Traveller / Telling Lies in America (1997 / 1997) – By Jon Reino

Shout factory has just released a new high definition double feature blu-ray of Traveller and Telling Lies in America. Both are respectable, although not highly successful pieces of American cinema from the late 90’s. Featuring an all-star cast including Mark Wahlberg, Kevin Bacon, and Bill Paxton between the two movies, as well as a handful of other respectable names.

The Traveller is about a young man who stumbles into a clan of modern Irish gypsies in rural North Carolina of which his family used to be a part of, looking for work and a place to stay. An old school member of the group takes him under his wing, but as he teaches his ways to the new addition, he realizes he is ready for a change in his life.

Telling Lies in America is about a school boy who moves to America from Hungary in the 1960’s. He struggles to fit in and adjust to his new surroundings, but after befriending radio DJ, Billy Magic, he begins to develop a habit of lying to fit in. This new habit eventually catches up to him, and soon the super cool Billy Magic as well.

Neither of the films are half bad, both tell somewhat of a coming of age story in modern American society, although neither saw huge commercial success or gained much of a following. The transfer is not the cleanest. Sometimes hairs and other artifacts pop into the frame, and the film stock from the original print does not seem to be the highest quality. In fact, the quality only seems marginally higher quality than DVD. The disc was also unreliable at times with a few skips and glitches. But most of all what hurts this release is the lack of bonus features. The main menu allows you to play one movie or play the other, no scene selection either. Just two "play" buttons and a track of somewhat annoying swing music. The lack of extra goodies leaves something to be desired from what could have been a desirable package. The design of the physical case and the disc itself is interesting and professional, but unfortunately Shout Factory has dropped the ball on the experience once you put the disc into your player.

If you’d like to find out more about this release, you can check out its page on the Shout Factory website here.