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The night before their high school reunion, a group of friends realize they still haven't quite grown up in some ways.
For more about 10 Years and the 10 Years Blu-ray release, see 10 Years Blu-ray Review published by Jeffrey Kauffman on January 4, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Channing Tatum, Rosario Dawson, Justin Long, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Max Minghella, Oscar Isaac
Director: Jamie Linden
» See full cast & crew
10 Years Blu-ray Review
You can go home again—but do you want to?
Reviewed by Jeffrey Kauffman, January 4, 2013
High school reunions are frequently bittersweet affairs at best. I personally only ever had the courage to go to one of mine, the same vaunted tenth anniversary celebration that is at the heart of 10 Years. I had already long ago moved from the city where I had gone to high school, but had been asked back by my parents to housesit their home (and dog) for a few weeks that summer, so I decided to drop down to my reunion to see what various friends had done with their lives in the intervening decade. I knew I wasn't going to stay very long, for all they were serving for dinner was roast beef, and I was (and am) a vegetarian, but I came to the little mixer before dinner and caught up with at least a few of my old acquaintances. Some of them were quite accomplished—attorneys, authors, successful businessmen and women—while others seemed to already be in a state of decline from which they were unlikely to recover. There were shocking elements as well, including one of the big football jocks of my senior year who was now almost completely sidelined by multiple sclerosis. Such are the vagaries of fate, and even if intimations of mortality aren't exactly on the front burner of most 28 year olds' minds, there's perhaps the first real inkling that time is a precious commodity, and it's best not to waste to much of it, that comes from attending a reunion like this. Overt philosophizing isn't exactly on the front burner of this film's mind, but it's an agreeable enough ensemble comedy that features a number of winning performances if an absolute dearth of depth or inquisitiveness into what it is about reunions that is both bracing and more than a little terrifying.
Now I must disclose up front I'm rather far removed from the late twenties demographic which would seem to be the target audience for 10 Years, but even putting aside that generational issue, there's something somewhat akin to Friends at work throughout this film. 10 Years congregates a bunch of impossibly good looking twenty- somethings, some of whom are impossibly successful (including a rock star), and all of whom talk in that over arch, impossibly hip and happening way that seems to only occur in movies (and occasional long running sitcoms). To 10 Years' credit, writer-director Jamie Linden attempts to invest these characters with some verisimilitude, even if most of them are painted with overly broad brush strokes which offer only general outlines and few if any finer details.
The film is by its very nature an anecdotal affair, giving us quick glimpses into the rather large and ungainly of characters. Channing Tatum portrays Jake, a mortgage broker who has arrived at the reunion with his girlfriend Jess (Tatum's real life wife Jenna Dewan-Tatum), whom he is planning on asking to marry him "when the time is right". That time may or may not be pushed off when Jake's high school flame Mary (Rosario Dawson) shows up unexpectedly. 10 Years defies expectations itself with several nice little turns as this particular reunion unfolds. First of all Mary seems at least to be happily married, and Jake seems to be poised to propose, making an assignation between the two seemingly impossible. How many films have you seen, though, where the guy's putative fiancée is a harridan and the woman's husband is a thundering dolt, making a hookup between the long ago lovers an all but sure bet. 10 Years defies all of these clichés with refreshing honesty, if not an incredible amount of depth.
The rest of the sprawling cast includes everyone from Justin Long to Oscar Isaac to Kate Mara to the "local couple" more or less hosting all the influx of visitors, played by Chris Pratt and Ari Graynor. Here Linden cheats just a little, giving us glancing blows of character, whole lives delivered in shorthand and supposedly off the cuff comments by various people about each other that are too on the nose to be anything other than highly scripted dialogue. But again Linden pulls back from falling too far down the well of cliché, managing to invest many of these characters (especially Pratt's penitent bully) with some really distinctive little beats. The fairy tale love story of the rock star (Isaac) and the girl he mooned for from afar in high school (Mara) seems like it's going to be the most predictable of the bunch, and if there's something approaching a happy ending (in every sense of that term), it's also colored with a certain melancholy that somehow makes it more real.
Channing Tatum also served as one of the producers on 10 Years, obviously now starting to stretch his filmic wings now that his superstardom seems all but assured. Tatum the actor here is generally pretty understated, but he works well with his wife and doesn't grandstand, especially laudable considering the fact that he's probably the "it-est" of the "it" cast. Dawson has some nice moments as well, especially in a nice little beat at the film's end when we get just a glimmer of what's really going on behind Mary's optimistic eyes.
10 Years coasts on a rather large amount of charisma generated by its aforementioned "it" cast, but it can only get so far on that kind of glamour, and when Linden resorts to drunken confessions and the like, the film tends to lose some of its luster. Still, 10 Years is rather remarkably error free in its own low key, small scale way. It's a bit too self aware for its own good, rather like its subject age group, and some of the dialogue is a bit too convenient to ring very true, but there's a certain honesty at the core of this film that makes it one of those rare high school reunions you might not dread attending.
10 Years Blu-ray, Video Quality
10 Years is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of Starz Anchor Bay with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 1.78:1. This is a fairly decent, if never overwhelmingly beautiful, high definition presentation that has the look of a slightly better than average made for television movie a lot of the time. There's no outrageous pop in the fine detail, though close-ups do offer reasonable color, saturation and clarity. A lot of the film takes places in darkened rooms once the reunion gets under way, and that leads to some additional loss of fine detail due to kind of murky contrast and inconsistent black levels. There's nothing here that's going to really drive persnickety videophiles crazy, but there's similarly little here that is going to provide much excitement either.
10 Years Blu-ray, Audio Quality
10 Years features a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix which offers good surround activity with regard to the ubiquitous source cues (including a karaoke scene), as well as the crowded environment of the reunion itself, where background sounds adds a nice level of depth while the lead actors' dialogue is mixed to the foreground. Fidelity is excellent, though dynamic range is fairly nonexistent, with little other than an occasional drunken outburst to provide much difference in amplitude.
10 Years Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
10 Years Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
I frankly didn't expect much from 10 Years, but its lack of pretension helped to overcome its similar lack of ambition. This is little more than a glorified sitcom (or perhaps dramedy), but the cast is extremely winning and Jamie Linden marshals his forces very well, spreading around the action between a rather large cast and delivering some gentle punch lines as well as some equally gentle emotion along the way. 10 Years probably could have been sharper and more involving had its cast size been cut, or had Linden spent a little more time letting us get to know each of the reunion participants, but even in this kind of haphazard sketch format, the film works a perhaps surprisingly large amount of the time. Image quality here is okay, nothing more, nothing less, while the audio is generally excellent if similarly not very exciting. The supplemental material is virtually nonexistent, but for Tatum fans or those who do fit this film's demographic (or maybe those who wish they did), 10 Years comes Recommended.
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10 Years Blu-ray, News and Updates
• 10 Years Blu-ray - November 5, 2012
Anchor Bay Home Entertainment will release on Blu-ray director Jamie Linden's comedy 10 Years (2011), starring Channing Tatum, Rosario Dawson and Chris Pratt, and Ari Graynor. The release will be available for purchase on December 18th.
• 10 Years Blu-ray - October 16, 2012
Anchor Bay Entertainment, in an early announcement to retailers, dated the Blu-ray release of writer/director Jamie Linden's 2012 film 10 Years. Starring Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street) and Rosario Dawson (Sin City), the romantic comedy co-stars Justin Long (Live ...
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