DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
Blu-ray
International DVDs
Theatrical
Adult
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
XCritic.com
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Advertise
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds


Special Offer

Search: For:
Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Liam
Liam
Trimark // R // March 12, 2002
List Price: $24.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted March 8, 2002 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Rent It
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly
The Movie:

(movie review originally written 9/23/01)
Although "Liam" does start off seeming like the cinematic offspring of "Angela's Ashes" and "Billy Elliot", I thought it was more enjoyable than either of those two films. Unfortunately, director Stephen Frears'("High Fidelity") film still has some problems of its own. The film revolves around the struggling, working-class Sullivans, who live in Liverpool in the 30's. There's Liam (Anthony Burrows in a fine debut), sister Teresa (Megan Burns in a really strong performance), Dad (Ian Hart) and Mum (Claire Hackett).

The film starts off rather happily, but then turns rather somber. After a New Year's Eve celebration (complete with what could be described as a "song fight"), things start to go downhill. Dad loses his job at the local mill and is forced to look for other employment; Teresa is forced to work at the home of a local family, who takes her in kindly but has secrets of their own and Liam is scared speechless (he stutters even worse than usual) by the Catholic school teacher, who intensely goes on about what happens if you sin.

The picture suffers from an unusually short running time. Although it may have had different versions in all of the festival screenings its gone to throughout the year that it's toured, the 88 minute version that I saw didn't particularly develop characters as well as the film could have. The father begins the film as a rather calm and happy fellow at the begining of the film, but abruptly turns far darker after he loses his job, becoming an angry lunatic towards the ending. Most of "Liam" felt rather tough to sit through and I think had characters been developed further, I would have been more invested in the picture.

The performances are really quite good and do deserve notice, I simply wish that the material was filled out a bit more to give some more character depth and make the film flow a bit smoother. The film isn't completely dreary, as there are some mildly funny moments - although the humor does feel somewhat awkwardly squeezed in.

Technically, the film looks terrific, with fine cinematography and a respectable sense of period. Still, I think many will feel as if they've seen this before. I certainly didn't really dislike "Liam", as I thought the performers really did try their best and the film captured the look of the time well. Yet, I didn't feel the film's story and characters were as well-developed as I would have liked.


The DVD

VIDEO: "Liam" is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen by Trimark. While the small studio has been presenting titles in anamorphic widescreen more consistently, their releases still show a fair-to-mild amount of problems. Sharpness and detail are not terrific, nor were they in the theater when I saw this film before its release. The picture remains slightly on the soft side in general and some of the low-light scenes seem a bit murky and rather undefined, but certainly, this seems intentional to capture the look of the time period.

Flaws are noticable, but not that major. Some light pixelation is seen, as are some instances of specks on the print used. The film appeared grainy in the theater, but the grain was visibly heavier in some of the interior scenes. Some mild edge enhancement was visible during a few scenes - it didn't become overly distracting, but it was a little irritating. Colors remained rather earthy and subdued throughout, with little in the way of brighter tones. Still, colors appeared accurate. The picture appeared slightly grainy and somewhat dark on occasion in the theater, but it looked slightly more dark and mildly grainier on this DVD release. While certainly not a terrible presentation, this remains a decent one.

SOUND: The film is presented in Stereo. The film's soundtrack is a very minimal production, focusing on the dialogue, but offering very little else. Some may have problems with the accents, but I thought the dialogue remained fairly clear here.

MENUS: Trimark has actually created an elegant animated main menu for the film.

EXTRAS: The film's trailer is the only extra and that is hidden in the Lion's Gate logo on the front menu.

Final Thoughts: "Liam" is a well-acted piece, but I think it would have been considerably more involving had the characters been more well-developed. Trimark's DVD provides decent audio/video quality, but not much in the way of supplements. Those interested might want to check it out as a rental.

Popular Reviews
1. Welcome Back, Kotter: The Complete Series
2. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
3. The Walking Dead: Season 4
4. Herzog: The Collection
5. Y tu mama tambien
6. Rosemary's Baby (2014)
7. Toy Story of Terror
8. On the Beach
9. Dragon Ball Z: Season 6
10. The Quiet Ones


Special Offers
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.
Special Offers
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2014 DVDTalk.com All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use