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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - December, 2010

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"Going the Distance" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Eberle

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Synopsis

Garrett (Long) is a typical New York 30-something who is less than successful in long-term relationships.  Erin (Barrymore) is an ambitious newspaper intern working for a six-week stint in the City.  They meet by chance at a bar one night and hit it off immediately.  Encouraged by his friends and she by her sister, they become closer over the time they have together until it’s time for her to return to San Francisco.  Committed to maintaining their relationship, they talk on the phone, text each other constantly and Garrett flies out to visit when he can.  Eventually, hard choices have to be made when they declare their love for each other.  In the end it comes down to their feelings or their careers.

Specifications

  • New Line Cinema
  • 2010, Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 43 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Codec: Not Specified
  • 1080p
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring:  Drew Barrymore, Justin Long, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Christina Applegate
  • Directed by Nanette Burstein
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: No
  • Sex: Yes
  • Language: Bad

Commentary

This movie was a pleasant surprise.  Most romantic comedies I’ve reviewed start out strong then fall apart in the middle when things get serious.  This did not happen in Going the Distance.  Witty writing coupled with superb acting makes this one of the most enjoyable films I’ve seen of late.  The humor is firmly in the adult category but never crosses the line of being too crude.  The counterpoint between Erin and her sister, and Garrett and his friends is simply riotous.  There are some truly hilarious moments that easily qualify as side-splitting.  I don’t have too many romantic comedies in my library but this one will be a keeper.

Technical

Image quality is decent with relatively natural color used throughout.  Scenes in and around New York City look slightly cold and flat with a bluish hue while San Francisco is depicted in warmer tones.  Detail is a bit soft and the picture lacks the last degree of pop seen in a reference-level transfer.  There was no obvious use of edge enhancement or any artifacts in my observation.  Contrast was quite deep with occasional crushing of black-level detail.  The few nighttime scenes had consistent black levels with merely average shadow detail.

Audio was very good with clear well-placed dialog and an upbeat musical accompaniment.  Imaging in outdoor scenes was a tad small with very little use of the surrounds.  The best part was the music which exhibited superb clarity and detail.  Several familiar pop songs make an appearance and I enjoyed hearing old favorites like Take My Breath Away, well-known to any Top Gun fan!  The movie features an actual band, The Boxer Rebellion, performing a few of their songs, which adds a nice touch.

Extras

There are a few bonus features on this release.  The cast offers dating advice in two featurettes.  There is a collection of improvised scenes from the principal actors and commentary by director Nanette Burstein.  Finally there is a music video from The Boxer Rebellion and behind-the-scenes info about the film’s soundtrack.  Included in this release are a DVD and a digital copy for your computer or portable device.