[Blu-ray/DVD Review] RUNNING TIME

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always been a big fan of actor and horror icon, Bruce Campbell. Besides horror movies like the Evil Dead trilogy, he’s also had some fun and interesting roles in such series as “The X-Files,” “Hercules,” “Xena,” and the underrated and short lived “The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.” RUNNING TIME has been a movie I’ve been wanting to watch since Anchor Bay released it back in 1999. I didn’t know too much about it except they used the “one continuous take” way of shooting, like what Alfred Hitchcock did in his movie Rope, or more recently, in Sam Mende’s 1917. Even though RUNNING TIME may not be a horror movie, it’s still a fast paced drama. So without further adieu, here’s a description of the plot:

“A prison inmate named Carl (Bruce Campbell) receives early release only to immediately rejoin his former criminal comrades in a heist. In the hour or so he rekindles a romance with an old flame Jane (Anita Barone) and realizes the “good ol’ days” with his partner in crime Patrick (Jeremy Roberts) just might not have been so good.”

Even though the film features a very simple plot, it actually works due to the actors involved as well as having the camera constantly moving, never stopping until the end. For a movie that’s only 70 mins, it definitely keeps your attention. Writer/Director Josh Becker knocks it out of the park with this movie and not gonna lie, this might be the best movie of his career. RUNNING TIME features some tense moments sprinkled throughout as well as some small comedic bits. I’d love to see Bruce Campbell do more dramatic work because he’s actually a really good actor. All in all, RUNNING TIME is one of Bruce Campbell’s best non-horror performances and the movie itself keeps you entertained until the very end.

Synapse Films has just released RUNNING TIME on Blu-ray for the first time and it comes with a brand new 2K scan and restoration of the original camera negative. For a movie that was shot on an extremely low budget on 16mm black and white film, this is the best it’s ever looked. The transfer is great and the original theatrical stereo mix sounds good but definitely won’t blow you out of the water. The Blu-ray also comes with some really cool special features like an audio commentary from writer/director Josh Becker and Bruce Campbell, and a 22 min long interview with Bruce Campbell which focuses on his involvement from acting to helping finance the film, and how he met Josh. It also includes a fun Q&A that was recorded in 1997 at the Freaky Film Festival where Becker and Campbell who gave great anecdotes about the movie while also screwing around with the audience.

For anyone that’s a fan of Bruce Campbell, this is an easy purchase. For everyone else, I’d still recommend this Blu-ray as it’s a unique and fast paced movie that also features a great transfer and cool special features. RUNNING TIME is now available from Synapse Films and is a definite must see!

John Duarte
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