Paramount Home Media announced this past week that the directing and writing team of Andrew Mogel and Jarrad Paul will have their independent theatrical release of The D Train, starring Jack Black and James Marsden, released on Aug. 18 as both DVD and Blu-ray editions.
The IFC Films release scored both a strong buzz and solid reviews from its Sundance Film Festival debut in mid-January of this year and it was jumped into a pre-summer theatrical release to take advantage of the media hype. Screens quickly evaporated as the big summer blockbusters arrived in late May, so the box office was cut short at $660,994.
With Paramount’s distribution muscle, The D Train should score some very solid numbers and reach the audience it fully deserves. For the record, the ARR comes in at 116 days.
This isn’t your standard Jack Black comedy. Let’s get that out there right up front. Yes, it is a comedy — and damn funny; a little on the dark side — but there is a lot more going on here than any short synopsis or 90-second theatrical trailer can convey. If you are a fan of Jack Black, then The D Train will certainly please.
If not a fan of Mr. Black, you’re going to like this one anyway as it deals with sex, losing, celebrity, depression, dependency and just trying to fit in. A little uneven in spots, but well deserving of all the positive buzz that it generated coming out of Sundance … and well worth a look come Aug. 18 when it hits retail and rental as both DVD and Blu-ray product offerings.
Jack Black is Dan Landsman, a middleclass schlub with a wife (Kathryn Hahn) and a couple of kids, who has wheedled his way into the chairmanship of his high school’s 20th anniversary gathering. It’s not going well and his leadership is less than awe-inspiring.
But as luck would have it, he spots fellow alumni Oliver Lawless (James Marsden) on television one evening in a suntan lotion commercial and the little wheels in his head start going click-click-click.
OK, you’ve likely seen countless high school movies with the standard scene of the “stars” (lead actors) walking down a busy hallway with lockers and classroom doors on either side. From High School Confidential and Rebel Without a Cause in the 1950s, Grease in the ‘70s and even The DUFF this year, each repeated the same classic scene — stars walking and talking and extras milling around in the background (hit your mark, don’t look at the camera).
Dan was, when he was in high school, one of the “extras.” He can finally be somebody, if he can get this “A-list” celebrity to attend the reunion! He concocts an elaborate plan to get himself to Los Angeles, hook up with Oliver and recruit him. But what happens next changes everything.
The D Train doesn’t go off the rails and doesn’t become something that it is not. It is a comedy, but once the set-up is in place it doesn’t take the “mainline” to its destination. And that is refreshing.
Bonus features include deleted scenes and a gag reel.