Plot: What’s it about?
With this release, my usual plot synopsis is going to be a little different. Since this is two episodes from a television series, there are two separate plotlines, which share some common ground. This is what makes it possible to combine them for a feature length film, like Full Moon has done here. While both of the segments, as well as the episodes not included revolve around a gun, that’s about all the episodes have in common. The first episode, Columbus Day, centers on a housewife (Rosanna Arquette) and her security guard husband (James Gandolfini), who seem to be having troubles at home of late. When things so sour after an illicit affair, the gun the man purchased for his wife might be used for something far removed than the protective use he imagined. The second episode, All The President’s Women, is about a cheating politician (Randy Quaid), who seems to be able to sleep his way through women as he pleases. But he soon gets his just deserts, when the women revolt against him, looking for some revenge.
This release is actually two episodes from a six part television series, and I have to admit I’d never heard of this series until this review disc arrived. I didn’t know what to expect to be honest, but given the names involved, I figured it would at least entertaining. The actors involved were all performers I liked, and the directors were also names I had trust in. But I am not the biggest fan of television work, so I was still skeptical. Now that I’ve seen both episodes, I have to say I had a good time watching both installments, and I can even say I’ll revisit them soon. I am even looking forward to the (hopefully) future release of the other episodes in the series. These have elements many of the television series of this nature lack, and that’s incredible cast and crew and terrific storylines. The sheer skill involved with these is massive, and that shows as you view each episode. These are closer to themed short films rather than episodes of a television show, which is not common with releases like this. They’re not for everyone, but if you like the concepts or talents involved, I suggest you check these out.
The first episode, Columbus Day, was directed by James Sadwith, who is also the series’ creator. Sadwith also serves as a producer on the other episodes found in this excellent series. His other directing efforts include Sinatra, In Broad Daylight, and Baby M, all made for television films. This episode features an impressive cast, all of whom seem at home in their roles. Such names as James Gandolfini (8MM, HBO’s The Sopranos), Rosanna Arquette (Pulp Fiction, The Whole Nine Yards), and Peter Horton (2 Days In The Valley, The End Of Violence) all star in this installment. While Horton isn’t among my favorite actors, I was impressed with his work here, and Gandolfini is powerful as always. The second episode, All The President’s Women, was directed by Robert Altman, who is an amazing director indeed. I didn’t expect to see a name like Altman’s on this release, but I am pleased with the results. Some of the actors appearing in this segment include Jennifer Tilly (Bride of Chucky, Relax…It’s Just Sex), Sean Young (Men, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective), and Randy Quaid (Independence Day, Vacation.
Video: How does it look?
Gun: Fatal Betrayal is presented in the original full frame aspect ratio. The best way to describe the image quality is to say it looks much like it would on television, only a little sharper. The colors look bright, with no serious bleeds or smears, and flesh tones seem natural all the time. The contrast is sometimes too bright, but on the whole, the detail level and shadow layering is excellent. There are some compression errors to note, but I wasn’t distracted by them at any time.
Audio: How does it sound?
This is pretty much what you’d expect from a made for television series, quite solid but never that impressive. But with a title like this, audio is not the focus, so lack of surround activity doesn’t detract much from the experience. The music and effects sound terrific with no overlap issues, and dialogue also comes across with clarity and crispness.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This release contains a trailer that covers both episodes, a weblink, a merchandise guide, and some nice talent files.