The Lovers' Guide

The Essential Lovers' Guide

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Details At A Glance

Category Documentary None
Rating r.gif (1169 bytes)
Year Released 1995
Running Time
87:27 Minutes
(not 63 minutes as per packaging)
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 3,4,5 Director Robert Page
Lifetime Vision Limited 
Warner Home Video
Starring Andrew Stanway
Case Transparent Amaray
RPI $39.95 Music Malcolm Ironton
Matthew Faddy
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English (Dolby Digital 2.0, 256 Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.44:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Original Aspect Ratio ?1.33:1
Macrovision Yes Smoking No
Subtitles None Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

Plot Synopsis

    The Lover's Guide: The Essential Lover's Guide is a compilation of snippets from previous episodes in this series. Exactly why the producers chose to create this chopped up "best of" when they could have tried to make a more substantial feature, I don't know. Once again, the narration is bland and uninteresting, and the visuals are of dubious quality.

Transfer Quality


    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.44:1, and is not 16x9 Enhanced. We've already established that 16x9 Enhancement is a good idea for films in the ratio of 1.66:1 or higher, but as to whether a transfer of this ratio would benefit, I'm not entirely sure. I think some slight vertical squashing and windowboxing would help this video transfer, if only by making the artefacts appear smaller.

    The transfer is reasonably sharp, the shadow detail is vague, and low-level noise can still be seen in any expanse of colour, especially during the opening logos.

    The colour saturation in this transfer is acceptable, and about on par with the previous disc, but composite artefacts are still a minor problem. Dot crawl is visible in the edges of some colours, but this is relatively minor compared to the previous transfers, especially that of the first episode. Since this footage is mostly truncated from the three previous episodes of the series, the level to which composite artefacts are present is variable, but overall, this transfer seems noticeably cleaner.

    MPEG artefacts are a problem in one section of the transfer, but this is because the footage in question is borrowed from the first disc in the series, where MPEG artefacts were rife throughout a shot of a woman on a pool sofa. Some posterization is still apparent in skin tones from time to time, but the artefacts are mostly well controlled in this regard. Film-to-video artefacts were also not a problem, although the lack of resolution in the picture does a good job of minimizing the potential for aliasing. Film artefacts consisted of some scratches on the picture, but these were very occasional.


    The audio transfer is utilitarian in nature, serving a definite purpose without expanding beyond it.

    There is only soundtrack on this DVD: the original English dialogue, encoded in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo at the higher bitrate of 256 kilobits per second. The dialogue is clear and easy to understand at all times. Audio sync is not a problem because all of the speech occurs off-screen.

    The score music is pure cheese, and turns this entire documentary into a comedy. Much of it is recycled from Malcolm Ironton's score from a previous episode, with new pieces being added by Matthew Faddy. Neither composer's work left any real impression upon me except for how it reminded me of an extremely bad porn film.

    The stereo activity of this soundtrack is reasonable, but there is no surround presence to speak of. The subwoofer briefly supported one shot in a nightclub that was complete with bad drum machine noise, but little else was heard from it.



    The menu is static, not 16x9 Enhanced, or enhanced in any other manner. It is, however, easy to navigate.

R4 vs R1

    Again, I couldn't find any resources to even suggest that this title is available in Region 1 or Region 2. If you really must have this title, I doubt that importing it from overseas is going to yield a significant improvement in the transfer quality, anyway.


    The Lover's Guide: The Essential Lover's Guide is a truncation of some documentaries that leave little to no impression upon me for their educational or entertainment value. The DVD ranges from awful to acceptable.

    The video quality is passable.

    The audio quality is acceptable.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

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 © Dean McIntosh (my bio sucks... read it anyway)
November 23, 2000.

Review Equipment
DVD Grundig GDV 100 D, using composite output; Toshiba SD-2109, using S-video output
Display Samsung CS-823AMF (80 cm),  using composite and S-video inputs, calibrated using the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Built In (Amplifier)
Amplification Sony STR-DE835, calibrated using the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Speakers Yamaha NS-45 Front Speakers, Philips PH931SSS Rear Speakers, Philips FB206WC Centre Speaker, JBL Digital 10 Active Subwoofer