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IN & OUT

IN & OUT ($40) is a warm and very funny film about a high school teacher from a small town whose life is turned upside down by the revelation of a former student. Kevin Kline stars as teacher Howard Brackett. While happily watching the annual Oscar telecast with his fiancee, Howard is delighted by the fact that a hometown boy has just won an Academy Award for best actor. Matt Dillon portrays Cameron Drake, the actor who, during his acceptance speech, announces to the world that his former teacher is gay. This news startles the entire small town, especially Howard’s parents and fiancee. However, no one is more shocked than poor Howard, who has been outed, despite the fact that he didn’t even know he was in the closet. Thankfully, the screenplay avoids getting up on any soapboxes about lifestyles. Instead, the film pokes fun at the media frenzy that descends upon Howard and how the other characters react to Howard’s situation. Director Frank Oz keeps everything fresh and light, while the entire cast delivers engaging performances. Kevin Kline is a master at physical comedy and he creates a number of truly hilarious moments. Joan Cusack also has her share of hilarious moments as Howard’s overwrought fiancée Emily. Debbie Reynolds and Wilford Brimley are genuine delights as Howard’s parents. Bob Newhart does what he does best- deadpan reactions to every situation. Finally there’s Tom Selleck as openly gay TV journalist Peter Malloy who decides to do a weeklong expose on Howard. With the role, Selleck proves again that he is a great character actor trapped in the career of a leading man.

Paramount Home Video has released IN & OUT on Laserdisc with a very good looking Letterboxed transfer which recreates the film’s 1.85:1 theatrical framing. The transfer reproduces Rob Hahn’s bright and colorful cinematography very well. Image quality on the Laserdisc is excellent with very little chrominace noise in the hot colors and a sharp, detailed image.

The digitally encoded Dolby Surround soundtrack has a pleasing mix for a comedy, with some of the songs putting the track into overdrive. The Pioneer pressing was very clean.

As I said above, IN & OUT is a truly delightful comic gem, which will make a worthwhile addition to most Laserdisc collections. Recommended.

 
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Laserdisc 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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