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GOING THE DISTANCE ($36) is definitely quirkier and somewhat raunchier than a typical studio made romantic comedy. Just for its willingness to break the mold, I found myself liking GOING THE DISTANCE more than standard issue date night fare. Of course, GOING THE DISTANCE also has the Drew Barrymore factor… and I am a sucker for just about any romantic comedy in which she appears. The premise of GOING THE DISTANCE tackles the inherent problems and heartaches of trying to maintain a long distance relationship. As the film opens, Erin (Drew Barrymore) is a thirty one year old grad student from San Francisco, who is doing a summer internship at a New York newspaper. While at a bar, Erin meets Garrett (Justin Long), a talent agent a small New York based record label, who shares her affinity for the classic Centipede video game. Since she is returning to San Francisco in six weeks, and he just ended a relationship, neither is looking for a long-term commitment.

However, after seeing each other "causally" for the entire six weeks, both Erin and Garrett decide they don’t want to let their relationship end. This leads to cross country flights, long distance phone calls, texting and a whole lot of frustration- both sexual and emotional, as Erin and Garrett try to make their relationship work from opposite sides of the country. In between the angst of the straining long distance relationship, GOING THE DISTANCE offers up a good deal of humor, some of which is on the raunchier side, which takes the rom-com from your typical PG-13 to R rated territory. The cast of GOING THE DISTANCE also features Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Christina Applegate, Ron Livingston, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Jim Gaffigan, Natalie Morales and Kelli Garner.

New Line Home Entertainment has made GOING THE DISTANCE available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the VC-1 codec. The 1080p presentation is generally pleasant and attractive, but the picture is uneven, as a result of the uneven cinematography. The image is generally crisp and provides a very nice level of definition, but there is some softness here and there. Textures and fine details are sometimes very good, sometimes not quite as good as they should be. The daylight outdoor cinematography is pretty much the highlight of the film. Better lit interiors also look quite nice, but the picture has a less assured appearance when practical location are used. Colors are nicely saturated, but sometimes appear a bit more vivid than they should be. Flesh tones are usually attractive. The blacks and whites are fine. Contrast is fine, but shadow kind of drops off into the abyss. The film elements are free from defects. Modest film grain is noticeable.

GOING THE DISTANCE is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. No surprises here, this is a fairly standard romantic comedy mix, with most of the sound localized to front. And as the film is dialogue heavy, much of what one hears falls to the center. The outlying channels engage occasionally for active sound effect placement and there is a nice stereo image across the front, especially where music is concerned. As for the rear channels, we get general ambience, environmental sounds and musical fill. Thanks to the lossless encode, the musical component has been bolstered, while the sound effects are reasonably convincing. As for the bass channel, it adds some weight, but then again, the material doesn’t require anything else. Voices have a warm, natural quality, plus the film’s dialogue is generally easy to understand. French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a few extras. Starting things off is a running Audio Commentary with director Nanette Burstein. Featurettes and other programs include the following: How To Have The Perfect Date (eight minutes), A Guide To Long Distance Dating (eight minutes), The Cast Of Going The Distance: Off The Cuff (four minutes) and Behind The Scenes Of Going The Distance Soundtrack (two minutes). A Music Video for If You Run featuring The Boxer Rebellion is also featured. Some Deleted Scenes close out the standard extras. Disc two offers a DVD copy of the movie for those who are on the fence about making the upgrade to Blu-ray, along with a Digital Copy of the film.

As I stated above, GOING THE DISTANCE is definitely quirkier and somewhat raunchier than a typical studio made romantic comedy, which made it quite likable in my book. The Blu-ray presentation is a bit uneven, but otherwise nice. If you are going to check out the film, Blu-ray is definitely the way to go.


Going the Distance [Blu-ray] (2010)


DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2010 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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