Real Time Randall Cole

Taking place almost entirely in a Lincoln town car, with a narrative constructed around the knowledge of impending mortality and worldly closure, Real Time proves to be more of a stage-y, talking heads production than anything particularly cinematic, but manages to entertain through charm and sincerity. It is true that there are many obvious clichés, including a philosophical hit man and the implication that social dysfunction stems from an inability to cope with life's many disappointments rather than anything innate, which may irk viewers with a particular disdain for simplifications and contrivances. Looking beyond these flaws, there is complexity and refreshing humanity to how these familiar conventions pan out, as the actors are fully invested and able to make second chances and unlikely compassion believable. Since the film is essentially about how we make use of the little time we have on this mortal coil, be it by flipping the bird to expectations or finding some sort of peace with what little can be controlled, this believability is paramount to audience connection and appreciation. Unsurprisingly, the film takes place in real time, as Andy (Jay Baruchel), a whiny compulsive gambler who blames society for his many problems, learns from a hit man that he has only an hour to live. Reuban (Randy Quaid), the strangely compassionate and thoughtful hit man in question, makes it clear to Andy that this hour is to be used to find peace with himself, and is concerned to find that all this social misfit wants is to screw a hooker that looks like Rosie Perez and tell an old fast food manager that he used to fornicate with the macaroni salad. As the hour unfolds, however, these characters reveal themselves as far more complex than initially meets the eye. The DVD includes both a brief "behind the scenes" featurette, which shows a couple of scenes being filmed, and a "Cast & Crew Featurette" that is essentially brief interviews and kind words. (Maximum)