John Mellencamp plays a darker, fictionalized (one hopes) version of himself as a rock starwho returns to his home town in Indiana. He is accompanied by his wife (Mariel Hemingway),and his journey stirs up a veritable hornet’s nest of resentments in his family and friends. KayLenz is married to his brother, but still resents Mellencamp for not choosing her, and the twobegin a very prickly flirtation and affair. As he begins to fall from grace, the question is whetherour her… will be able to climb back to redemption.
With a script by Larry McMurtry, Mellencamp visits the small town hopes and tragedies thatare the subject of so much of his music. He does a credible job both as actor (even if the part isn’tnecessarily a huge stretch) and director. Though the film does wind up treading some familiarpaths, it does so with a quiet honesty.
The sound is 2.0, but it is active. Too active, in fact. There are plenty of surround sounds,with crickets at night and birds by day creating an immersive environment. However, when evena character’s boots scuffling in gravel are given the surround treatment, it’s time to exercisea little restraint. The dialogue is not drowned out by all this extra enthusiasm, though.
The picture is generally good, though some of the night scenes are rather murky. The coloursare a bit drab, but are in keeping with the gritty mood of the piece. There is no grain or specklin,and the image is solidly sharp. A very acceptable transfer for the 1991 film, but not one that willhave viewers marvelling at its beauty.
Trailers for The Guns of Navarone, Silverado and A League of TheirOwn. That’s it. The menu is basic.
The film is hardly earth-shattering, but it is very heartfelt, and is a solid piece of work.
Special Features List