×

BLU-RAY/DVD REVIEWS

003797Reviews & Counting
SEARCH BY TITLE # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
The Search for John Gissing
DVD disk
08.16.2007 By: JimmyO
The Search for John Gissing order
Director:
Mike Binder

Actors:
Alan Rickman
Janeane Garofalo
Mike Binder

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

star Printer-Friendly version
comment
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
An American couple arrive in London with a new job to look forward to. But once they get there, the man assigned to make their welcome a warm one, never shows up, leaving the two stranded and searching for John Gissing.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
One of my favorite comedies of all time is the Albert Brooks classic Lost in America. The film is about a yuppie couple that find themselves on the road to ruin when the wife gambles their life savings away. There was something real and very smart about the film. And as I was watching The Search for John Gissing, I found myself feeling much the same way. When a couple, played by Mike Binder (who also wrote and directed) and Janeane Garofalo, arrive in London, they find themselves trying to get a hold of the man in charge of getting them settled. Tired, jet-lagged and frustrated, they seem to be on a wild goose chase as the man keeps changing his story. Both Mike and Janeane are marvelous as the confused and more then a little agitated couple. The longer they are stranded, the more they take it out on each other in some hilarious, yet very believable dialogue. Soon, they do find their man John Gissing (Alan Rickman), and hilarity ensues.

What could have been a bland and dull comedy that felt like a bad sitcom, is a sharp and insightful story about being out of your element and still trying to survive. This is a top-notch cast that also includes Juliet Stevenson, Sonya Walger, Alan Rickman and two fantastic supporting turns by a cab driver and a janitor played respectively by Frank Harper and James Lance. Even when the film should have fallen flat as the roles of the married couple and John Gissing switch place, it never seemed to fall into the trap of predictability. This is a smart screenplay that relies on character, even when the slapstick comes in. The sight gags are secondary to the performances and the script. Yes, there are a couple of jokes that might not have worked for me, but that is a minor complaint. Truthfully, I canít think of them as I write this because what did work, which is most of the film, kept me laughing.

I also commend Mike Binder for being able to wear as many hats as he did. He wrote the script which he directed and he is in a starring role. But he still manages to give a very funny performance while also keeping the film interesting. Also credit should go to his editor Roger Nygard. The jump-cuts and the split-screen seamlessly blend into the story without feeling clichť. As the camera constantly moves around the couple, it gave the impression that they were lost and frustrated by keeping things moving at a very fast paced speed. One very well cut scene involved a semi-naked nun and images of Jesus, it was very intriguing (and also not what you may be thinking). It was funny yet you felt kind of creepy after watching it, much like Mikeís character must have felt. Itís nice to see direction help tell a story in a movie like this, which many times, they donít seem to get too creative behind the camera with character driven comedy. But here they doÖ and it works. This search is a very rewarding way to spend an hour and a half.
THE EXTRAS
A good Director Commentary, I think, is one of the most important things that a Indie flick can have for itís DVD release. Well, guess what, The Search for John Gissing is a winner on this level. Both Mike Binder and editor Roger Nygard give a whole lotta insight on the making of this fine film. Mr. Binder seems to be a soft spoken man who continually tries to improve his work. A perfectionist? Maybe. But whatever he did, it worked.

On to the cute but mildly useless feature is the Behind the Scenes (3:11) which includes a few fun bits behind the camera with a chipper soundtrack. Again, this is fun but nothing to go searching for.

Luckily, the Deleted Scenes (10:38) were surprisingly strong. I loved the final scene in this set, which really shows how much chemistry Binder and Garofalo have together. I also would have liked to have seen the ďI was told 1:00Ē scene in the film. It was funny but quite tragic. Good stuff, too bad it couldnít have been added in.

As for the final extras, there are Out-Takes (2:45) which are funny but short and we have a Photo Gallery (2:46). I did appreciate that you didnít have to keep pushing the forward button on the remote for this. No, itís a montage with music.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
The Search for John Gissing had an almost Albert Brooks feel to it. It is a smart comedy that relies on a clever screenplay and a fantastic cast. Both Binder and Garofalo are terrific together, while both Frank Harper and James Lance steal a few scenes with splendidly funny performances. It also ups the ante with some impressive direction. Mike Binder keeps the film moving by way of split-screen and jump cuts that work and he isnít afraid to move the camera around as the couples frustration grows. It makes for an entertaining watch. If you want an adult comedy that will keep you laughing and wonít insult your intelligence, then you should search for John Gissing yourself. Trust me, itís a real find.
Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

Best Selling

| March 2017 More Best Selling
  • 1
    Fantastic Beasts
  • 2
    Sing
  • 3
    Moana
  • 4
    Doctor Strange
  • 5
    Fifty Shades Darker

Featured Youtube Videos

Views and Counting