Life-Size (2000)

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Released 29-Mar-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy None
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 84:58
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Mark Rosman
Studio
Distributor
Disney
Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Lindsay Lohan
Jere Burns
Anne Marie Loder
Garwin Sanford
Tom Butler
Tyra Banks
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $24.95 Music Eric Colvin


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
French
Spanish
Dutch
Swedish
Norwegian
Danish
Finnish
French Titling
Spanish Titling
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Let me see - guilty pleasure films in my DVD collection: Xanadu, the story of a gorgeous muse brought to life who falls in love with a guy; Weird Science, the story of a woman brought into existence by a couple of geeks with no female-laced futures; and Mannequin, the story of a mannequin brought to life by the gods for her creator. Common thread here? Gorgeous woman brought to life to meet the needs of man/men.

    So here we have the female corollary in an (arguably) gorgeous woman (inadvertently) brought to life by a grieving young lady.

    Now let us get one thing right out in the open here: there is an obvious demographic to which this film is aimed and I am not within cooee of that demographic. Then again I don't think too many web sites anywhere in the world have reviewers in the necessary demographic. That demographic is adolescent females between the ages of eight and twelve at a guess, but with some variability on the upper and lower edges. To that group this film might have some purpose or worth. To the rest of us, unless you are a serious Tyra Banks fan (that counts me out), there really is no reason why you should be checking out this review. You have to have something better to do with your life, like cutting you toenails or something.

    So why am I reviewing this piece of dire waste of celluloid? The dud list just keeps getting longer (hardly surprising when dire rubbish like this is being released more and more) and as dire as this is, it at least is better than some of the even more dire garbage on the dud list. So if you happen to have seen the film and happen to think it is okay (and judging by its current rating on the Internet Movie Database, at least some people obviously do), maybe you should just head to the transfer section now.

    Ben (Jere Burns) lost his wife a couple of years back and is still trying to recover from it. His daughter Casey (Lindsay Lohan) is even more affected as not only has she lost her mother but her father is withdrawing more and more into his work to earn a partnership and does not take as much interest in her sporting activities anymore. So as to make certain that the stereotypes are kept to the minimum, the sport of choice is American Football and she is a star quarterback. Casey withdraws from her friends too and starts to delve into ways to see her mother again. It is called magic and so she indulges in a book of spells, with the aim of resurrecting her mother. However, things go a little awry when Drew (Ann Marie Loder), a lawyer at the same firm as her dad and who is rather interested in Ben, interferes with things. As a result Casey's one shot at resurrecting her mother goes just a little off course and instead she brings to life the doll Drew gave her (oops, that's a stereotype) - Eve (Tyra Banks). So what would a doll brought to life be like? Well, not too far from a super model and just as false. The perky Eve soon attracts the attention of the males in the piece, as well as having the obvious problems of adjusting to a real life where limitations are exposed instead of a make-believe one where she is perfect in every respect. The effect she has on Casey's life soon are seen, overcoming Casey's initial disgust at her presence.

    The blurb calls the film a "dazzling comic fantasy" and "delightfully entertaining". I am still trying to work out just how the obviously inebriated blurb-writer managed to come up with that gem of false advertising. It might be a fantasy but there is little here that is remotely funny - whilst there is plenty that is just plain dire and mind-numbing. The acting is rubbish (hardly surprising since it features a bunch of relative no names), and that is evidenced by the fact that Tyra Banks - who for a model is not a bad actor - is not the weak link here. Everything is pretty much by-the-numbers stuff and never rises above the limitations of the material and the cast. The director makes something of an effort but really and truly there is so little here to work with that the effort was hardly worth it.

    I would imagine that this has plenty of appeal for that narrow demographic to which it is aimed, but for the rest of us this is just made-for-television rubbish that is completely forgettable even whilst you are watching it. This does not even constitute mindless entertainment and there are plenty of other good DVDs out there that would be wiser spends than this. Maybe, just maybe, a reasonable renter for the tail-end of the school holidays but otherwise just totally avoidable.

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

Transfer Quality

Video

    Being made for television, it obviously is presented in the Full Frame aspect ratio that is associated with traditional television (despite the fact that widescreen televisions have been around for quite a while). Obviously it is not 16x9 enhanced.

    There is really nothing much wrong with the transfer. Nice and sharp, well detailed and with oodles of definition. Shadow detail is excellent, clarity is wonderful and there is barely any trace of grain. Low level noise is not an issue at all.

    Colours are bright, vibrant and well saturated. There are lots of bright primary colours here - occasionally a little too bright in the case of some of the lime greens - that bring a very toy-like appearance at times. Oversaturation is not a problem at all and there is no issue with colour bleed at all.

    In the opening credits especially, there is a serious issue with lack of resolution in camera movement, but I am going to presume that this is source related and not the compression. The problem does crop up elsewhere, but not to such an extent. There is little in the way of film-to-video artefacting in the transfer and the only really noticeable issue is some minor moiré artefacting, such as in the shirt at 74:25. You might not be able to avoid noticing the rather hairy telecine wobble in the Walt Disney logo after the credits though. There are no film artefacts to worry about.

    This is a single layered, single sided DVD so there is no layer change to worry about.

    The English subtitles are pretty decent with only relatively minor chunks of dialogue dropped or rearranged to fit with the flow of the show.

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

Audio

    There are three soundtrack options on the disc, and they all seem to be Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded efforts. The language options are English, French and Spanish.

    Dialogue comes up well in the transfer and is easy to understand. There appears to be no serious audio sync issues with the transfer.

    The original music comes from Eric Colvin. In keeping with the overall film it is strictly by-the-numbers and offers nothing of note.

    The surround encoding is only sparingly used with the most obvious instance being in some background vocals during the office party when Eve sings. Otherwise, this would seem to be pretty much straight two channel stuff, which is hardly surprising given the made for television nature of the film. The sound is clean, very open and without any obvious blemish.

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

Extras

    Nothing at all.

Menu

R4 vs R1

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

    I have not bothered to check out in detail what other regions might offer in the way of DVD packages for the simple reason that (a) the film is such that anything especially different would be unlikely and (b) would it really make you go out and buy this film anyway? It would seem that Region 2 gets the same as Region 4 anyway, and that is pretty much what Region 1 gets as well.

Summary

    Life-Size is very obviously targeted at a specific demographic and if you are outside that demographic then forget this dire film. As that old theorem states, given that it is such a dire film, it has been afforded an exemplary transfer in nearly every respect.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ian Morris (Biological imperfection run amok)
Wednesday, April 28, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-1600, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Aconda 9381ZW. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationYamaha RXV-795
SpeakersEnergy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL

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