People Places Things (2015)

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Released 6-Jan-2016

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy / Drama Featurette-Behind The Scenes-In the Details (12.19)
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2015
Running Time 84:00
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By James C. Strouse
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Jermaine Clement
Regina Hall
Jessica Williams
Stephanie Allynne



Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music Mark Orton


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     It was only a matter of time before Jermaine Clement, of Flight of the Conchords fame, dipped a toe in the water of drama. His latest film, People Places Things, is no dark and depressing drama. It retains enough of his comedy stylings to keep any fan of his work happy. However, it also digs a little deeper into the heartbreak involved in separation and there is a streak of melancholia running through it. It is, however, a lot funnier than director James C Strouse’s earlier film - the Gulf War drama Grace is Gone

     Will (Clement) is a graphic novelist. He spends his spare time in isolation perfecting his often sad drawings. To survive financially he teaches comic book art at a local college in New York. He is the father of two beautiful and intelligent twin girls (you can also see the kids playing the young Jennifer Lawrence in Joy). He is in a happy and stable long-term relationship with his girlfriend Charlie (Stephanie Allynne). Except…

     At the twin’s birthday party he walks in on Charlie and Gary (Michael Chernus, Pipers brother from Orange Is the New Black) having an affair. Will is shocked - he thought they were happy. She puts him in his place, she hasn't been happy for a long time. "Maybe happiness is not a sustainable condition" suggests Will. That turns out to be the theme of the movie.

     Flash forward a year later and Will is still in a mess. One of his students Kat (Jessica Williams) invites him over to dinner to meet her mother (Regina Hall). An English lecturer at an Ivy league university she is sceptical of Will’s profession and his claim that comic books can be literature.

     Slowly Will convinces her of the merits of comic book writing and her own daughter’s talents while at the same time trying to manage a chaotic lifestyle as Charlie leaves him with the kids while she tries to work herself out.

     As said, Clement can't hide his self-professed funny looks and the dialogue, even in the most serious scenes, is often undercut with his deadpan delivery. Nevertheless this is a thought-provoking film about the difficulty of achieving happiness.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     People Places Things was shot on high-definition digital video and comes to DVD in a 1.85:1 transfer, consistent with the original cinema aspect ratio. It is 16×9 enhanced.

     The look of the film is clean and clear.

     The flesh tones are accurate. There is a crispness to the visuals, however, no one should come to this film expecting gorgeous visuals. It is a low budget comedy/drama.

     There are no subtitles.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     People Places Things carries an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack running at 448 Kb/s.

     This is perfectly adequate for a film where the action is coming front and centre. I do not recall the sub-woofer engaging.

     The score is an engaging work by Mark Orton and is in a similar "melancholic jaunty" vein to his Oscar nominated score for Nebraska.

     Nevertheless this is a pleasing track.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

In the Details (12.19)

     The DVD case does not mention any extras. However, there is one decent length extra which is quite interesting. The film is infused with a love of comic books drawn by Will, and the very different style of Kat. The extra focuses on the importance of the art and interviews the two comic book artists who were brought in to represent the characters’ work. It was interesting to see the original drawings of Will prior to Jermaine Clement being involved in the project. The artist expresses understandable joy that he got to draw Clement with his very recognisable features.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

   The Region 1 version of the film apparently misses the short extra. Buy local.

Summary

     People Places Things is a small but engaging drama with lots of dry comedy. It is well presented on DVD in sound and vision terms and the extra is an interesting addition to the package.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Trevor Darge (read my bio)
Tuesday, February 02, 2016
Review Equipment
DVDCambridge Audio 752BD All Region Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplayJVC DLX 700 with 4K e-shift on 140" Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer SC -LX 78K 9.2 Channel
SpeakersAaron ATS-5 7.1

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