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Tender Loving Care, and I'm Your Man on DVD

Empowering Movies Put You in the Action

DVD International is pushing the outside of the movie envelope with a pair of their titles.

I'm Your Man is a short interactive movie in which - at specific points in the action - you must choose which character to follow, and where to send that character.

Originally released theatrically in selected (and specially prepared) US cinemas, I'm Your Man is the tale of a female whistle blower, her corrupt boss, and the FBI agent who comes between them. Or is it?

Depending upon your choices, made via your DVD's remote control, you can find out background info on each character (in which case you may discover that not everything's as it seemed when you followed other courses, and opinions you may have formed may be wrong - or at least incomplete).

The movie's interesting and light hearted - and it's cool to have the cast looking out at the screen to ask your advice or to lobby you to "choose me!" The bad guy even has a couple of tricks up his sleeve to make you more cooperative when he asks for your assistance. Though written and filmed for a theater audience, the jokes still work well in the home theater.

Bonus tracks include a set of outtakes, an audio commentary by director Bob Bejan and a featurette on the making of the movie. There are also some storyboards, trailers etc.

"I'm Your Man" also includes a DVD-ROM component that lets you navigate the film via its "interactive game map" and there are web links.

All in all, "I'm Your Man" is a pretty lightweight film, but it's worth playing around with for its innovative use of the medium. Each version of the film only runs about 15 minutes, so you have plenty of time in an evening to explore all the disc's goodies.

I'm Your Man, from DVD International
widescreen, Dolby Digital, no copy protection or regional coding
starring Mark Metcalfe, Colleen Quinn, Kevin M. Seal, Music by Joe Jackson
Screenplay by Bob Bejan, Michael Ian Black, Ben Garant, Jeff Gurian, Alisa Tager,
Produced by Irving Fuller and Paul Selwyn
Conceived and Directed by Bob Bejan

Partaking of some Steaming Tender Loving Care

Part movie, part game, Aftermath's Tender Loving Care (distributed on DVD by DVD International and on CD-ROM by Digital Leisure) is an adult "situation tragedy" that plays with the minds of cast and viewer alike.

Created by the minds that brought you "The 11th Hour" and "The 7th Guest," TLC stars journeyman actor John Hurt as Dr. Turner, a psychiatrist/narrator who appears to have unleashed the events that unfold during the program.

Those events revolve around married couple Michael and Allison Overton, and Kathryn Randolph, a "nurse/therapist" who comes to live with the Overtons. Why? Well, Allison is mentally ill, suffering from a severe case of denial, and Kathryn comes on board to help her get her head together again.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, since otherwise we'd have no story!) Kathryn has some issues of her own, and as the story unfolds one's opinion of her competence, professionalism, and ethics may be put to the test. We also find out a lot more about loving husband Michael and devoted wife Allison as well.

Hurt, who has graced such films as "Contact" and "Alien," opens the action by setting the scene. He also pops up at the end of each scene to comment on the action so far and solicit your opinion.

After he does that, the disc(s) change from a relatively straightforward movie into more of a computer game/psychological test. You get the opportunity to explore the Overtons' beautiful rural home (and elsewhere), poking around "at will," through the various rooms and their contents.

Voyeurs will love this; you can read Allison's and Kathryn's diaries, which are quite enlightening to say the least, watch confusing-but-perhaps-equally-enlightening TV programs, and get the skinny on massage techniques or Erotic Art (whoever he is!).

You also get the opportunity to take a series of "TAT's," "Thematic Apperception Tests," that causes the software to form a psychological profile of YOU, as well as helping steer the direction of the film.

It's fascinating and hard to put this thing down - and depending upon your responses scenes may unfold differently. For example, there's a scene near the beginning in which Kathryn is undressing in her room, in view of Michael. On the DVD, she appeared naked briefly, while on a subsequent trip through the CD-ROM version she kept her bra on during that scene (which made us wonder which questions we'd answered wrong!).

Control of the DVD is via your remote control. The CD-ROM works with your mouse.

You can "save" the game between scenes so you don't have to sit through the whole shebang in one sitting. On the DVD, you're given an interminable code to punch back in upon revisiting; the CD-ROM is more straightforward.

Unfortunately, we had a big problem with the DVD, which crashed repeatedly at the beginning of one scene (in fact, we couldn't get past this on the DVD - which is why we went to the CD-ROM version - the video of which is obviously much inferior to the DVD's).

As of this writing, unfortunately, we haven't had a chance to try the TLC DVD on a different DVD player, so don't know if it was a disc problem or a player problem.

Since we actually paid for the player, we're hoping it's a disc problem...

TLC is fascinating, erotic, well acted and produced, and a really interesting use of interactive media. We'd love to see more experiences like this.

Tender Loving Care, from DVD International and Digital Leisure
starring John Hurt, Michael Esposito, Beth Tegarden, and Marie Caldare
Produced and designed by Rob Landeros, based on the novel by Andrew Neiderman
Written and Directed by David Wheeler


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Updated May 13, 2006