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DC Hamilton
Gino Anthony Pesi, Brinna Kelly, Jason Stuart
Brinna Kelly

When a charming woman named Penny climbs into his taxi, Harris finds himself entranced - right up until she disappears from the back seat without a trace.
Rated NR

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English Dolby 5.1
English Dolby 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 82 min.
Price: $29.97
Release Date: 11/19/2019

• Audio Commentary with Director DC Hamilton
• Audio Commentary with Writer/Actor Brinna Kelly
• Unused Footage Montage
• “Beyond FM” Featurette
• Flashback Scene Breakdown
• Gag Reel
• “The Look of The Fare” Featurette
• Extended Sequence
• Original Opening
• “Secrets of The Fare” Featurette
• Trailers


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The Fare [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (February 3, 2020)

A romantic thriller with supernatural overtones, 2019’s The Fare takes us to a cabdriver named Harris (Gino Anthony Pesi). He picks up a sexy passenger named Penny (Brinna Kelly).

As he drives her toward an obscure destination, the pair flirt and get to know each other. Shockingly, however, she mysteriously vanishes along the way.

Faced with this inexplicable event, Harris resets his meter and finds himself right back where he started, as Penny again enters his cab. They find themselves in a perplexing loop that they need to solve.

In other words, that sounds like “Groundhog Day In a Cab”. Does this simplistic summary stick?

Yeah, to a decent degree, though Fare works harder to offer a thriller versus the comedy of Groundhog. It focuses more on the characters’ backgrounds and a mystery, so it adopts its own tone.

Still, the nature of the repetitive series of events inevitably leads to these comparisons. No one will ever call Fare a classic ala Groundhog, but it manages some compelling moments.

At times, at least, as Fare brings an inconsistent experience, partly due to the leads. Neither Kelly nor Pesi flop, but they fail to bring much life to their roles.

Actually, Pesi does moderately well, but Kelly can’t develop real personality in Penny. Given that so much of the story revolves around their emotional connection, Kelly’s flat performance becomes a drawback.

Lackluster direction from DC Hamilton doesn’t help either, as Fare comes with stiff shot selections and predictable editing. Neither of these elements really damages the end result, but the movie comes with an amateurish feel in general.

Much of the movie’s development deals with plot twists, and I’ll admit I didn’t see some of them in advance. While we know something big will occur, I don’t think the tale telegraphs its choices too badly.

However, Fare also doesn’t build toward the reveal all that well. It keeps us moderately involved with Penny and Harris’s shared journey but it never quite turns into anything more than that.

All these issues aside, Fare works better than expected. I go into this kind of low-budget indie material without a lot of hope, so I felt happy that the tale managed to keep me with it most of the time.

Ultimately, Fare feels inconsistent but intriguing. Though not a genuine good film, it comes with enough merit to keep the viewer semi-involved.

The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio B-/ Bonus B

The Fare appears in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though not great, this became a satisfactory presentation.

For the most part, sharpness felt good. Wider shots could lean a little soft, but general delineation seemed reasonably accurate.

No signs of jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I saw no edge haloes. Print flaws also remained absent.

The movie’s first act opted for a black and white sensibility, but as the plot developed, so did colors. These largely went for an amber/orange tone that didn’t seem dynamic, but the hues appeared acceptable.

Blacks seemed dark and tight, while shadows were fairly concise. The movie offered a mostly pleasing image.

Right off the bat, the Blu-ray lost points because it came with a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. No lossless choice equals a lower grade.

Despite this weakness, the movie’s mix worked fairly well. Much of the audio focused on dialogue and general driving ambience, though a few action-ish scenes added impact. These didn’t appear frequently, but they used the soundscape in a mostly positive manner.

Speech seemed natural and concise, while music was reasonably full. Effects also showed good accuracy and punch. Ultimately this became a perfectly acceptable mix.

We get a mix of extras here, and we find two audio commentaries. The first comes from director DC Hamilton, as he brings a running, screen-specific look at story/characters, the movie’s rushed schedule, cast and performances, photography and the use of color, music, and related domains.

Overall, Hamilton gives us a reasonably good chat, as he touches on an appropriate array of topics. While Hamilton never gets into the film with the depth needed to make the track great, he offers enough useful material to make it worth a listen.

For the second commentary, we hear from writer/actor Brinna Kelly. She provides her own running, screen-specific discussion of the project’s origins and inspirations, story and characters, cast and performances, and elements of the shoot.

Kelly gives us an energetic commentary that varies in terms of quality. Actually, Kelly starts off with fairly superficial thoughts, but she gets better as she goes. In the end, the discussion adds to our understanding of the film.

Next comes an Unused Footage Montage. It spans one minute, 35-seconds – and uses 35 seconds for an intro from Hamilton. Other than a glimpse of the photography without filtering, it doesn’t seem especially interesting.

Beyond FM fills one minute, three seconds and lets us hear more of the radio broadcast Harris hears. It seems mildly compelling at best.

After this comes a Flashback Scene Breakdown. In this two-minute, 53-second reel, we see storyboards compared to final footage for one important sequence. It becomes a good take on the topic.

A Gag Reel runs three minutes, 26 seconds and presents the usual goofs and giggles. Nothing memorable emerges.

With The Look of The Fare, we get a nine-minute, two-second show with Hamilton and cinematographer Josh Harrison. They cover the movie’s visual choices and make this a fairly engaging overview.

In addition to the film’s Original Opening (2:06), we find an Extended Sequence (4:37). The latter expands Harris “lost in the fog”, whereas the former telegraphs aspects of Harris’s character. “Fog” seems decent, but “Opening” reveals too much.

Secrets of The Fare takes up 15 minutes, 17 seconds and offers more info from Kelly. She takes us on a tour of the movie’s “Easter Eggs” and subtextual elements in this fun exploration.

In addition to three trailers for The Fare, we get additional promos for Harpoon, Candy Corn, Automation and Red Letter Day.

Essentially a darkly romantic take on Groundhog Day, The Fare manages to provide a watchable affair. Though flawed in a number of ways, it delivers a decent ride. The Blu-ray brings moderately positive picture and audio as well as a nice array of bonus materials. I can’t really recommend The Fare, but I think it works better than anticipated.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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