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Sony Pictures Home Entertainment presents
Lovesick (2005)

"Vegas has become known worldwide as the city of Cirque du Soleil."
- Robin Leach

Review By: Chuck Aliaga  
Published: June 02, 2006

Stars: Laetitia Ray, Alex Castro, Petra Massey, Joey Arias, Agnes Roux, Jesse Robb, Andrew Watson
Other Stars: Raven O, Alex "Alito" Castro, Jonel Earl, Vsevolod Toumine, Grace Green, Stephan Kreiss, Toby Park, Aitor Basauri Barruetabena, Cahal McCrystal
Director: Lewis Cohen

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (adult situations, sexual content)
Run Time: 01h:39m:03s
Release Date: May 30, 2006
UPC: 043396142565
Genre: documentary


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A ABB+ C

DVD Review

I consider myself a Las Vegas veteran, having made regular visits to the gambling mecca twice each year for nearly the past decade. During those trips, I've managed to attend my share of Cirque du Soleil shows, as that franchise has become an entertainment staple in Sin City. Every two years or so, a new Cirque show debuts on the Vegas strip, with one of the newest and most unique being Zumanity. This blend of Cirque acrobatics and exotic music has one element that sets it apart from the troupe's other efforts: sex, sex, and more sex. The wonderful cast creates an erotic mood from the moment the audience takes its seats (my wife and I were lucky enough to score one of the front-row "loveseats"), with their playful banter and antics. From there, they take you on a humorous, awesome journey through eroticism with performers of all shapes, sizes, and races dressed in either outlandish costumes or hardly anything at all.

Having seen this show a year ago, I highly anticipated director Lewis Cohen's Lovesick, an intimate behind-the-scenes look at its eclectic cast. Not only is it interesting to see these cast members going about their daily lives, it's priceless to have such an intimate look at the struggles they face being in such a risqué show. Despite their willingness to appear nude in front of hundreds of people on a nightly basis, many in this international cast have significant others and parents whose feelings and morals they must consider. Many of the performers are able to easily cope with both their personal and professional lives, but Cohen shows us that such a juggling act is never easy.

With such a large cast, it's difficult to touch on each and every performer, so only a select few are given the lion's share of screen time. The most appealing personality (and the most lively performer in the show itself) is Alex, the muscular guy who throws his female cast members around the stage as if they were rag dolls. A stranger to the Vegas nightlife (he's from Miami), Alex has a difficult time avoiding the various temptations that are the town's trademark. There's Joey, the cross-dressing master of ceremonies, who seems out of his element and very much alone among the Vegas lights. Jonel is a young Canadian girl who has to cope with her fiancée living thousands of miles away.

Lovesick walks the fine line other similar documentaries do; the director attempts to devote equal time to behind-the-scenes footage and the cast's personal lives. Cohen succeeds in creating a nice balance between the two, and there's never a dull moment throughout.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.78:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: While I was expecting a full-frame transfer, this 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation is somewhat schizophrenic thanks to the various video formats used. Footage from Zumanity looks phenomenal, full of sparkling colors and crisp, detailed images. The candid, "reality" footage is very grainy, but the images are never soft or difficult to make out. This is a pleasing transfer overall, though, as none of the rougher footage is ever a distraction.

Image Transfer Grade: B

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio is also very nice, especially during the raucous Zumanity footage. The entire soundfield is used during these scenes, with tight, aggressive bass adding quite a punch to the proceedings. Most of the audio when following the cast around their daily lives stays up front, but the dialogue is always crisp and easy to understand.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 28 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese with remote access
1 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Zumanity CD's Aural Pleasures - Still photos set to music from the show.
  2. Zumanity Preview - 2-minute look at the Vegas show.
Extras Review: There is a trio of extras including the eight-minute featurette, Lovesick in the Making. This piece shows director Lewis Cohen at work with the central figures. It's too bad this piece isn't longer, but we do get to hear what the cast members think about this documentary.

There's also a five-minute collection of clips from the Vegas show set to its music, and a preview of the show, which runs for two minutes.

Extras Grade: C

 

Final Comments

An excellent companion piece to the unforgettable stage experience that is Cirque du Soleil's Zumanity, Lovesick is one of the more candid, entertaining documentaries you'll come across. Sony 's DVD is a nice addition to any Cirque fan's collection thanks to impressive audio and video presentations and a couple of nice extra features.

 


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