Lie with Me (Beyond Home Ent) (2005)

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Released 5-Jan-2011

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Other Beyond Home Entertainment releases
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 89:07
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (63:57) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Clément Virgo
Studio
Distributor

Beyond Home Entertainment
Starring Lauren Lee Smith
Eric Balfour
Polly Shannon
Mayko Nguyen
Michael Facciolo
Kate Lynch
Ron White
Kristin Lehman
Don Francks
Richard Chevolleau
Frank Chiesurin
Nicola Lipman
Theresa Tova
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI $14.95 Music Byron Wong


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     Leila (Lauren Lee Smith) is a young, unattached woman with a voracious appetite for casual sex. She is a predator; choosing her sexual partners and taking control of the couplings. When she meets David (Eric Balfour) the sexual attraction is mutual and immediate. Before speaking more than a few words to each other they have sex, but things get complicated when David wants more than Leila is prepared to give. Both are damaged souls, Leila by the breakup of her parent’s marriage, David by the death of his infirm and incontinent father. Leila rejects David’s need for comfort and love and leaves him, but now finds casual sex with others unsatisfactory. But when she seeks out David again, ready to commit, he has returned to his previous girlfriend Victoria (Polly Shannon) and rejects Leila. Can they ever get their act together?

     Lie with Me on its DVD cover compares itself to films such as 9 Weeks (sic), Sex, Lies & Videotape, Last Tango in Paris and Anatomie de l’Enfer. The questions that come to mind are how well done is the erotic part of the film and are we sufficiently interested in the characters between the sex scenes to care what happens to them?

     For all its talk about finding love, Lie with Me is really about the sexual obsession of two narcissistic people, neither of whom very likeable. We learn more about Leila, mostly by way of her chunky voiceover, replete with platitudes and banal asides. Her parents are separating, but her predatorial sexual conduct predates this event and her motivation is unclear; she just likes sex. We know even less about David; he is supposedly intelligent and caring - he reads Steppenwolf (the novel by Hermann Hesse, not the band LP liner notes) and looks after his aged, incontinent father with compassion. Yet he too is a predator, pursuing Leila for sex, dumping Victoria for Leila, then resuming a sexual relationship with Victoria as soon as Leila leaves him. We really don’t care about either of them. On the plus side, both Lauren Lee Smith and Eric Balfour look good naked and the sex scenes are frequent and reasonably explicit, although most seem too mechanical and passionless to be truly erotic. I suppose the DVD cover’s claim that the film is ”the most explicit and intimate film about sex ever made in North America” rests on the number of p****’ on show in the film, erect or otherwise, plus the explicit sexual dialogue.

     Lie with Me is based on a story by Tamara Faith Berger, who is director Clement Virgo’s wife; I’m not sure what this says about their relationship! In the end, while Lie with Me has plenty of sex scenes, it lacks any sense of romance, passion or people in whom we can take an interest.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Lie with Me is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is16x9 enhanced. The IMDb gives the original ratio as 1.66:1.

     The film was shot with constantly moving hand held cameras in Super 16 mm, it seems using natural light. The result is a soft picture with variable focus, brightness and contrast. Colours vary considerably – Leila’s hair colour during outside scenes is a vibrant red, in the interiors it becomes various shades of brunette. Blacks are OK although shadow detail (and some detail generally) can be indistinct. Skin tones also vary, depending upon the lighting, but never look unnatural. This is not the DVD authoring, but how the film was made.

     Apart from being very grainy there were no issues with artefacts.

     The layer change at 63:57 resulted in a small pause.

     There are no subtitles.

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

Audio

     Audio is a choice of English Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448 Kbps and Dolby Digital 2.0 surround, also at a healthy 448 Kbps. Note that the DVD cover lists only the 2.0. I listened to the 5.1. There is not a lot of dialogue in the film but what there is, including the voiceover, is clear and easy to understand. This is not a film with action sequences (except in the bedroom) but the surrounds are constantly in use for ambient sounds and music. The sub woofer was used to support the bass in the music. The 2.0 also has a decent feel, but lacked the depth and separation of the 5.1.

     The score was credited to Byron Wong with a number of added pop songs performed by groups such as Pong Console, Tinkertoy and Broken Social Scene. It worked reasonably well.

     Lip synchronization was fine.

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

Extras

Behind the Scenes Featurette (8:40)

     Nothing much of interest. Extensive film clips plus short sound bites with director Clement Virgo, producer Damon D’Oliveira, stars Eric Balfour and Lauren Lee Smith plus book author Tamara Faith Berger.

Theatrical Trailer (0:58)

Other Trailers

     Included is Tamara (2:32), Stoned (1:26), Fragile (2:07) and Beneath Still Waters (3:01).

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 US release includes, as well as the featurette and trailer, a commentary by director Clement Virgo and star Lauren Lee Smith and what is described as a “Steamy Photo Gallery”. The commentary makes the Region 1 the version of choice.

Summary

     While Lie with Me has plenty of sex scenes it lacks any sense of romance, passion or people in whom we can take an interest. The video is as the filmmakers intended, the audio good. The main extra is a featurette, but we miss out on the audio commentary available on the Region 1 release.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Friday, February 18, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S350, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 42inch Hi-Def LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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