and tentatively cast actors Barry (Peter Giles) and Maggie (Dossy Peabody) breathing life into Jack's script and he is able to secure the pub for the performance (with the audience of drinkers guaranteed to be in the right mood), even his family and friends start to get enthusiastic (with his priest brother Rollie (Mike O'Malley, LEATHERHEADS) going to bat for wise-cracking skeptic friend Neil (Lucas Caleb Rooney) when he wants to audition for a role). As opening night (on the anniversary of Pete's death) nears, disaster after disaster befalls the production, and even Jack is starting to feel his venture is the folly everyone else thought it earlier on.

A "feel good" comedy with good performances and plenty of touching moments, ON BROADWAY frustrates in some ways. Seemingly all of the effort that Jack puts into the play from writing it to doing the legwork is elided by editing (even before he puts pen to paper, we get an "10 Months Later" intertitle) or wordless musical montages, even cutting away when moments get too tense. The rehearsals and even the performance of the play also fall victim to this, so we get very little idea of it apart from Jack's early impressions of the real wake (all the more strange because the play-within-a-film "God Willing" was apparently an actual work that director Dave McLaughlin (SOUTHIE) had produced Off Broadway with actor Greene among the cast). Most of the big moments are saved for Jack's troubled relationship with his father and his wife's growing frustrations, with only the barest suggestion of tension with Billy caused not by Jack abandoning the family business but by his paying tribute to his uncle as beloved father figure (even as the conflict in the play supposedly mirrors that which Jack is experiencing with his own father). ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT's Will Arnett and PARKS AND RECREATION's Amy Poehler both have small supporting roles that seem effortlessly humorous compared to lead performances which fare better with drama than comedy.

Eric Cotenas

Poster

Theatrical Release: 25 April 2007 (USA)

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DVD Review: Simply Media - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution

Simply Media

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:37:42 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.25 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

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

Bitrate

Audio Englsih Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Simply Media

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
� none

DVD Release Date: January 18th, 2016
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

 

 

Comments

Not only is it odd that this 2007 production was shot on film full frame, but Simply Media's single-layer DVD presents the film in pillarboxed 16:9 (the image looks neither squeezed nor cropped). The encode is serviceable while the Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track fares better. There are no extras or start-up material.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Simply Media

Region 2 - PAL

 

 



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