Or White (Fox Blu-ray)/So Bright Is The View (IndiePix
DVD)/Two Men In Town (Pathe/Cohen Media Blu-ray/all 2014)
B-/C+/B- Sound: B/C+/B Extras: C/C-/C+ Films: C/C+/C+
new dramas take on serious issues, but are too laid back or
problematic to work...
Binder's Black Or White (2014) has Kevin Costner a father with
drinking issues who wants to keep fully custody of his daughter (who
is partly of color) despite being a widow. All is fine until a
relative (Octavia Spencer) decides to challenge that situation for
unusual reasons in a disappointing drama that is too silly and loose
with its serious subject matter to ever work. Any melodrama is
tainted with bad 1980s mall melodrama and when its long 121 minutes
ends, you too will wonder who this film was aimed at.
Mackie is also wasted as her lawyer, a relative and even that
situation becomes infantile, so the script is a mess on racial
relations and never gets anything done worth anyone's time. Why, why
why was this made? How did they waste so many good actors. Who
few mini behind the scenes pieces and Digital HD copy are the only
Levy Florescu & Michael Levy Florescu's So Bright Is The View
(2014) is more realistic in its look at life in Bucharest with a
young, pregnant Jewish woman named Estera trying just to survive and
have a life. With sexism, economic oppression and persons around her
not about anything or going anywhere, she can only get into trouble,
making some of this obvious and predictable, but it till has some
good moments worth seeing if you can get through the flat parts.
works best when we meet people in odd situations and don't know what
they are thinking, going to do or takes up places we have not seen.
That is actually where more of the story should have come from, so
the co-directing brothers limit themselves in ways that do not help
them or us, but it is enough to make me want to see what they do
next. They just need to cohere more and have a better approach with
their directing and script. At least they tried.
trailer is the only extra.
we have Rachid Bouchareb's Two Men In Town (2014), where the
actors are better than the material as Forest Whitaker plays a
now-Muslim man accused of being a cop killer, which does not make
officer Harvey Keitel very happy since the victim was his deputy.
Keitel starts harassing him as his parole officer (Brenda Blethyn,
fine as usual) tries to protect him, but he has his own problems and
tries to stay out of trouble, even dating. An old gangster friend
(Luis Guzman) also shows up to no one's joy, but there's not much
else going on here.
seems miscast and the big names (also including Ellen Burstyn) do not
always gel. This makes it an interesting failure, not a package
deal, but not delivering the fireworks one would hope. This is bound
to be a curio down the line.
few TV spots and documentary Fences on the locales the
film is shot in, running about an hour, are the only extras.
1080p 2.35 X 1 AVC @ 29 MBPS digital High Definition image transfer
on Black has some good shots, but is a digital shoot that is
also lacking at times. The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition
image on Town is made to look slightly dusty in keeping with
the locales, but this is a bit cliched and works against things
eventually. They are a draw for first place and slightly
disappointing. The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on View
is more obviously an HD shoot and has some good color with locales
most have not seen before, but it is softer overall due to the
for sound, the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes on both
Blu-ray fare better than their image reproduction and are just fine
with good soundfields throughout, while the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0
Stereo on View is not as good, but also has a few location
audio issues at times.