Between Love and Goodbye (2008) (NTSC)

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Released 6-Oct-2010

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Audio Commentary-Writer / director Casper Andreas
Interviews-Cast & Crew-TV interview of director, Simon Miller and Jane Elliott
Deleted Scenes-Nine short scenes
Featurette-Making Of-Interesting audition footage for three leads
Theatrical Trailer-A good trailer
Music Video-Title song by Simon Miller
Music Video-What's the Colour of Love? - Simon Miller
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2008
Running Time 97:08 (Case: 96)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Casper Andreas
Studio
Distributor
Embrem Cinema
Beyond Home Entertainment
Starring Simon Miller
Justin Tensen
Rob Harmon
Jane Elliott
Aaron Michael Davies
Caroline Delran
Ryan Turner
Austin Head
Kenny Wade Marshall
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI $24.95 Music Scott Starrett


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures Yes
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, The locale is set during the credits.

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

Plot Synopsis

     After being very impressed a week ago by the work of writer/director Casper Andreas with his delightful The Big Gay Musical, my second exposure to his work was a bit of a disappointment. Between Love and Goodbye, which Andreas made the year before his "big" musical is a romantic comedy-drama once again set in New York, but without the energy and charm of the former movie.

     The story, written by Andreas, begins with the marriage of Kyle (Simon Miller) and Sarah (Jane Elliott). The ceremony ends and, after a perfunctory passionless peck is bestowed upon the bride, Kyle embraces his best man, Marcel (Justin Tensen) in a very passionate prolonged embrace. The straight wedding is a ruse to fool the Immigration Department in order for Marcel, a native Frenchman, to stay in the United States and pursue his goal of becoming an actor. What follows is a gay version of any straight "newlyweds in New York" movie. Kyle and Marcel set up house in an apartment adjacent to Sarah's and all is young romance and slender lust. This happy little setup is disrupted when Kyle's sister, April (Rob Harmon), turns up. April is jealous of Marcel and sets about to separate the two lovers. Kyle and April very quickly reform their rock band, which gives Simon Miller the chance to perform quite a few attractive, forgettable songs in a very pleasant voice. Though you can tell from a mile off that April is really a guy, the viewer is finally let in on the script's big "secret". April, nee Cole, is a trans-sexual prostitute who has recently reformed her/his ways and left the trade. Will April/Cole destroy the love shared by Kyle and Marcel? Boy meets boy, boy gets boy, boy loses boy, but will boy get boy back again? You have to stay the distance to find out.

     The basic story of the relationship between the two attractive young men is quite OK, though there is nothing new apart from their being two males. The love scenes between the two are very frank and nicely filmed. However, everything goes down the gurgler with the arrival of April/Cole. Rob Harmon is an awful actor and makes a totally unconvincing "she". He is not helped by a script, and situations, that have him behaving like a super b**** from Dallas. It's a pity that Andreas could not have devised some better situation to separate the two lovers before we find out whether or not they will be united. Fuelled by the interference of April/Cole, we have the former lovebirds behaving unbelievably in contrived soap opera situations, no better than an old episode of Neighbours. Miller and Tensen are fine, and Jane Elliott has a very easy screen presence. The script does not give her much to work with, but she makes her character likeable and funny.

     Another disappointment in this film is the total failure to make anything of the New York locations. There is no feel at all that we are in that city. I guess the limited budget precludes much location filming, but a table and two chairs against a curtain does not pass for a cafe or restaurant. Also jarring are scenes with brilliantly lit faces against a stark, shadowless, totally black background, rather like a studio portrait. Apart from that gripe, the photography of Jon Fordham (The Big Gay Musical), the editing and sound recording are all extremely good.

     This is a gay soap opera. It's a pity that it becomes bad soap opera. Still it is "different", and for the right audience that may be enough.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Despite the financial limitations of the movie the video transfer is very good. The 16x9 transfer is presented at the original ratio of 1.78:1.

     The transfer is very sharp and clear, with most of the photography in tight shots. The palette is very bright and vivid, with excellent skin tones. Artefacts were not an issue. Detail is good, with quite acceptable shadow detail in the few darker scenes. Many night scenes are done with a totally black background.

     The disc is a single layer disc.

     There are no subtitles.

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

Audio

     There are two audio streams : English Dolby Digital 2.0 encoded at 192 Kbps plus the audio commentary track. The front and centre dialogue was clear and every syllable perfectly easy to understand. There were no sync problems. There were no clicks, pops or dropouts.

     The musical score from Scott Starrett and the original songs are very nicely recorded. The on stage numbers performed by Simon Miller are all enjoyable, with crystal clear lyrics.

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

Extras

     There is quite a pleasing bag of extras with this release, which should satisfy those interested in Andreas and his films.

Audio Commentary

     This is a feature length commentary with the director/writer Casper Andreas. This is very frank, detailed and entertaining. The entire history of the feature, the director's third, is covered from inception, through casting and filming. With a budget of only $150,000 and eighteen days of shooting it certainly is quite an achievement. Most of the commentary is linked to what we are actually seeing on screen, which makes it all much more interesting.

Interview with Director Casper Andreas (9:20)

     Presented 1.33:1 this is an excerpt from the TV program Out at the Center, hosted by Laverne Cox - true! As well as the director we also see Simon Miller and Jane Elliott being asked questions by the interviewer, Richard Davis, executive producer of the program. All the expected stuff is here, but the section regarding the utilisation of a squatters' tenement as their major location is interestingly different.

Deleted / Extended Scenes (11:33)

     A total of nine different scenes are presented in 1.78:1, in quality on a par with the feature. Most are just slight extensions of what is in the film itself.

Auditions (10:30)

     This is the most interesting of the extras. It is unusual to see script-in-hand readings, and here we see the auditions of the two male leads, Jane Elliott and Aaron Michael Davies. There is also a call-back for Miss Elliott, and a sequence where we see the eventual leads reading against each other. Interestingly, in one of the sequences Simon Miller calls his on screen lover "Felix". Guess that character wasn't always going to be French.

Music Videos (6:39)

     Two presentations of quite attractive songs, well performed by the talented young lead.

Theatrical Trailer (2:12)

     Presented 1.78:1 and 16x9 enhanced this is a well constructed trailer, much better than many made for major productions.

Censorship

    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

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

    As far as I can determine, with the exception of Spanish subtitles the local release is identical to the Region 1 release.

Summary

     For a gay viewer it is refreshingly different to see a gay love story. It is a pity that this alternative lifestyle soap opera wasn't a bit better. The two lead actors are fine, attractive, and their scenes of intimacy are frank. Sadly the third major male in the plot is a dud - in writing and performance. The budget restrictions are at times very obvious, but technically the film impresses. A target audience may forgive the shortcomings of the plot and characterisation, and just enjoy the difference of this gay love story. The extras are substantial and enjoyable.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Garry Armstrong (BioGarry)
Friday, February 11, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BLU RAY BDP-S350, using HDMI output
DisplaySamsung LA55A950D1F : 55 inch LCD HD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS777
SpeakersVAF DC-X fronts; VAF DC-6 center; VAF DC-2 rears; LFE-07subwoofer (80W X 2)

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