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FOX

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Peter Glanz
Cast:
Jason Bateman, Olivia Wilde, Billy Crudup, Jenny Slate
Writing Credits:
Peter Glanz

Synopsis:
Affluent and aimless, Conrad Valmont lives a life of leisure in his parent's prestigious Manhattan Hotel. In the span of one week, he finds himself evicted, disinherited, and... in love.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 86 min.
Price: $29.99
Release Date: 1/6/2015

Bonus:
• “The Making of The Longest Week” Featurette
• Previews and Trailer


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EQUIPMENT
Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


The Longest Week [Blu-Ray] (2014)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (January 18, 2015)

For today’s Adventure in Indie Movies, we go to 2014’s The Longest Week. Even as he nears his forties, Conrad Valmont leads a privileged, aimless life due to the support of his wealthy parents. When they split, they also decide to cut off Conrad’s massive allowance – and they also throw him out of the family-owned hotel where he spent most of his life.

Conrad doesn’t believe this will turn into a long-term issue, so he tries to go about life as usual, though he does find himself on the New York subway. There he meets lovely Beatrice Fairbanks (Olivia Wilde) and he manages to get her contact information.

Complication: Conrad’s best pal Dylan Tate (Billy Crudup) already sort of dates Beatrice. This leads to a messy love triangle that Conrad needs to deal with as he also sorts out other aspects of his life.

In the movie’s very first scene, we see Conrad with his therapist. Tony Roberts plays the psychiatrist, and I suspect his presence doesn’t come as a coincidence, as Roberts remains best-known for his work in Woody Allen efforts like Annie Hall. It seems clear writer/director Peter Glanz cast Roberts to consciously evoke Allen, and other “Woody-isms” manifest themselves as well. From the less than natural dialogue to the focus on the idle rich to the jazz score, the nods toward Allen seem less like “homage” and more like “blatant rip-off”.

Though one shouldn’t accuse Glanz of simply imitating Allen, as that sells the writer/director short. Glanz also demonstrates a substantial Wes Anderson influence in Week, as he gives the movie the stiff, “staged” visual/narrative feel typical of that director. The “Allen-isms” dominate, but Glanz makes sure he steals from additional sources as well.

I could live with how blatantly Glanz wears his influences on his sleeve if the end product didn’t seem so contrived and absurd. At times I entertained the notion that Glanz wanted to parody the Allen/Anderson school, and that remains possible.

God, I hope that’s the case, because if Glanz wants us to take this as anything other than a spoof of Allen/Anderson, he fails – and he fails miserably. Week comes across as a self-conscious rip-off without much cleverness, wit or charm.

Granted, the lesser works of Anderson and Allen can suffer from those tendencies, so it’s not like those directors’ filmographies emerge unscathed. Unfortunately, as this represents Glanz’s feature debut, we can’t give him the benefit of the doubt based on prior glories, so we’re left with Week as our sole impression of the writer/director.

It’s not pretty. Actually, Week is a pretty film, as it combines Allen’s love for New York with Anderson’s visual precision to create a movie with consistently gorgeous photography. If you watch Week with no sound, you’ll probably really like it.

Alas, if you find yourself stuck with its artificial dialogue and nattering nincompoops, you’ll likely come away with a much less positive impression of the movie. Making the lives of pretentious, wealthy society types interesting doesn’t happen easily, and Glanz can’t do it. The characters here come across as self-obsessed poseurs with few – in any – likable traits. I wouldn’t want to spend 15 minutes at a party with these people, much less watch a movie about them – a movie in which I’m ultimately supposed to care about them.

The casting doesn’t help, especially in the case of Bateman. Usually engaging, he’s much better as introverted, put-upon characters with some form of “everyman” to them – in other words, the opposite of the arrogant, smug Conrad. From minute one, Bateman feels wrong for the part, and that never changes.

Not that I think any other actor could’ve done much with the role, as the film’s stilted writing and contrived situations leave The Longest Week as a persistent dud. This is the kind of film that thinks referring to a character as an “anti-social Socialist” qualifies as bright and smart. Ugh.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B/ Audio B-/ Bonus D+

The Longest Week appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a fairly satisfying presentation.

In general, sharpness worked fine. A little softness crept into the image at times, but those instances remained fairly modest. I witnessed no concerns with jaggies or moiré effects, and edge haloes stayed absent. Print flaws also didn’t appear, and though grain was heavier than usual, that was clearly a stylistic choice.

Colors seemed low-key, as the movie opted for an amber overtone. Few brighter hues appeared, but the tones seemed acceptable given the visual design. Blacks were reasonably dark, while shadows appeared decent; they could be somewhat dense but they seemed okay. Given the movie’s low-budget roots, the picture looked fine.

No one would expect a sizzling DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack from a character flick like Week, and the audio remained decidedly modest in scope. The soundscape offered mild environmental information and not much more. This meant some ambiance in street scenes and the like but nothing beyond that, which made sense for the chatty tale.

Audio quality seemed positive. Music was peppy and full, and speech seemed natural and concise. Effects had little to do but showed adequate clarity and accuracy. In the end, this became a “B-“ track.

The Making of The Longest Week runs 16 minutes, 14 seconds and features writer/director Peter Glanz, producers Uday Chopra and Neda Armian, and actors Olivia Wilde, Jason Bateman and Billy Crudup. The show looks at the film’s origins and development, Glanz’s style as director, cast and performances, and story/character areas. “Making” offers some basic details but lacks much substance.

The disc opens with ads for Before I Go to Sleep, Gone Girl and The Best of Me. Sneak Peek throws in promos for Let’s Be Cops and And So It Goes. We also find the trailer for Week.

Cloying and obnoxious, The Longest Week comes across as pseudo-clever without much actual intelligence or wit. Little more than a self-conscious sum of its influences, the movie starts poorly and never improves. The Blu-ray presents decent picture and audio and comes with skimpy supplements. Just watch a good Woody Allen movie instead of this pretentious clunker.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1.25 Stars Number of Votes: 12
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