12/19/2014  
Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Season 2 on DVD Dec 16Lord Of Illusions (Collector's Edition) 2-Disc Blu-ray Director's Cut Dec 16Kelly & Cal on DVD Dec 30The Facts Of Life: The Complete Series on DVD Jan 13Keep on Keepin' On on DVD Jan 13Stonehearst Asylum on DVD & Blu-ray Dec 16Moveable Feast With Fine Cooking - Season 1 on DVD Dec 30

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

The Colbert Report Is Dead. Long Live Stephen Colbert!...
Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Season 2...
Lord Of Illusions (Collector's Edition) 2-Disc Blu-ray ...
A Salute to 'The Colbert Report' ...
Ex-Anonymous hacker questions North Korea's role in Son...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
JACK REACHER...
LIZ & DICK...
CHINA BEACH: THE COMPLETE SERIES...

CA Chuck Aliaga

THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
THE LADY (BLU-RAY)...
SWAMP THING (BLU-RAY)...
AROUSED...
THE SWEENEY (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

Take Part in a Film Restoration...
STORAGE WARS: SEASON ONE...
LOST KEATON...
BLACK NARCISSUS (BLU-RAY)...
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE MOTION PICTURE TRILOGY (BLU-...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...
BASEBALL'S GREATEST GAMES: 1986 WORLD SERIES GAME 6...

JS Jesse Shanks

KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...
NORMAN MAILER: THE AMERICAN...
I Don't Know How She Does It on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 3...
The Liam Neeson Film Collection on DVD Nov 1...
Box Office Charts From Box Office Mojo Nov 12-14...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...
THE TROUBLE WITH TOLSTOY...
HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN TWO HOURS...
ANATOMY OF A MURDER...
BASIL DEARDEN'S LONDON UNDERGROUND (ECLIPSE SERIES 25)...

JC Joel Cunningham

WINGS OF DESIRE...
A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS...
MONSOON WEDDING...
PIERROT LE FOU...
SMALLVILLE: THE COMPLETE EIGHTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...
STEPFATHER II...

DH Dan Heaton

NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RR Rich Rosell

DOWN AND DIRTY WITH JIM NORTON...
WE FEED THE WORLD...
THE BUCKET LIST...
CRUDE IMPACT...
DEXTER: THE SECOND SEASON (BLU-RAY)...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment presents
Lonely Hearts (2006)

"Get out of my way, I'll make you look like a genius."
- Buster (John Travolta)

Review By: Jon Danziger   
Published: July 30, 2007

Stars: John Travolta, James Gandolfini, Jared Leto, Salma Hayek, Alice Krige
Director: Todd Robinson

MPAA Rating: R for strong violence and sexual content, nudity and language
Run Time: 01h:47m:28s
Release Date: July 31, 2007
UPC: 043396183063
Genre: crime


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B C+A-A- C

DVD Review

Maybe you can sometimes get too close to a piece of material, and lose the forest for the trees—that certainly seems to be the case here, because the historical circumstances on which the film is based are grisly and fascinating, the assembled talent level is high, and much of this is stylishly made, yet somehow the finished project is rather a disappointment. At times you think that it may be overly ambitious structurally; and when you learn about the personal connection to the story of the film's director, it becomes even more of a mystery that the whole project is a bit emotionally distant.

This is at least the third telling of a creepily murderous duo who preyed on lonely single women in the late 1940s—it was filmed as The Honeymoon Killers, and then later, in Spanish, as Deep Crimson. Jared Leto plays Ray, who answers personal ads placed in the backs of magazines by sad sacks—he dons his pompadoured hairpiece and, first in print and later in person, convinces his paramours that he's the man of their dreams. In short order he sleeps with them, empties their bank accounts, and disappears—until he meets his lunatic soul mate, Martha, who starts as one of Ray's marks and then becomes his smoldering co-conspirator. It's clear that they bring out the crazy in one another—Martha wants him to prove his love for her by killing, which makes for a surprisingly violent end for these poor women, who bought the story that Martha was Ray's old maid sister. (Then again, how one could take Salma Hayek, who in her 1940s outfits could never have been wanting for male company or attention, as an old maid, is difficult to discern.)

The film is bifurcated, and pretty clearly to its detriment—half of the focus is on the killers, and the other half on the cops who pursue them. The lead investigator on the case is Buster Robinson, played by John Travolta—he's a man with his own dark secrets, for in a prologue we see his wife kill herself, leaving her husband and their son with nothing but questions. It's clear that we're supposed to connect the psychological dots: by pursuing this killer of women, somehow Buster is going to exorcise his own demons about his wife's death. The character is kind of a paler version of Bud White from L.A. Confidential, and the overall composition of the movie shares many similarities with Hollywoodland.

But we continue to get the sense that Travolta is phoning it in, that he hasn't quite figured out this guy and his secrets, giving instead kind of a generic Troubled Cop performance; it comes as even more of a surprise when you learn that Todd Robinson, who wrote the screenplay and directed, is in fact the grandson of Buster Robinson, and that Buster's angst-ridden teenage son Eddie is the director's father in adolescence. The director does better with the exterior life of the picture than the interior ones of his characters—it's in the same vein of a movie like Mullholland Falls, in being a little too much in love with the dresses and hats and cars of the period, though having grown up on Long Island, I appreciated the sense of respect and nuance that the film has for the towns of Nassau County.

Riding shotgun with Buster is his longtime partner Hildebrandt, played by James Gandolfini, who of course is a hypnotic presence, but at this point hadn't yet entirely thrown off the shackles of Tony Soprano—he's on the other side of the law, but a lot of the moves (and the accent) are much the same. Laura Dern may be the most moving presence in the film—she works in Buster's precinct house and sees him on the sly, though everybody knows it; you can see that she's in love with him, and is just waiting for him to beg her to stay, even though we all know that he can't and won't. You come away wishing that we could have empathized with more characters here in this same sort of way.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: C+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: An impressive transfer, preserving the period feel and the attention to detail, with only occasional print scratches.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
5.1
English, Frenchyes


Audio Transfer Review: A crisp and moody 5.1 track, with appropriate balance between all channels.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 28 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French with remote access
3 Other Trailer(s) featuring Bobby Z, The Last Time, Yellow
1 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: The only extra of note is a making-of piece (11m:43s), featuring interviews with Travolta, Gandolfini and other cast members (including Leto, discussing having to shave the top of his head for his character's receding hairline); producer Boaz Davidson; and writer/director Todd Robinson, discussing both the project and his family history with this story.

Extras Grade: C

 

Final Comments

Despite the personal connections between the filmmaker and the story, the movie is oddly emotionally remote—elements of noir, police procedural, and cinema vérité don't ever really cohere.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, stephen colbert, the colbert report, last show, santa, unicorn, abraham lincoln, alex trebek, documentary, horror, comedy channel, stephen t. colbert, colbert report, final show, movie, the interview, united states, north korea, soney, hector monsegur, china, sony pictures entertainment, cyber attack, kim jong-un, seth rogen, james franco, drama, the hobbit: the baattle of the five armies, peter jackson, j.r.r. tolkien marathon, comedy, barbara walters, 10 most fascinating people of 2014, amal clooney, taylor swift, george clooney, thriller, chris rock, top five, the late show, david letterman, movies, golden globes 2015, reality, romantic comedy, western, music, 57th grammy awards, iggy azalea, beck, pharrell williams, miranda lambert, sia, cooking, spectre, daniel craig, sam mendes, christoph waltz, lea seydoux, naomie harris, ben whishaw, ralph fiennes, celebrity, loni anderson, burt reynolds, pearl earrings, necklace, nude portrait, lady gaga, howard sten, south by southwest, millie brown, swine, mark geragos, kesha, lukasz sebastian gottwald, world aids day, bono, bruce springsteen, chris martin, espn, monday night football

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

earth mosaics

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

DVD Marketplace

Snappy Planet

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store