Plucky perfs and an offbeat murder plot can’t rescue “Brief Reunion” from debuting helmer John Daschbach’s atrophied visual style, which inflicts a stagebound feel on a story about past sins and poisonous personalities. Theatrical biz will be limited for this somewhat cerebral demi-thriller in which a promising young cast is left hanging by pacing issues and slack editing.Set in bucolic New Hampshire, the pic opens with Aaron Clark (Joel de la Fuente, “Law & Order: SVU”) drunk, popping pills and staring into a motel mirror a la Martin Sheen in “Apocalypse Now.” How the computer entrepreneur got into this sorry state involves his wife, Lea (a winning Alexie Gilmore), and Teddy (Scott Shepherd), an old, not-quite-friend with secrets he’s threatening to spill. Shepherd, a vet of New York’s Wooster Group, makes Teddy about as vile as he can be, and his moments with Aaron are alive in a way much of the film simply isn’t. It’s an unusual tale that delves into untidy personal histories and relationships, often seizing the viewer’s attention even when the look of the film turns it off.
An Andrew Lund/Ben Silberfarb presentation of a Kagami Films production in association with Nice Dissolve and Triboro Pictures. Produced by Ben Silberfarb, Andrew Lund. Executive producer, Silberfarb. Co-producer, Pierce Varous. Co-executive producer, Michael Gunther. Directed, written by John Daschbach.
Camera (color), Joe Foley; editors, Daschbach, Andrew Lund; music, Michael Shaieb; music supervisor, Ryan Henriquez; production designer, Antoinette Jacobson; costume designer, Sandra Alexandre; sound, Dan Mazur; supervising sound editor, Alexander Markowski; visual effects, Alex Craig; stunt coordinator, Tim Gallin; line producer, Jane Applegate; casting, James Calleri, Paul Davis. Reviewed on DVD, New York, Jan. 16, 2013, Running time: 88 MIN.
Joel de la Fuente, Alexie Gilmore, Scott Shepherd.