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Lovelace - Blu-ray Review

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Lovelace - Blu-ray Review

3 stars

Infamy has always followed the early 70s pornographic film Deep Throat. It is arguably the most famous and certainly most successful financially (earning over 600 million dollars) of pornos, even 40 years later. Its star was equally infamous, not just for her involvement in the film, but later for her assertions she was coerced/forced to participate, becoming a strong advocate for the anti-porn movement. While there is little doubt that Linda Boreman endured great hardships in her cut short life, she never really took responsibility for her choices, and her account is very simplistic. A film about her life, told from all sides, would be an interesting biopic. Did Lovelace deliver?

Linda Boreman, according to legend, was your average suburban girl under the thumb of her strict parents. They were strict because Linda had gotten herself pregnant and they’d moved to Florida to avoid the stigma. With her baby adopted out due to her mother’s deceptions, Linda resumed her life as a young woman, trying to adhere to their rules. But when she met Chuck Traynor, her future husband, her life took a far more destructive turn.

This, it has to be said, is a completely subjective version of events, based on Boreman’s account solely. While this is a biopic, and a narrative benefits from a point of view to follow, it’s completely one-sided. Lovelace shows Boreman as only the victim. This is not to suggest that she wasn’t, but there really is no attempt by this film to offer a counter argument, and there were plenty that refuted Boreman’s version of events.

As a biopic, this film is well done but very formulaic. Even without knowing the story of Lovelace or Deep Throat, you can see where this is going from the outset. Telegraphing is pretty heavy-handed, and the stringent adherence to Lovelace’s version of events doesn’t allow for nuances or surprises. They wanted to tell her story and in that they succeed well. But it’s not believable or relatable.

The cinematography has a very retro feel to it that delivers an immersion—nostalgia if you will—for the times quite effectively.

The performances are enjoyable, but can’t escape the one-sidedness of the script. They are simplistic because they are seen only through the eyes of one character: Chuck is evil, Mom is repressed, and porn is sleazy with nothing but underhanded people involved: it’s all a bit too on the nose. This doesn’t help it.

Era appropriate music and fine attention to detail by the production designers and costume designers effectively take us back in time. Direction is solid, unobtrusive. It’s a solid production.

This film set out to tell the story Linda Boreman wanted told, and it does it well. Had she lived after her 2002 car wreck, I’m sure she would be pleased to see her story told the way she would have wanted. As an impartial viewer though, this reviewer finds the production just far too simplistic and liberal with its fictionalised version of her story. There is still an opportunity to see a more layered version in the future.

Lovelace - Blu-ray Review

 MPAA Rating: R for strong sexual content, nudity, language, drug use and some domestic violence.
Runtime:
93 mins
Director
: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
Writers: Andy Bellin
Cast:
Amanda Seyfried, James Franco, Peter Sarsgaard
Genre
: Biography | Drama
Tagline:
X marks the legend.
Memorable Movie Quote: "You know, these are natural aphrodisiacs, honey."
Distributor:
Millennium Films
Official Site: http://www.thelovelacemovie.com/
Release Date:
August 9, 2013
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
November 5, 2013
Synopsis: In 1972— before the internet, before the porn explosion—Deep Throat was a phenomenon: the first scripted pornographic theatrical feature film, featuring a story, some jokes, and an unknown and unlikely star, Linda Lovelace. Escaping a strict religious family, Linda discovered freedom and the high-life when she fell for and married charismatic hustler Chuck Traynor. As Linda Lovelace she became an international sensation—less centerfold fantasy than a charming girl-next-door with an impressive capacity for fellatio. Fully inhabiting her new identity, Linda became an enthusiastic spokesperson for sexual freedom and uninhibited hedonism. Six years later she presented another, utterly contradictory, narrative to the world—and herself as the survivor of a far darker story..

Lovelace - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - November 5, 2013
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, Spanish
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: 25GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Region Encoding: A

The film has received a stellar 1080p/1.85:1 transfer that does what it can with the grungy source material. The new interview clips look good, but the original material has a very gritty, grainy look (it was shot on 16 mm, so that's to be expected). This is by no means a showcase for your HDTV, but it looks about as good as it's ever likely to. The DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio mix does what it can with the material, too, but the fuzziness of some of the music is always going to be there given the conditions in which it was recorded. Dialogue tends to be clean and clear.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

As stated in the review, the MPEG-4 AVC transfer is an homage to the retro look of film in the 70s. As a result, you get a grainy, colour saturated picture that dramatically shifts from scene to scene. It’s a beautiful picture nonetheless, and a bold choice.

The sound, in comparison, is a very modern DTS-HD 5.1 lossless mix that reproduces classic tunes for the modern ear. This mix is primarily dialogue and music segments, both of which are delivered in stellar clarity that is a pleasure to the ears.

There’s a 13 minute featurette rounding out the only special feature that’s nothing out of the box.

  • Behind 'Lovelace' (HD, 13:57)

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