Runtime: 70 minutes / B&W
Release Date: March 16, 2021
Language: DTS-HD MA English 2.0 Original Stereo
Aspect Ratio: High-definition 1080p (1.37:1) presentation of the original full-frame theatrical aspect ratio
Region: All Regions
What do Rope, Birdman, Victoria, 1917, and Synapse’s latest blu-ray release of 90s indie-cult film Running Time, all have in common? They are all predominantly composed of if not entirely in one single long take. Josh Becker‘s (part of the Sam Raimi Michigan group) 1997 heist-thriller is exactly 70 minutes long, and as far as I’m concerned—aside from three possible cheats into black screen and two whip pans—it is indeed fully qualified to bolster that ever-so-lauded cinephile trait. Running Time follows Bruce “The Chin” Campbell’s suave ex-convict Carl “The Tush” Matushka and his unprofessional makeshift squad pulling off a $250,000 heist on the warden’s private bank. Now get this, when I mentioned Carl was an ex-con, I meant, he literally exits his five year stint in the slammer one hour before executing the heist he and his incompetent high school friend had planned. The bank heist is far too short for my liking, as the film transitions more into a bad day that progressively gets worse with the passing of each minute. But the film successfully runs on Bruce‘s presence and seamless charismatic chops, but I’m always a fan of bank heists and bad days getting worse plots; going for one long take just makes it all the more intriguing. On an estimated $130,000 budget, this indie film certainly bolsters an admirable ambition and concept regardless of some shortfalls. So while some of the supporting actors leave a lot to be desired—something Ted Raimi could have aided in—and the settings are all a little too conveniently close together (obviously for the long take technique’s sake), Running Time is surely a must for fellow fans of the one and only Bruce Campbell. In this busy and stressful day and age with plenty of 90+ minute films we scroll through endlessly, Running Time’s brisk 70 minutes makes it hard to say no.
The great 2K restoration work Synapse has done gives this black & white film a crisp, deliberately grainy, well contrasted, noir look and feel to it. This newly restored region-free blu-ray comes with the fancy little plastic case side-lock, and an original reversible cover with art from Wes Benscoter and Gerry Kissell. I personally really like the reddish/orange cover with a full body Bruce for all your physical media loving buddies to enjoy on your shelf.
Special Features and Technical Specs:
– BRAND NEW 2K RESTORATION OF THE FILM
– Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
– Presented for the first time on video with the original theatrical stereo mix
– Audio commentary with writer/director Josh Becker and star Bruce Campbell
– “Run and Gun with Bruce Campbell” – All-new interview/featurette (~20 mins)
– Q&A footage from the Freaky Film Festival Premiere at the University of Illinois (~20min)
– Original trailer (~2min)
Running Time will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on March 16, 2021 for $24.95 and $19.95 respectively.
Pre-order your copy from Synapse Films, here: https://www.synapsefilms.com/product/running-time-blu-ray/
Film Studies/History graduate, using my love and knowledge of the medium to pass as a critic. To my editor’s chagrin, I typically like to go over my word count in discussing films. Most if not all my reviews are originally written within an hour of finishing the film, so that I can deliver an unfiltered, raw, genuine, in the moment, thought process to you. My taste is eclectic (both in film and music), but I have a strong preference for 80s Cult/Sleaze films, Sci-fi, War, Chambara, Fantasy, and Psychological Thrillers. Thanks for giving us a read and I hope you’ve enjoyed your visit! Long live physical media; long live VHS. Remember: watch whatever, whenever, with whomever.