Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Drama > Relationships > Marriage > Ukraine > Culture Clash > Journalism > Terrorism > Politics > Me > Love Me (2013/Film Movement DVD)/Rose Water (2014/Universal Blu-ray w/DVD)

Love Me (2013/Film Movement DVD)/Rose Water (2014/Universal Blu-ray w/DVD)

Picture: C+/B & C+ Sound: C/B & C+ Extras: C/C- Films: C+

These dramas show the splitting of people through inabilities to communicate and especially in the latter case, some who want to take ugly advantage of such situations...

Co-directed by Maryna Er Gorbach & Mehmet Bahadir Er, Love Me (2013) is about a man named Cemal (Ushan Cakir) from Turkey who is about to get married in an arranged marriage in which the gal seems nice and some male family members are taking him out for a wild weekend, but he meets a pretty young woman (Victoria Spesyvtseva) in the Ukraine (well shot here) who he becomes very interested in. Those around them try to write her off as just another gal and worse, but he remains interested and the feeling slowly turns out to be mutual.

This is not immediate as they do not share the same language, but he tries to really help her out when her relative walks away and gets lost (again as it turns out) in the local subway system. This is well written, directed and usually convincing, even with an interesting ending. However, it did not stay with me as expected and though the leads had some chemistry, I don't feel that was taken full advantage of. Still, this one is definitely worth a look, a smart film you should see for yourself in a country that is good for more than action/exploitation films.

Extras include, text bios, trailers and short film The Queen (19 minutes from Argentina), directed by Manuel Abramovich.

Jon Stewart's Rose Water (2014) has the actor-turned-comedy-TV-Show host trying his hand at directing a political drama just before leaving his cable TV hit. Based on an actual incident tied to his version of The Daily Show, Gael Garcia Bernal plays Maziar Bahari, a reporter who was working in Iran during a recent election a few years ago where it looked like the ever-obnoxious President Ahmadinejad was going to get voted out. He was not, but Bahari did a spoof interview, only to be arrested as a spy (usual Iranian propaganda reasons) and put through the ringer when the election 'mysteriously' kept Ahmadinejad in power.

Protests were huge, the Iranians realizing they had been had, with Bahari tortured physically, psychologically and kept in solitary confinement until months later, a movement began to get him free as part of a larger realization too in how journalists are being targeted for this and much worse in recent years. Bernal is fine in the role and the story is one that deserves to be told the long, hard way, but it is unfortunate that we have seen this too much and too often, as this is too commonplace, yet underreported for whatever reasons. Stewart handles the helm well and we'll have to see if he tries again despite the mixed success this project had. It is definitely worth a look.

Extras include Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and iTunes capable devices, while both disc versions offer 5 minute-long clips to that promoted the release of the film.

The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on Love is a little soft at times, but not bad and is asking for a Blu-ray release, while the 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Water is better and slightly dark in many shots for mood. It is very consistent throughout and more watchable than you might expect, while the anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image DVD version is softer on par with Love.

The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on the Water Blu-ray is well mixed and presented for an often quiet multi-channel work, but it makes sense if offering nothing special sonically. The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on its DVD version is not as warm or subtly detailed, but that is better than the even more laidback, lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on Love that lacks any kind of soundfield.

- Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com