11:59
R1 - America - Tartan Video
Review written by and copyright: Noor Razzak and Shane Roberts (26th November 2007).
The Film

After assisting in the capture of Thomas Hastings (Chris Kelly) who's suspected of the abuse and murder of two children, photojournalist Aaron Dougherty (Raymond Andrew Bailey) becomes the toast of his news corporation. He's marked for promotion by his boss Adele Ransom (Liz Cunningham) who wants to introduce him to their visiting executives the next day. However, after a night out to celebrate, he blacks out and wakes up in a field to find he has lost an entire day. Having missed some tragic events and major stories as well as his important meeting, his job and career are now on the line. When a second black out has him wake up back on the morning of the missing day he realizes he has the chance to alter events.
You can't fault the dedication of director Jamin Winans and producer Joe Sekiya. They were only 20 and 19 when they started producing their film and it took them seven years to complete with the actual shooting spread out over the last two. Unfortunately the finished product is let down by mostly unoriginal ideas and some pretty dodgy acting. The conspiracy storyline and its plot twists are predictable from within the first five minutes when the accused character Hastings says "it wasn't me, it's all a conspiracy" and the only other story mentioned around the news station is about the upcoming election (which Hastings happens to have a connection to).
While Raymond Andrew Bailey (who is in virtually every scene) is mostly very good but a bit out of his depth in some of the more dramatic scenes, Laura Fuller is good in what is a pretty bland role as his work partner, while Liz Cunningham is terrible as his clich├ęd corporate boss. Every single line she has is delivered with ridiculously over the top anger and her character is an ever so subtle example of the sort of person Dougherty will become unless he changes his selfish ways.
Because of this central theme a few reviewers have accused the makers of a Christian agenda but apart from the slightly biblical pose on the front cover I don't think that's fair. Being a better person is hardly copyrighted by any religion, although it is pretty corny if over played.
There is some nice cinematography throughout but the attempt at "24" (2001-Present) style editing during the action scenes is far too choppy and throws the pacing off.
The most intriguing aspect (the main character's premonition of the future, or is it time travel?) is also one of its most frustrating failings because it's not explained. Having a story that, as well as being a political conspiracy thriller, is mainly commenting on the callous and money grabbing/status obsessed attitude of today's media conglomerates and the world in general, and then to have the entire plot revolve around a supernatural event and to just leave the audience hanging at the end, completely undermines the film.
Not the worst film ever made but hardly worthy of your time.

Video

Presented in a widescreen ratio of 1.78:1 this anamorphic image should be top notch considering the film was shot on HD and the transfer created from the original source but it's choppy at best. While sharpness is maintained in many shot there were several that looked a bit off, colors are suppressed which I believe is part of the aesthetic but it does hurt the film a little and appears flat and bland. Blacks are bold and consistent however and the overall print is very clean.

Audio

Three audio tracks are included all of which are in English, they are in DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo. For the purposes of this review I chose to view the film with its DTS track. The film features some rather uninspired sound mixing, due to the small budget it's not really possible for films like this to have a studio engineered perfect sound mix, so the flaws are evident from the start as there's not a lot of depth here and range is also limited considering it's a DTS track it's a bit disappointing. The action effects make good use of the surround channels but don't always sound convincing, if the film had a higher budget perhaps the sound could have been better but as it is the flaws offer up a distraction.
Optional subtitles are also included in Spanish.

Extras

Tartan Video has included an audio commentary, a series of interviews, a short film, the film's theatrical trailer and some bonus trailers. Below is a closer look at these supplements.

First up is a feature-length audio commentary by writer/director Jamin Winans and cinematographer Jeff Pointer. In this track the two enthusiastic participants comment on making a low budget film and the challenges of shooting on a tight budget and schedule as well as using local locations to their advantage., They comment on shooting in HD and the benefits of that as well as opening the film with a big sequence to give it impact and the feel that it's much bigger than it actually is. They provide ample amounts of production trivia as they share instances and stories from the set, casting and also the pace and themes of the film among other things. Overall it's a fairly good track as these two tend to cover a lot of bases.

Next up are a collection of 4 interviews, these can be viewed individually or with a 'play all' option. These clips can be a bit repetitive as they feature a lot of the same questions asked to each person. The clips included are:

- Writer/director Jamin Winans which runs for 7 minutes 40 seconds. The filmmaker comments on the idea of the film, the original short film concept, casting, getting finance, the themes of the film and comments on media, shooting in HD and his hopes for the film among other things.
- Actor Raymond Andrew Bailey runs for 7 minutes as he talks about the character and what the film is about, the audition process and preparing for the role, he also chares his experience in making the film and what he's learned among other things.
- Producer Joe Sekiya runs for 2 minutes 30 seconds and he comments on the difficulty in getting money for the film, what they were looking for in a lead actor and shooting in Colorado.
- Cinematographer Jeff Pointer runs for 3 minutes 14 seconds and he comments on what the film is about, his favorite location to shoot and also in shooting on HD including the benefits.

Also featured on the disc is "Spin" a 2005 short film which can be viewed with optional audio commentary by writer/director Jamin Winans. The film runs for 8 minutes 14 seconds and is a cool little film about a guy who can control people and things with his DJ mixing decks. Although trying to do good, he inevitably causes havoc that he tries to fix.

Also included is the film's original theatrical trailer which runs for 2 minutes 21 seconds.

Next up are bonus trailers for:

- "Red Road" which runs for 2 minutes 3 seconds.
- "A World Without Thieves" which runs for 2 minutes 52 seconds.
- "12:08 East of Bucharest" which runs for 1 minute 21 seconds.
- "Triad Election" which runs for 2 minutes 14 seconds.
- "Silk" which runs for 2 minutes 19 seconds.

Rounding out the extras is a 2-panel booklet which features a scene selection.

Overall

The Film: C Video: B Audio: B Extras: B Overall: B-

 


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