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2 DAYS IN THE VALLEY ($25) is a film that I liked a whole heck of a lot. It is a wild and quirky little gem about the diverse group of people brought together in the aftermath of a murder. With 2 DAYS IN THE VALLEY, writer/director John Herzfeld has created something fresh and entertaining; a film that movie fans are sure to love because it has an actual plot and actual characters. Because of its completely character driven story, 2 DAYS IN THE VALLEY succeeds where other movies of this type fail. I really don’t want to give away the plot of 2 DAYS IN THE VALLEY, other than to say that within the first few minutes of the film, a guy is bumped off by two hit men while sleeping in bed with his ex-wife. This springboard causes the lives of the characters to collide over the course of 2 days in the valley. The film’s eccentric group of characters are brought to life by a marvelous ensemble cast that features Danny Aiello, Greg Cruttwell, Jeff Daniels, Teri Hatcher, Glenne Headly, Marsha Mason, Paul Mazursky, James Spader, Eric Stoltz and Charlize Theron.

HBO Home Video offers 2 DAYS IN THE VALLEY on DVD in a terrific looking Letterboxed presentation that does not include the anamorphic enhancement for wide screen televisions. The Letterboxed transfer looks great and restores almost all of the film’s 2.35:1 theatrical aspect ratio (despite the jacket’s claim of 1.85:1). Colors are quite vibrant on the DVD and reproduce without any distortion. Image quality is fine throughout, although a bit of grain was detectable in a couple of the darker sequences. MPEG-2 compression artifacts were in check most of the time.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 channels soundtrack has an excellent mix that takes advantage of the format’s discrete capabilities to envelop the viewer. Other soundtrack options include a matrixed Dolby Surround compatible track, in addition to a French language track. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish.

The DVD’s interactive menus offer access to a theatrical trailer and cast biographies.

As I said above, 2 DAYS IN THE VALLEY is a little gem that film fans are certain to eat up. Recommended.




DVD reviews are Copyright 1998 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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