A Better Place
Vincent Pereira's very low-budget, independent film A Better Place makes its way to DVD, and the results are certainly mixed. Granted, there is only so much that can be done with a film that cost only 40,000 dollars. Picture quality suffers the most from a lack of funding. The 1.66:1 image, which is not anamorphic, fluctuates from good to mediocre, with some scenes out of focus and a fair amount of scratches on the transfer. While it certainly is a watchable transfer, the inconsistencies show on this disc. The sound, on the other hand, is quite good. Mixed at Skywalker Sound, the English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is surprisingly strong, with good use from the surround speakers. Also available is a 2.0 surround track that doesn't have the same effect, but is adequate. As for supplemental features, Synapse Films has done a fine job overall. A real plus for this title is a commentary track from Pereira and actors Brian Lynch, Joseph Cassese, and Robert DiPatri. Also of interest, with option commentary, are eight deleted scenes. Pereira is obviously excited about his work and it shows on both tracks. Also thrown in are comparisons between the mono soundtrack and the 5.1 mix. Finally, and by far the least interesting element of this disc, are three different introductions by executive producers Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier. These annoying spots are amateurish at best and really add nothing to the disc. Beyond that though, this is a nicely produced package, which might just bring this film a wider audience.