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4.4 out of 5 stars
The Lady in White
Format: DVDChange
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2002
This movie feels like a throw-back to those Hollywood greats of the post-War years, offering a bloated cocktail of comedy, spooky dry-ice-enhanced sets, tacky special effects and overweening sentimentality, all bolstered by a hack orchestral sound-track. Unfortunately, the world (especially the world of movie make-believe) has moved on a long way since the 40s and 50s and whilst this particular effort would have been firmly amongst the best had it been made back then, nowadays its attempts at scariness merely come across as laughable, whilst its moments of comic relief are too slapstick, or else too hackneyed to be in the slightest bit amusing.
Lukas Haas, as the 9-year-old incarnation of the story's narrator, is the only person who gives anything approaching an interesting performance, although even his perpetual wide-eyed innocence and winning smile start to grate after a while. Mostly, though, the film is let down by its entirely nonsensical story-line, as well as the total predictability of all of its attempted mystery threads. And with altogether too many story threads for its own good, many of which get abandoned without development (or else simply get in the way) "Lady in White" comes across as a terrible jumble of ideas, presented in an overly long and poor executed package. The blue-screen effects, in particular, are very weak, with some extremely ragged rotoscope work. The overall result is that it is altogether too difficult ever to suspend disbelief at any point within this film, which is a great shame.
This DVD version offers little by way of extras to mitigate against the movie's own inherent weaknesses. There are no subtitles, no alternative languages. It does offer a small collection of deleted scenes, but there is (with but one exception) nothing of substance amongst these, with most merely giving alternative, slightly longer dialogue to scenes which remain within the finished (director's) cut. There is a commentary track by director/producer Frank Laloggia, but to be honest, I could not bear to watch the film a second time to find out whether he has anything interesting to say in it.
So, if you're a committed fan of the great Hollywood movies of the 40s and 50s, this DVD may provide something of a chance to reminisce about the way they used to do things back then. Mostly, though, I think that all this release does is answer very firmly the question, if any should wish to utter it, why "they don't make movies like this any more." Rent a copy, if you must, but I don't recommend you waste any money buying it.
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