The Lake House (2006)

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Released 28-Nov-2006

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Menu Audio
Deleted Scenes-And Outtakes
Theatrical Trailer
Web Links
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2006
Running Time 94:30 (Case: 98)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (57:00) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Alejandro Agresti
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Keanu Reeves
Sandra Bullock
Shohreh Aghdashloo
Christopher Plummer
Ebon Moss-Bachrach
Willeke van Ammelrooy
Dylan Walsh
Lynn Collins
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $39.95 Music Mark Everett
Rachel Portman
Prince


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format ?
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, action during opening credits

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

Plot Synopsis

    The Lake House is the first English language film from Argentina-born director Alejandro Agresti. His previous films include Un Mundo menos Peor and Una Noche con Sabrina Love.

    Agresti has managed to rope in two reasonably major Hollywood stars for this film, Sandra Bullock (28 Days, Miss Congeniality) and the great wooden actor of our time, Keanu Reeves (The Matrix, Constantine). He's also managed to rope in Christopher Plummer as well as Shohreh Aghdahsloo for some minor but important supporting roles.

    The story itself is based on a 2000 Korean film called Siworae, also known internationally as Il Mare. It's basically the story of the two leads, Kate and Alex, who fall in love...trouble is Kate lives in 2006, whilst Alex lives in 2004. Their initial contact begins through a note that Alex finds in the Lake House when he moves in. This note is from Kate and soon kicks off their written correspondence, which eventually leads to them falling in love, just through their written words.

    The Lake House is essentially a love story, though filtered with a Twilight Zone feel. I found it enjoyable enough, but I am a sucker for a well-done romance. The story requires some reasonably close concentration to follow the jumps back and forth in time, or the viewer could just forget about the logic and just go with the flow. It's a great looking film with a lovely colour palette, scenery and cinematography.

    Sandra Bullock puts in a good, mature performance as Dr. Kate Forster, whilst Keanu Reeves puts in his usual performance, or lack thereof, as Alex Wyler. Of course, his fans might call it a typically understated performance! I think he's best suited for films like The Matrix, which required very little in the way of dramatic acting, or even dialogue (at least I can't remember much of his!).

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer on this DVD is presented in its original theatrical ratio of 2.40:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    It is a sharp transfer, as you would expect given it's very recent cinematic release.

    Shadow detail is good at all times and there is no visible low level noise.

    The colour is simply gorgeous. It's beautiful and rich without ever being oversaturated or exhibiting any colour bleed.

    There are no visible MPEG artefacts, nor any film to video artefacts.

    Subtitles, only available in English, are presented in a clear white font and well synced to the onscreen dialogue.

    The layer change point is at 57:00 and is well placed in a fadeout at the end of a scene.

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

Audio

    The audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 and in Dolby Surround 2.0.

    Dialogue is clear at all times, which is just as well as it is a dialogue driven film. There is no issue with audio sync.

    The music by Rachel Portman (Cider House Rules, Emma) was rich and suited the film well, without being particularly memorable in any way.

    The surrounds channels didn't really have much to do, as this wasn't exactly the sort of film in which gunshots or car chases or flying spacecraft dominated. They did carry some ambient sounds and music which helped create an enveloping feel for the viewer.

    The subwoofer provided low frequency support for the music and the occasional sound effect.

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

Extras

    The extras on this single-disc release were limited to a number of deleted scenes, outtakes and the original trailer.

Deleted Scenes

    The deleted scenes and outtakes were all presented in 2.40:1 letterbox format. These could be played individually, or via a play all option. These are worthy inclusions, though I could see why most of these were left out of the final print.

Trailer

    The original trailer, presented in 2.40:1, 16x9 enhanced format. It runs for 2:20 minutes.

Dolby Digital Trailer

    The one with the train. As I often find, the films that have a Dolby Digital trailer are those that end up barely using the surround channels or the subwoofer. Perhaps it's just there to make for that!

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 version is available in separate 'widescreen' or 'full screen' versions. Both versions appear to contain:

    The Region 4 version would be the one to go for unless you particularly need the French or Spanish soundtracks or subtitles, or desire the full screen version.

Summary

    An enjoyable romantic film with a strong element of Twilight Zone about it. A good performance from Sandra Bullock and a lesser one from Keanu Reeves, with an absorbing story that requires some concentration from the viewer.

    Great picture and sound on the DVD, as well as a few valuable extras, make this a pretty good film to watch, especially if you're a fan of either of the leads.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Satish Rajah (don't read my bio!)
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-344 Multi-Region, using Component output
DisplaySony KV-XA34M31 80cm. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2801
SpeakersMain: Mission 753; Centre: Mission m7c2; rear: Mission 77DS; Sub: JBL PB10

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