Life or Something Like It (2002)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 9-Nov-2004

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romantic Comedy None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 99:23
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Stephen Herek
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Angelina Jolie
Edward Burns
Tony Shalhoub
Christian Kane
Melissa Errico
James Gammon
Stockard Channing
Case ?
RPI ? Music David Newman


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Life or Something Like It is a marvellous title — doesn't it just start you wondering what it's about?

    This is the story of an eventful week in the life of Lanie Kerrigan (Angelina Jolie, with platinum blonde hair — she's looks very different). Lanie is a self-absorbed TV presenter on Seattle TV (think Bill Murray at the start of Groundhog Day). So we don't hate her on sight, we're shown how she got that way (her childhood).

    Her life is, in her opinion, perfect — she's popular, she has a major league baseball player as a fianc้, and she's up for a national network job. She does variety spots on the news. One day she's doing a spot on a homeless guy who predicts future events for pocket change. He makes three predictions for her interview: that a particular football team will win 19 to 13, that it will hail tomorrow (even though the weather bureau predicts fine), and that she will die in a week. Oh. That night, the football team wins as predicted. The hail comes...

    What would you do? Try to live normally, telling yourself it won't happen? Try to avoid anything risky? Can you evade fate? Is the future pre-determined? For Lanie, who has planned her whole life for success, this is a major upheaval. She starts to re-evaluate what she thinks of her perfect life. She starts to do some things she'd never have done otherwise. It is a very eventful week...

    This is an excellent and unusual plot hook, and this film exploits it rather well. Although I can see why some people didn't like it, I really quite enjoyed it. Recommended.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    This DVD transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. It is 16x9 enhanced. This is a perfect match with the original theatrical aspect ratio.

    The image is gorgeous: sharp and clear, with awesome depth of field in some scenes that can use it, and lovely control over depth of field where it's useful. This film is one of the few that shows superior sharpness in middle-ground shots. Shadow detail is excellent, even in low-light scenes. Film grain is not visible. Low-level noise is never visible.

    Colour is exquisitely rendered; deep and rich. There are no colour-related artefacts.

    There are no film artefacts that are annoying, but I did see a tiny white spot at 55:25. There is a little bit of aliasing, but it didn't bother me. There is a touch of moire on a couple of Lanie's designer suits, but no MPEG artefacts.

    The only subtitles available are in English. They are well-timed, easy to read, and fairly accurate.

    The disc is single-sided and single-layered. The movie is short enough that the single layer doesn't require too much compression, so that's cool.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The soundtrack is provided in English. It's a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, and quite a decent one at that.

    The dialogue is clear and readily understood, with no audio sync problems.

    David Newman's score does a good job of emphasising the events. There are some songs used to advantage in the soundtrack, but I'm not including the a capella version of Satisfaction, although it is rather funny.

    The surrounds basically deepen the soundfield without drawing especial attention to themselves — subtle, but good. The subwoofer mostly supports the score, and is well-integrated and not obvious.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There are no extras on this rental disc.

Menu

    The menu is static and silent — a classic rental menu, with a single photo and very simple commands.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 disc was released in late 2002. It's another of those double-sided discs (widescreen one side, pan-and-scan on the other) that I don't particularly like because they are harder to handle cleanly.

    The Region 4 disc is missing:

    The Region 1 disc is missing:

    According to reviews, the Region 1 transfer is reasonably good, but somewhat flawed — it's crammed into a single layer with several more soundtracks than the Region 4. The Region 4 video is really very good.

    Considering that this is a rental, we can probably hope to see (err, hear) the commentary and maybe some other extras on the retail disc when it arrives. I really hope the retail version offers a video transfer this good. Fingers crossed, eh?

Summary

    An entertaining movie based on a very interesting premise.

    The video quality is superb.

    The audio quality is good.

    There are no extras on this rental disc.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Saturday, February 01, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Adrian T

Comments (Add) NONE