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DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
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Lovelace Blu-Ray Review
Nov 03 2013 07:38 AM | mattCR in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
- Studio: Anchor Bay
- Distributed By: Anchor Bay
- Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC
- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
- Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA
- Subtitles: English SDH
- Rating: R
- Run Time: 1 Hr. 33 Min.
- Package Includes: Blu-ray
- Case Type:
- Disc Type: BD25 (single layer)
- Release Date: 11/05/2013
- MSRP: $29.99
The Production Rating: 3/5Linda Boreman's story is one that can only be told with a large series of caveats. When she first came forward with her story in 'Ordeal', she was immediately embraced by those who oppose pornography and questioned by those who doubted both her motives and sincerity. Enough so that the editors of that book demanded polygraphs (which appear in this film) because they, also, found her story unbelievable in light of all of the prior appearances in support of her adult film work... and what followed.
In 1980, when Ordeal was published, Lovelace recounted seemingly unbelievable tales: forced at gunpoint to be raped by five men, forced on camera to have sex with a dog, tales that she was beat and raped nightly. Ordeal was such a buzz book that she made appearances on daily shows like Donahue and multiple media sources.
Linda Boreman's narrative that the porn industry had chewed her up and done terrible things to her was wildly popular, and frankly, if even a small portion of it was true, it marked a despicable way to treat another human being.
The problem with Ordeal, though, was that Lovelace was a terrible narrator, faltering back and forth, and eventually recanting some of her own book when she returned to adult shoots in the mid 80s for a short while. Linda's back and forth on her own work, as well as repeated denials by those named within the book made for a very interesting potential biography; a way to tell a story with a lot of different viewpoints to shape a complex, difficult to understand story.
Lovelace, the film, seems to skirt away from that. The first two segments of the film are amazingly effective at portraying Lovelace as the life-style loving free spirit who was into the porn scene and embraced it. The third act, however tells the entire story again from the perspective of the book, as to provide a meaningful way to rethink the entire story from Linda's perspective, an abused and battered woman forced into a career she did not desire.
The film has a few great performances; Seyfried sells her role and Peter Sarsgaard both are good, but Sharon Stone's performance as Linda's mother works on every level. Despite having such a great cast, though, the film can't overcome the problems with it.
I've often thought that autobiograhies don't necessarily make for great films; because they are told from the perspective of the person who lived it, they too often lionize themselves. The bigger problem here is that Linda Boreman never held a consistent narrative and the numerous rebuttals to her work are given no weight at all.
This isn't to say that she wasn't abused, harmed, and potentially raped - and that story should be told. But this film seems to completely deny any other viewpoint on any events leaving you feel as though you're only seeing a small part of the story.
Dick Long Scene
Film Shoot Scene
Film Shoot Scene
Video Rating: 3/5 / 3D Rating: NA
Filmed in a style designed to mimic seventies films, Lovelace provides a grainy and sometimes too dark view of the world it is trying to present. There are times where I want a film to feel and look authentic to the period, and moments where the settings and film design is simply distracting to the viewer.
Lovelace unfortunately crosses over into the latter category too often, and the video design doesn't just look old-school it looks more like poorly upkept old-school film practices. This is fairly distracting for the end viewer.
While the film is probably encoded correctly, at a very high overall bitrate (26.8Mbps AWBR) the film is not one you will ever use to show off the quality of your home theater.
Audio Rating: 4.5/5In contrast to the video methods, the audio is quite good; dialogue is crisp and clear and the use of all channels helps set the soundstage. The film is really dialogue heavy, but it manages to stay crisp and clean. In more boisterous moments, music and atmosphere feel all channels in the room, giving you a real feeling of being in the center of the party.
Special Features: 1/5Behind 'Lovelace' - This 13:57 HD add-on gives the filmmakers view of the film, and frankly it is the reason why I wrote most of the intro to this review. It is obvious after watching this behind the scenes that this film really takes the story of 'Ordeal' at nearly face value, rejecting any other viewpoint on Linda Boreman's career. This is OK, but it makes me feel as though the film from the onset left all the good cards on the table; in a biopic film that could have challenged viewpoints and provided multiple ways to look at the story, the directors chose the most straightforward method of handling the storyline.
There are no other extras, pardoning trailers.