DVD Review

DVD Review: DEAN (2016): An Adequate, Quirky Dramedy From Demetri Martin


Dean DVD Review

Dean (2016) DVD Review, a movie directed by Demetri Martin, starring Demetri Martin, Kevin Kline, Gillian Jacobs, Reid Scott, and Mary Steenburgen.

Release Date: August 29, 2017


“A comedy about loss, grief, and the redemptive power of love. Dean is a NY illustrator who falls hard for an LA woman while trying to prevent his father from selling the family home in the wake of his mother’s death.”

Disc Specifications

Run Time: 93 Minutes

Format: DVD

Resolution: 720p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Language: English 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio

Subtitles: English (SDH), Spanish

Rating: Rated PG-13


Dean is presented on DVD courtesy of Lionsgate Films with a 720p transfer. Picture quality is noticeably a step down from Blu-ray presentations, with details not as sharp and occasional blurry movements by the actors. Nothing that hindered the viewing experience, but nothing spectacular.


Dean is presented with a 5.1 Dolby Digital audio track. There is not much in the way of sound design with this film. As with most comedy’s, the focus from the filmmakers is making sure the dialogue is crisp and audible.  In this, the audio doesn’t disappoint.

DVD Bonus Content

This is a Movie: Making Dean – A nice, informative interview with the writer, director, and star of the film, Demetri Martin.  He discusses the challenges of doing all these things for the first time on a feature film level, and working to find the right technical crew to assist.

Drawing on Film: Stories about Dean – A discussion with Martin on the use of drawings in the film, and how he took inspiration from his real-life relationships to help craft the films characters.

Dean: Q & A with Demetri Martin and Rory Scovel – A short conversation between the two actors.

Film Review

Dean, released only on DVD after a brief 4 week theatrical run earlier this year, is the writing and directing debut of Demetri MartinMartin plays a New York cartoon artist who recently lost his mother and ended his relationship with his fiancé.  His father (played by veteran actor Kevin Kline) is dealing with the troubles that come with living alone for the first time in years and shocks his son when he wants to sell their family home.  He travels to L.A. hoping to sell some of his illustrations to an ad agency, while at the same time thinking a different city would help him emotionally.

This movie has all of the tropes anyone who has seen dramatic comedy’s would come to expect.  It’s a Woody Allen film, without Allen’s classic dialogue and self-deprecating appeal.  The illustrations (drawn by Martin) are the highlight of the film.  They are creatively inserted with split screens of the live action, and add Martin’s signature dry humor.  But most of the characters are too one dimensional and kept me from getting emotionally invested in the film.  Kevin Kline however does have a fleshed out character, and is very charming and believable as a widower looking for love.

Overall, this is a routine dramedy without enough to make it stand out from the plethora of others that have been made.  Martin seems like he has the skills to direct and act, but it would behoove him to bring on an additional writer that can help craft and guide the narrative elements that this film is missing.  Kevin Kline fans should check this out, as any time he gives a strong performance it’s always a joy to watch.

Rating: 6/10

Disc Acquisition

You can purchase Dean here.

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About the author

Kyle Steininger

Born and raised in Chicago, Kyle has loved movies ever since his father took him to the theater to watch Home Alone. Since then, he has developed a passion for films and everything about them from watching endless DVD extras, interviews with cast/crew, and attending screenings of older films when available. Some of his favorite directors include Kubrick, Fellini, Scorsese, Tarantino, Leone, and Nolan.

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