Humpday (2009)

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Released 13-Jul-2010

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio
Audio Commentary-crew
Audio Commentary-stars
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Deleted Scenes
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2009
Running Time 90:15 (Case: 94)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Lynn Shelton
Studio
Distributor
Magnolia Pictures
Madman Entertainment
Starring Mark Duplass
Alycia Delmore
Joshua Leonard
Lynn Shelton
Trina Willard
Olivia
Stellan Mathiesen
Steven Schardt
David Bundgren
J. Martin Dinn
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $29.95 Music Vince Smith


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

     Humpday is one of the more lauded titles to have emerged from the "mumblecore" movement that has become the bread and butter of the smaller film festivals in recent years, particularly Sundance (where this one won a "Special Jury Prize for Spirit of Independence"). Mumblecore films are generally typified by relatively cheap, usually digital, production, heavily improvised kitchen-sink scripts and themes mainly relevant to late gen-x, early gen-y life. Pretentious art-film types can think of it as the Dogme 95 movement 90s, indie movement and 60s-70s kitchen-sink movement all put in a blender and produced more cheaply than any of its predecessors. All of this describes the style of Humpday down to a tee.

     The film itself is a reasonably light hearted comedy/drama about a late 20-something guy, Ben (Mark Duplass), who has an old college pal Andrew (Joshua Leonard, AKA "that dude who was in The Blair Witch Project"), turn up on his doorstep at 2 in the morning looking for somewhere to bunk, much to the surprise of Ben's surprisingly accepting wife Anna (Alycia Delmore). Andrew shakes up the happy couple’s life after he takes Ben off to party with some rather liberal minded types, which leads the pair to decide they should make a man-on-man porn film for a local art festival in which the art is a muddled statement about platonic love between two straight guys. The morning after the pair awkwardly decide to go ahead with their drunken plan; Andrew to prove he can finish something he commits to for once in his life, Ben to prove he hasn't become just another suburban slob.

     Humpday is sporadically very funny, although the general style is hard to warm to and it occasionally drags between key bits. A little like the old jazz adage, the people playing it look like they're having a lot more fun than anyone watching it. That's not to say it isn't enjoyable, just be aware of what you're buying into and steer clear if the painfully indie for the sake of being indie vibe doesn't appeal.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The film is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio and is 16x9 enhanced. The film looks to have been filmed on consumer-grade digital video. It looks fuzzy and a little washed out at all times, which fits the vibe of the movie but certainly isn't much to look at. There is fairly poor shadow detail in the image.

     The video is a good quality transfer of a fairly crappy source. There is no sign of significant pixilation or unpleasant artefacting in the video.

     English subtitles are available and appear to be reasonably accurate and well timed based on the portion sampled.

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

Audio

     The film features a lone English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448kbps). The audio, like the video, is functional but little else. The mix is frequently chaotic, though in some cases deliberately so to fit the events of the film, and is a little muddy throughout. The dialogue is reasonably clear and well placed in the mix.

     The film features a clumsy, though fittingly so, modern score by Vinnie Smith which fits well into the chaotic mix.

     The surrounds are used fairly haphazardly. Some scenes come off fairly well, particularly the wild party scene, but others are particularly lacklustre. The subwoofer only registers a handful of times to support the score.

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

Extras

Audio Commentary with Crew

     Led by the director Lynne Shelton, this commentary features more crew members than you could poke a stick at (producers, DoP, etc) and star Alycia Delmore. Although occasionally interesting, it's often hard to keep track of who is talking in this one and it often descends into bouts of people praising each other rather than offering any real insight.

Audio Commentary with Joshua Leonard and Mark Duplass

     The two male leads offer an occasionally interesting commentary, but a particularly padded one with a little too much dead air and filler.

Behind the Scenes Featurette (5:50)

     5 odd minutes of on-set filler. Skip it.

Deleted Scenes(18:00)

     8 deleted scenes. Some are outright deleted bits, others extended or alternate takes. None are remotely interesting.

R4 vs R1

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

     The only difference between Region 1 and Region 4 editions, aside from PAL/NTSC differences, is that the Region 1 includes Spanish subtitles instead of English and the Region 4 includes a handful of trailers for unrelated films. This one's a tie.

Summary

    A sporadically enjoyable indie comedy, whose excessively lo-fi style will polarise viewers. The audio and video are a decent translation of a semi-deliberately poor source. The extras are forgettable.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDSony Playstation 3, using HDMI output
DisplayOptoma HD20 Projector. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX2016AVS. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX2016AVS
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, 100W centre and 4 surround/rear speakers, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

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