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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Drama > Two Tickets To Paradise (2006/First Look DVD)

Two Tickets To Paradise (2006/First Look DVD)


Picture: C     Sound: C     Extras: B-     Film: C+



D. B. Sweeney is one of the most underrated actors of his generation and like John Cusack never got the total stardom he deserved.  A few years ago, he made his debut as a director and Two Tickets To Paradise (2006) has finally hit DVD for all to see.  It is ambitious, filled with good performances and has a good pace.  However, it never totally comes together, yet the good news is that it is an interesting failure.


Mark (John C. McGinley) Jason (Paul Hipp) and McGriff (Sweeney) are best friends at a crossroads as they turn 40 and each feels lost in their lives.  The title they settled on for the film even implies being left out, but instead of an angst trip, the film tries to tell the story of their dysfunctional condition.  That can make for good comedy, which sometimes works here, but it needed to be a deeper character study (like the early section of The Deer Hunter) and that is were it has trouble holding itself together.


Football helps to being them together, but that is not a major component here of the story, as McGriff (for instance) is the Rock star that never made it.  We see them as the guys in their later years, but this can only go so far, though the script by Brian Currie and Sweeney reminds one of the semi-autobiographic approach that made Superbad work.  Too bad they could not exceed the confines of being sidetracked here and there, as this had greater potential than was realized.  Still, Moira Kelly, Pat Hingle and Ed Harris are a plus and this is not the same old phony “mall movie” formula about how it really was not growing up.  Too bad there was more to say that goes unsaid.


The film was shot Claudio Rocha in Super 16mm film, but this anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 presentation is a bit softer than it should be for the format, which is a shame as this is nicely shot and they actually know how to hold shots.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 is overly stretching out the original location audio, which is not so hot, even with the many hit songs included, so a comparison to the Dolby 2.0 Stereo (weak as it is) shows those limits.  Extras include outtakes, deleted scenes, additional trailers and an outstanding feature length audio commentary track by Sweeney that I enjoyed more than the film.


Overall, worth a look.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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