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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Melodrama > Comedy > Cable Telefilms > Duke/Midnight Stallion/The Seven Year Hitch (all 2012/Gaiam Vivendi DVDs)/24-Hour Love (2012/Image DVD)

Duke/Midnight Stallion/The Seven Year Hitch (all 2012/Gaiam Vivendi DVDs)/24-Hour Love (2012/Image DVD)


Picture: C+/C+/C+/C     Sound: C+     Extras: D/C-/D/C-     Main Programs: D/C-/C-/C



The latest round of feel-good dramas that fail to make anyone feel good are as flat and dull as ever.



Michael J. Murray’s Duke has Steven Weber as a former Marine needing help and getting it from the title dog as we get the Dove.org dog film of the month, but at least this one does not talk, though the people sadly still do.  Though the set-up is welcome, the long 87 minutes drones on and on, never beginning to deal with the severe issues military veterans are having coming back home, with their suicide rate up to record numbers and worse.  Instead, we get this phony diatribe as a bad telefilm and it just never works.



William Dear’s Midnight Stallion is the Dove.org top horse movie this month, but with very little to offer as a young woman (Jodelle Ferland) is having life issues because of her family, but a beautiful black horse of the title might be able to help her and very one around them.  This is a tired, played out, oft filmed and taped scenario that we see all the time, but at least this one was low-budget and has Kris Kristofferson, who is more interesting than anyone here.  Still, it just made me want to watch Criterion’s nicely restored Heaven’s Gate (1980) on Blu-ray instead.  A making of featurette is the only extra.



Bradford May’s The Seven Year Hitch is the Dove.org movie to put professional women back in the kitchen for the month as Natalie Hall as a college grad who helps with charities, but really needs to just iron socks.  From the title, to the phony romance to the bad acting, bad directing and bad teleplay, this is a dud that wastes what seems like seven years worth of clichés at least.  Yawn!  Skip this one and there are no extras.



Finally we have Fred Thomas Jr.’s 24-Hour Love (2012) which has seven characters we meet and scenes (or is that sequences) split up by the motif of an old analog paper date book as each segment is supposed to add to the next to make a big statement about how love and relationships can improve life.  Despite the presence of Lynn Whitfield, who is not here enough, this is just the sum of its parts and never adds up to what is intended, but it is at least a little more ambitious than the fakery above.  Deleted Scenes and a Photo Gallery are the only extras.



The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on all four releases are weak, poor and soft, but Love has the most motion blur and softness.  The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on all the DVDs but Love are no better than the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on Love because the sound in all cases is not more than simple stereo, but Love is the only one brave enough to admit that.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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