Dec 142018

Daphne & Velma was an unexpected treat even if it’s not exactly a necessity to really exist but I did have a fun time watching and at least actresses Jeffery and Gilman encompassed the characters nicely and it did feel like a Scooby-Doo film.




Genre(s): Drama
Lionsgate | R – 106 min. – $21.99 | December 11, 2018

Date Published: 12/14/2018 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Craig William Macneill
Writer(s): Bryce Kass (written by)
Cast: Chloë Sevigny, Kristen Stewart, Jamey Sheridan, Fiona Shaw, Kim Dickens, Denis O’Hare
Features: Featurette
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.39
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 22.2 GB
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

Lionsgate provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 3.75/5

There are very few mysteries that have captured the imagination of the American public than the Borden murders, highly likely perpetrated by Lizzie Borden, brutally hacking her father and step-mother with a hatchet. I say highly likely as Lizzie was tried but found not guilty. Sorry, spoiler alert. There have been many books written about the bloody event, “ghost hunting” reality shows visiting the Borden house, and a variety of made-for-TV movies (the most recent was Lizzie Borden Took an Axe starring Christina Ricci which then turned into a limited series, The Lizzie Borden Chronicles) and feature films, the latest now simply titled, Lizzie.

Chloë Sevigny stars as the titular character and the movie lays out the Borden family dynamic, most notably Lizzie’s contentious relationship with her father, Andrew Borden (JAMEY SHERIDAN) and stepmother, Abby (FIONA SHAW). Shaking things up in the household is their new servant, Bridget Sullivan (KRISTEN STEWART), though for the times she would be called Maggie. Andrew is a shrewd businessman and has been receiving death threat notes at his front door.

Lizzie is considered a social outcast and continually butts heads with her father. However, she finds respite with Bridget, the two form a strong friendship, and helps her learn to read and write as she had limited schooling, and soon becomes something more. Meanwhile, Lizzie’s father takes advantage of Bridget’s sorrow following receiving word of her mother’s death, much to Lizzie’s further disgust and another motive the filmmakers proposed for his murder; the other major factor being money considering she murdered her stepmother first and then father (the law of the time would be if the father were killed first, assets would go to the stepmother’s family).

Lizzie as a film isn’t terribly compelling yet still a somewhat interesting reinterpretation or viewpoint of the murders, something that has been catalogued over the course of the 125 years with newspaper articles, novels, TV movies and feature film. This version at least gives a unique, from what I can tell, take probably borrowing from different sources. What drives the movie, as the murders themselves only take up maybe 15-minutes of screen time (and even then toward the end of the film), is establishing the tumultuous Borden household and ultimately Lizzie’s attraction toward Bridget, questioning whether the feelings were real (on Lizzie’s part) or if Bridget was being used in helping carrying out the murders (and there are some theories that say she actually did the deed).

The performances in the film were delicately tuned. Chloë Sevigny continues to be an underrated actress, though likely the actress is drawn toward these smaller character-driven dramas versus any the big budget affairs. Sevigny works well opposite Kristen Stewart who, combined with her great performance in the likes of Camp X-Ray, Anesthesia and Personal Shopper, has proven the Twilight Saga movies were aberrations. Here, she does delivers another fine performance with a few emotionally driven scenes. Meanwhile, Jamey Sheridan plays the Borden patriarch, depicted as a callous and abusive man, a change from what I know him from, as Captain Deakins on Law & Order: Criminal Intent; really enjoy seeing him on the screen again.

Lizzie was helmed by Craig William Macneill and this is a good improvement over his previous endeavor called The Boy (not to be confused with the terrible horror-thriller from 2016). This is a pretty restrained drama letting the 1890s atmosphere, with help of cinematographer Noah Greenburg and characters do the talking rather and by the time we get to the murders, it makes all the more terrifying, especially how its carried out (let’s just say, it earns the R-rating not just for violence, but nudity as well).


This release comes with a matted slip cover and a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. The only bonus material included is Understanding Lizzie (10:31; HD) behind-the-scenes featurette.

PreviewsI Still See You, Mara, Kin, Down a Dark Hall


VIDEO – 4.0/5

Lizzie comes to Blu-ray presented in its original 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition. Given the time period, colors are on the drab side of things, more on the natural side of the spectrum. Detail though is sharp and well defined throughout and there were no apparent instances of artifacting, banding or other major flaws.

AUDIO – 3.75/5

The disc comes equipped with a strong DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which is limited in scope but this is generally a quiet movie anyway. Dialogue comes through primarily the center channel with good clarity. The front and rear channels meanwhile were adequately utilized but nothing terribly noteworthy, though the simple score from Jeff Russo sounded decent enough.


OVERALL – 3.5/5

Overall, Lizzie isn’t a great drama but still pretty well entertaining one with two respectable, even brave, performances by Chloë Sevigny and Kristen Stewart and gives the Borden murder crime a different twist than what has been done prior. The Blu-ray release has good video/audio transfers but with only one featurette, bonus material was lacking.




Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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