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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Biopic > Poetry > Comedy > Gay > Homosexual > Homophobia > Family > Marriage > Relationships > Jordan > The Color Of Time (2013/Starz/Anchor Bay DVD)/Love Is Strange (2014/Sony DVD)/May In The Summer (2013/Cohen Media Blu-ray)

The Color Of Time (2013/Starz/Anchor Bay DVD)/Love Is Strange (2014/Sony DVD)/May In The Summer (2013/Cohen Media Blu-ray)

Picture: C/C/B Sound: C+/C/B Extras: D/C+/C Films: C/C+/B-

Here are some dramas with their own mixed results...

With 12 (!) directors, The Color Of Time (2013) attempts to explore the poetry of C.K. Williams, but lands up being a bad mish-mash of styles, cliches of mumblecore filmmaking and like a pale imitation of Terrence Malick films that never adds up and essentially says we all have the same, boring life experience. James Franco is the star and co-producer, assisted by appearances by Zack Braff, Jessica Chastain, Mila Kunis and Bruce Campbell, but instead of timeless we get a colorless (often literally), yet long, long 76 minutes. Some of it is even badly shot, so only see this one if you are very, very curious.

There are no extras.

Ira Sachs' Love Is Strange (2014) has Alfred Molina and John Lithgow as a longtime gay couple who find trouble when they can no longer afford their New York City apartment and have to rely on family and friends to help. Homophobia surfaces a bit, leaving them living two different places including at Lithgow's son's home where his wife (Marisa Tomei effective in a thankless role) is unhappy with things to begin with and is juggling her son's own issues. There is some good acting here and this is nicely shot, but it has been rightly criticized for sort of censuring and limiting the intimacy between the couple.

However, its suppression does not end there including an ending that has ambiguities that don;t add up and a script that is not as well rounded as it could be. Unfortunately, the acting cannot overcome the limits (some intentionally set) and love lands up not being the only strange thing here. At only 95 minutes, it could have afforded a few more to make this really work, but I was a bit disappointed despite some good moments. Darren Burrows also stars.

Extras include a Q&A with Sachs, Lithgow, Molina and co-star Cheyenne Jackson at the L.A. Film Festival, feature-length audio commentary track with Sachs, Lithgow & Molina and a Making Of featurette.

Cherien Dabis' May In The Summer (2013) has the director star as the lead gal who is about to get married, but her husband has not joined her in Amman, Jordan where her family is. Her mother has had a big falling out with her dad (Bill Pullman) long divorced and dysfunctional behavior and culture clashes abound. This is not bad, but still a bit too predictable and eventually gets a bit unreal in the end, though it is well shot and directed, so it is worth a look for those interested. I liked the acting too.

Extras include an illustrated booklet with some text, while the Blu-ray disc adds Production Stills, EPK featurette and theatrical trailer.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Time and the anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on Love are softer than I would have liked in either case, including being color-challenged and having motion blur, yet Time is a bit sloppier. The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on May is a still-rare, good looking HD shoot with character and color that work throughout, easily making it the best performer on the list. It also has really solid sound for a drama with a very consistent DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix, nicely recorded mixed and presented.

Both DVDs have lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes, but Love is lighter than it should be, with some mixing choices that do not help.

- Nicholas Sheffo


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