The Lake House Blu-ray offers decent video and mediocre audio in this enjoyable Blu-ray release
A lonely doctor (Sandra Bullock) who once occupied an unusual lakeside home begins exchanging love letters
with its newest resident, a frustrated architect (Keanu Reeves). When they discover that they're actually living
two years apart, they must try to unravel the mystery behind their extraordinary romance before it's too late.
For more about The Lake House and the The Lake House Blu-ray release, see the The Lake House Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on February 22, 2008 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
The one man I can never meet, him, I would like to give my whole heart to.
I'd love to have a pen pal from the future. I've always been fascinated by the "what ifs," "how
comes," "whens," and "whys" of the yet-to-happen. I'm a Trekkie for goodness sakes. I want to
know the future. I want to live it. While I'd rather avoid those pesky details, like the one that
I'll be run over by a bus two years from this past Valentine's day, for example, I would most
regret not seeing the progress mankind makes dozens or even hundreds of years from now. I
to know if we've pulled off the warp drive, the transporter, the replicator and, most importantly,
hand-held phaser. While The Lake House delves into this question from the angle of the
chick flick, it still manages to raise some interesting questions, pose some unique situations to
viewers, and hold your attention just long enough to be glad when the credits roll. Instead of
dealing with those oh-so-pesky things nobody from the past would want to know, such as stock
tips, sports scores, news headlines, or when and where the cat will vomit on the carpet, The
Lake House focuses on two people who find themselves falling in love over a period of two
years. Well, sort of.
The magical mailbox.
The Lake House stars Sandra Bullock (Premonition) and Keanu Reeves (Bram Stoker's Dracula),
working together once again (Speed), this time as star-struck--and time-struck--lovers. When Alex
(Reeves) moves into a glass-laden house on a lake, he finds a note in the mailbox from Kate
(Bullock), the home's old tenant, asking forgiveness for a few imperfections around the house.
Oddly enough, Alex
doesn't notice these imperfections, such as paw prints on the boardwalk, but when he witnesses
them coming to fruition before his very eyes, his curiosity is piqued and he soon realizes that
Kate's letter is dated from the future, two years to be exact. Though he initially shrugs it off as a
misprint, the two continue to correspond and realize that not only are they living in different
times, but that they are falling in love. As Alex longs for time to speed up and Kate longs for time
to stop, the two will do all they can to make time stand still for a romance only time can keep
We never learn the secret of the mailbox at the house by the lake, but that's alright. One must
assume it's fate, once again up to its playful schemes, but regardless of the supernatural powers
at work here, the story doesn't suffer for lack of explanation. Although a fairly predictable film,
The Lake House holds our interest well enough, if only for the originality of the tale. This
is the stuff of science fiction, and it would make for a fascinating short story, perhaps with the
time differences much, much greater. If The Lake House misses the mark in any one
area, it's the seemingly lack of total fascination and confusion as to what is going on. We get
more of a cursory "huh?" rather than a complete meltdown of sorts that one might expect upon
finding a correspondence from the future. There is nary a request for hard evidence, but the
movie does do a good job of slowly revealing the truth of the matter to the characters. Still, the
movie fails to allow the characters to delve into more "wow" moments that would inevitably
accompany such an occurrence. Any way you would want to spin it, this type of tale has
potential, and for the most part, this movie delivers on it, despite a few nagging problems,
namely its predictability and lack of exploration beyond the love angle.
As a movie aimed towards a feminine audience, this film abides by certain rules and conventions,
as do movies aimed at men, and The Lake House manages to stay in those parameters
without too much navigation into uncharted chick flick territory. It should come as no surprise
that the movie comes complete with the mandatory happy and expected ending we all know is
coming from the first time we see the previews months before the movie hits theaters, but that's
what is expected of it from the target audience. Both Reeves and Bullock play their parts well.
There is no denying the chemistry these actors share, seen first in the aforementioned
Speed and now again here. Director Alejandro Agresti has a long list of Spanish language
titles to his credit, and while The Lake House may not be a standout film, even amongst
its competition within the genre, its competent and likable enough to earn him another look
should a project in need of a talented director with a fairly successful romantic drama under his
belt ever come to the attention of a savvy producer.
Warner Brothers presents The Lake House on Blu-ray as a fairly lackluster video experience.
Make no mistake, this 1080p, 2.40:1 framed transfer looks alright, clearly sporting a high-definition
image, but it is far from being reference material. Quite a bit of the film, especially distance shots
and nature images, appears soft and undefined. For example, early in the film, we see a
shot of a wooded area with some clumps of grass that transitions into snow on the ground. The
trees are soft, and the brush on the ground looks like a clump of nearly unidentifiable material with
no clarity or definition, much like the
snow once the transition takes effect. Flesh tones appear on the red side of the scale. Black levels
are mediocre at best, overly bright in many scenes and lacking even moderately good shadow detail.
There is a bit of flickering in much of the image as well. Unfortunately, there just aren't a lot of
positives to report about this transfer. Colors are fairly bright, defined, and vibrant, and there is a
fair amount of detail in close-up shots throughout the movie. Other than that, this is a standard
fare transfer at best, and about what you would expect from an early Warner Brothers Blu-ray
A paltry, nearly hapless Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is the only available mix on this disc. Even
though The Lake House features a subdued, barely exciting audio mix to begin with, there
is no reason not to include a high definition soundtrack on a high definition format with ample
storage capacity, especially considering the nearly bare cupboard that is the extra content, as
described in the following paragraph. While not a horrible soundtrack by any stretch, this DVD
quality mix is sure to do nothing more than get dialogue and music across at an audible volume.
Music is pleasing yet underwhelming, emanating strictly from the front speakers with hardly any
bleed over into the rear. Dialogue is also a bit muted and muffled at times, but for the most part it
is wholly discernible and clear. Surround and LFE channels are used sparingly, if at all, for the
duration of the picture. There is really nothing to report on this one, other than that it's present
and accounted for, and in the era of high definition audio, that's not saying a whole lot.
Warner brings The Lake House to Blu-ray with a paltry helping of extra content. Several
deleted and extended scenes (480p, 3:51) and the film's theatrical trailer (480p, 1:43)
are all that is included here, mimicking what is to be found on the standard definition DVD version
of the film. There is no doubt that the movie calls for more extras than what warner Brothers has
provided here. A commentary track or a feature explaining the genesis of the idea and its transition
to the screen, as a film starring two of the bigger names in Hollywood, would have been most
The Lake House is a mostly smart if not a bit yawn-inducing romance, and the angle it
offers and the situation in which the story takes place is fascinating enough to keep most viewers
happy and interested. The basics of the story have almost limitless potential for fascinating
entertainment, character study, and drama, and this film is an excellent take on the concept
generally reserved for the science fiction crowd. The movie handles the material as expected, never
straying from what its audience demands, saving other, equally intriguing plot possibilities for
another movie and another "time." The Lake House on Blu-ray is mostly underwhelming,
offering mediocre at best video quality, uninspired audio, and precious few extras. Obviously, fans of
the movie will want to snatch this up as soon as possible. Recommended as a purchase for
established fans of the movie, its genre, or its stars.