'In The Family' [Blu ray]
(Sebastian Banes, Patrick Wang, Trevor St. John, Park Overall, Brian Murray, et al / Blu ray / NR / 2013 / In The Family LLC)
Overview: In the town of Martin, Tennessee, Chip Hines, a precocious six-year-old, has only known life with his two dads, Cody and Joey. And a good life it is. When Cody dies suddenly in a car accident, Joey and Chip struggle to find their footing again.
Blu ray Verdict: OK, from the off, if you're going to settle in for this incedibly moving, depth-laden movie please know that 'In The Family' is around 169 minutes long. Or, in easier terms to digest, close to two and a half hours of your life to be spent in front of the small screen! And not to make things worse for you, the viewer, but it is a bleak (at times), stark for the most part, and drawn out, subtle, and realistic view on one person's family - and all that goes with it.
And so with all that said, you should also know that 'In The Family' is compeling to watch. The revealed visuals along the way, the countryside, the cinemascope in general, the acting (from all ages) is beyond incredible. Chock full of family conversations and real-life sounds abounding around, there isn't any background music either. Which makes the scenes without any dialogue seem an age to get through and onwards.
Simply, put, the characters reveal themselves minute after minute in such real life ways that you'd swear that they were your neighbors from the down the lane. We quickly find out who each of them are come the death of Cody in the car accident, and rallies us around to come try to understand the speedbumps of life that the family in question will now be forced to endure.
But remember, this is what they term an "art film," which is different from an indie film, trust me. Indie usually means done on a small budget with crappy actors and even worse dialouge. Here we get cinematic, methodical art in all its cinemascope finest. And yes, for my money, 'In The Family' truly benefits from more than one viewing. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.77:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Simple Expressions of Absolute Values - video essay by Kevin B. Lee
The Mirror to Nature - video essay by H.P. Mendoza
A Tour of the Cutting Room Floor and Sculpting a Scene - video essays by Patrick Wang
Behind the Scenes
On the Feature: Subtitles for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing
Booklet: Essays by Godfrey Cheshire, Michael Guillén, Dave Boyle and Brian Hu