Until the Night is a “fly under the radar” movie. You haven’t heard of it, but then you watch it. And you’re quite taken with it. Until the Night is in the tradition of those relationship/talkie movies (indy god Cassavetes comes to mind). Night also has shades of Sex, Lies, and Videotape. Characters talk to a camcorder, and there are some Soderbergh moments of time fracture.
The plot (to call it one) revolves around a pair of relationships. Elizabeth (played wonderfully by …athleen Robertson) struggles to keep her chin up abou their marriage to Daniel (played by Michael T. Weiss). In the meantime Robert (played by the underated Norman Reedus) is a photographer who is descends in to a pit of despair over is failing relationship to Mina (Missy Crider). Robert and Elizabeth eventually, and inevitably, meet. And well…the tangled web of romance is weaved. The director/writer Gregory Hatanaka, in his first film, has shown a maturity of theme. This is a strong, truthful film about adult relationships.
The audio mix is in Dolby Digital 2.0 and 5.1. There’s really not too much difference. This movie is driven by dialogue. Not too many directional effects. Everything is heard quite strongly, however. The clarity of the sound mix is to be commended, albeit front heavy.
The 1.78:1 widescreen transfer looks very good. For digital video, this is as good as it gets. No grain or digital artifacts to be seen. The colors are natural, and the blacks are solid. I was worried there would be a “video” look to the movie, but it looks like film. Kudos to the cinematographer.
There are many special features here. Once you get past the annoying musical score on the menu, you can listen to an audio commentary with the director and two of the actors. This is a thoughtful commentary, with a lot of insight. There are nine deleted scenes worth checking out. Along for the ride are text biographies, a still gallery, and two trailers for the film.
This is a film worth checking out. It’s also interesting from a technical point of view (for all you low budget filmmakers out there). But you have to be in the right mood. This a talky, moody piece about relationships. Not popcorn fare. But if you are in the mood, and with pretty good features, you can burn the midnight oil with Until the Night.
Special Features List
- Audio commentary
- Deleted scenes
- Still Gallery