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Lolita

List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Heather Picker | posted January 5, 2000 | E-mail the Author
Features: Dolby Digital 5.1, 16X9, commentary by the director, casting session with Jeremy Irons and Dominique Swain, "On the Set" special, never-before-seen footage, cast and crew biographies, English, French & Spanish subtitles, Trailers.

The Movie:
A wonderfully photographed, beautiful-looking film. "Lolita," of course, is based upon the literary classic of the same name, written by Vladimir Nabokov. Though this telling of the story is more faithful to the book than the Kubrick version, it lacks the darkly comic edge of both it's cinematic predecessor and the novel (which I personally found more humorous than the 1962 film). Jeremy Irons stars as Humbert Humbert, the middle-aged man who falls for nymphet Lolita (Dominique Swain). Humbert is self-destructive, as is his love for Lolita, and his necessity to keep her in his life will, of course, be his ultimate un-doing. Swain is good in the title role, and Irons, as expected, is excellent, bringing the requisite intensity to this obsessive, possessive character. The supporting cast includes Melanie Griffith and Frank Langella.

The Picture:
Image quality is great. The anamorphic transfer is mostly stunning and sharply detailed, with rich colors. Slight compression artifacts are at times noticeable.

The Sound:
The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is good, but not spectacular. This obviously isn't a FX-driven film, but the sound is nicely showcased. Dialogue is clear. Ennio Morricone's score sounds great.

The Extras:
Extra features include a running commentary by director Lyne, a casting session with Irons and Swain (a cool idea and feature that I hope to see present on future discs), production featurette, previously unseen footage, cast and crew biographies, and theatrical trailers. Subtitles are provided in English, French and Spanish. Lyne's commentary is at-times interesting; both the on-set special and previously unseen footage have relatively short running times but are nice extras nonetheless. There is more than one trailer promoting the movie, but they aren't separately accessible, one almost immediately follows the other.

Conclusion:
"Lolita" is a thought-provoking, lyrically beautiful film that is rather nicely showcased on DVD. Between the image, audio and supplementary features quality, I can easily recommend that drama fans pick this up online. If you're going to be offended by the subject matter but want to see the movie anyway, rent first.

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