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Featured DVD Review: Stuck Between Stations

March 11th, 2012

Stuck Between Stations - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Video on Demand

Stuck Between Stations opened in limited release in November, but despite earning good reviews, it went nowhere at the box office. It doesn't have a lot of star power, while it's the directorial debut for Brady Kiernan, and the first script for either of the co-writers, Sam Rosen and Nat Bennett, so the odds were stacked against the film. But now that it is coming out on the home market, will it find a more receptive audience?

The Movie

This is kind of a hard movie to describe plotwise, as the plot can be summed up in one sentence. A returning soldier bumps into his crush from high school and over that night they walk around the city talking a lot and doing some things while reconnecting. Where they go, what they do, and what they talk about frequently enters spoiler territory, and while there's no big surprise twists, it is still best to experience the details firsthand. So, without giving too much away...

Sam Rosen stars as Casper Phillips, whom we meet as he is riding his bike home. He has recently gotten back from duty to his home in Minneapolis and is in town for a limited time for a funeral. We also see Rebecca Fine, who checks her voicemail while leaving the college she attends, only to learn her affair with her married professor has been discovered and this could put her academic career in jeopardy. Neither one is in a good mood and they both independently head to the same bar. While there, Casper picks a fight with one of the people Rebecca is with and is thrown out. Shortly after, Rebecca leaves and they bump into each other again, although at first he recognizes her, but she doesn't recognize him. However, after he mentions their third grade teacher, it sparks her memory, and instead of going with her friends, she decides to hang out with him and talk.

And like I said, that's all I can say without getting into spoilers. It's a simple movie that has some strengths but never quite reaches its potential. Firstly, it felt too much like Before Sunrise, only not as good. The two leads have good chemistry together, for the most part, but the subjects they discuss weren't able to hold my attention throughout the full movie. Some of the dialogue was a little artificial and this is especially true of the pair's big monologues at the end. It was like a monologue a teacher would give their acting class. This artificiality is amplified by the use of split screen. A more natural approach like would have helped. Outside of the two leads, there is not a lot happening. Even the two big name actors in the movie, Michael Imperioli and Josh Hartnett, are not given a lot to do. It's not a bad movie, but only a little above average, and there are better examples of the specific walk-and-talk genre.

The Extras

The extras start with an audio commentary track with the director, Brady Kiernan; star / co-writer, Sam Rosen; other co-writer, Nat Bennett; producer, Spencer Kiernan; another producer; Todd Cobery; and editor, Sam Heyn. There is also a ten-minute behind-the-scenes look at the movie, focusing on how it was shot in Minneapolis.

The Verdict

Stuck Between Stations is a walk-and-talk movie in the same vein as Before Sunrise, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, and others. Enough parts of the film work that it is worth checking out, but it doesn't gel enough to be a success on the whole. Give it a rental instead of buying it on DVD or Video on Demand.

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Filed under: Video Review, Stuck Between Stations