|Category||Comedy||Theatrical Trailer(s)||Yes, 1|
|Year Released||1997||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||86:58 Minutes
(Not 90 Minutes as per packaging)
|Other Extras||Cast & Crew Interviews
Featurette - The Making Of In & Out (5:33)
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||MPEG||5.1|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Dolby Digital||5.1|
||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384Kb/s)
English (MPEG 2.0 , 192Kb/s)
English (MPEG 5.1, 256Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||
|Subtitles||None||Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, during credits|
In & Out is the story of Howard Brackett (Kevin Kline), a high school English teacher who is about to marry Emily Montgomery (Joan Cusack). Howard is a very artistic kind of person, at least according to the story: he dances, he loves English literature, and he can tell you what Barbara Streisand's eighth album was. How these attributes make one artistic is a question that obviously only the likes of commercial disc jockeys can answer, but I'll leave the nitpicking about that particular characterization out of this review due to having bigger fish to fry. Cameron Drake (Matt Dillon) used to be one of Howard's pupils, and has gone on to win an Oscar for his portrayal of a gay man in the army. I would just like to tell Matt to drink up that particular role, because based on the other efforts I've seen him turn in with films like Wild Things and There's Something About Mary, this is as close as he'll ever get to actually winning an Oscar. Anyway, during his acceptance speech, Cameron tells everyone how he couldn't have done it without his English teacher, and then informs the world that Howard is gay. This is something that even Howard was not aware of, and naturally causes a lot of consternation.
The rest of the film revolves around the question of whether Howard is actually gay or not, and the local townsfolk's reactions to each situation that lends a little credence to either answer. The film begins as a very clumsy and farcical comedy with some ridiculously overplayed stereotypical parts, and then the film does a complete backflip halfway through to become much more serious whilst remaining lighthearted. Somehow, I get the feeling that this film was intended for audiences in the USA's region that is notoriously known as the Bible belt, because whenever the question of Howard's sexual orientation is raised in this film, you can just picture most of the audiences who are actually comfortable with their sexuality screaming "we do not give a toss". The most telling moment is when a gay news reporter by the name of Peter Malloy (Tom Selleck) gives Howard a lengthy and unwelcome kiss. I must admit, when I think of actors who would be good to play a stereotypical gay man, Tom Selleck is one name that springs to mind. Kevin Kline, by comparison, is not convincing in his role at either half of the story, although the lack of depth in the script would certain leave him with his work cut out for him. Joan Cusack, by comparison, is delightful in her role as Emily, and is about the only saving grace of this film. I really hope that I get to see a lot more of her in films, although I certainly prefer those of the Grosse Pointe Blank variety for reasons that must be all too obvious by now.
Stereotyping never equals good entertainment for me, and In & Out has way too much of it in a very short and shallow film (when you take out the opening and closing credits, you're left with about seventy-six minutes of film). When I see a film about a minority, or a person who is trying to counter the impression that he is a part of that minority, I expect to see the characters portrayed as fleshed-out human beings with hopes, dreams, and feelings, as was the case in As Good As It Gets. In & Out, by comparison, leaves me feeling cold with the sad lack of depth to its story and its characterizations, which really border on the malicious at times.
The colours are nicely and evenly balanced throughout the film, with a variety of well-saturated hues beaming out from the video stream at all times.
MPEG artefacts were absent from the transfer, although there appeared to be a moment where Matt Dillon's shirt exhibits what appears to either be a smudge on the negative or a pixelization. Given that this is the only time anything resembling an MPEG-based problem appears in the film, I would happily accept the former explanation. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of some aliasing and telecine wobble, with the first sixteen minutes of the film in particular being rather badly affected by aliasing and moiré effects in shots of menswear. The opening credits are particularly affected by telecine wobble, with the image noticeably waving up and down as if the cameraman was drunk. Film artefacts were frequently present, and present to an extent that we should not see in a three year old film, especially during the opening credits, which were already hampered enough by the telecine wobble.
Subtitles are completely absent from this disc, but one thing I would like to comment on is the fact that in this film, the closing credits begin with subtitles listing the name of characters that are in frame, and the name of the actor who played them. This is a feature I sorely wish that all films would incorporate to some degree, as it makes determining who did what during a film such as this a lot easier.
The music in this film consists of a score by Marc Shaiman, whose name fails to ring any bells with me, and some contemporary music from artists who are stereotypically associated with homosexuality such as The Village People. It is nothing of any particular interest, and the score can be described as unremarkable at the best of times.
The surround channels did not seem to get a lot of use except to support the music and ambient sounds. On one setup that I used to listen to this film, it seemed to be very much a front-and-centre mix, with nothing coming out of the rears at all. The surround presence was distinctly unremarkable, although it was certainly adequate for a dialogue-driven film. The subwoofer received a mild amount of use, but mostly sat in its usual location and played cards with the rears.
The video quality is okay, but marred by an abundance of film and film-to-video artefacts.
The audio quality is suited to the film's purposes, but is otherwise very ordinary and a waste of a 5.1 mix.
The extras are practically worthless.
|DVD||Grundig GDV 100 D, using composite output; Toshiba SD-2109, using S-video output|
|Display||Panasonic TC-29R20 (68 cm), 4:3 mode, using composite input; Samsung CS-823AMF (80 cm), 16:9 mode/4:3 mode, using composite and S-video inputs|
|Audio Decoder||Built In (Amplifier)|
|Speakers||Panasonic S-J1500D Front Speakers, Sharp CP-303A Back Speakers, Philips FB206WC Centre Speaker, JBL Digital 10 Subwoofer|