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Love Me Blu-ray Review

Love Me (2013) Blu-ray Disc cover art -- click to buy from Amazon.com Love Me

Video Debut: January 15, 2013 / Running Time: 98 Minutes / Rating: PG-13

Director: Rick Bota / Writer: Kat Candler

Cast: Lindsey Shaw (Sylvia Potter), Jamie Johnston (Lucas Green), Jean-Luc Bilodeau (Harry Townsend), Kaitlyn Wong (Dalyn), Mikaela Cochrane (Katie), Jerritt Boyce (Brian), Michelle Haug (Detective Jenkins), Peter Skagen (Detective Fitzgerald), Carrie Schiffler (Mrs. Potter), Kristina Elliott (Melissa Kennedy), Dawn Harvey (Louise), Larry Hoffman (Mr. Kennedy), Shawna Burnett (Mrs. Kennedy), Nicholas Cleary (Mr. Tucker), Shane McLean (Peter Sandusky), Sam Duke (Boy)

1.78:1 Widescreen / Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (English)
Subtitles: English for Hearing Impaired, Spanish / Not Closed Captioned; Extras Not Subtitled
Suggested Retail Price: $24.99
Single-sided, single-layered disc (BD-25) / Blue Eco-Friendly Keepcase
Also available on DVD ($22.98 SRP)

Buy Love Me from Amazon.com: Blu-ray • DVD

Love Me opens with the disappearance of Melissa Kennedy (Kristina Elliott), a 16-year-old girl walking home from school who is intimidated and presumably abducted by someone she seems to recognize but we don't see. We then jump ahead three months. Melissa is still missing and presumed dead, but our attentions are with Sylvia Potter (Lindsey Shaw), a student at an upscale private high school in the same town. Living with her divorced mother (Carrie Schiffler), who works two jobs to pay the tuition,
Sylvia's hobbies include making miniature furniture and attending school in a uniform skirt much too short for her tall frame.

One day, after tripping over his outstretched legs in the hallway, Sylvia takes notice of Lucas Green (Jamie Johnston), a rich loner classmate with a bad reputation. Sylvia's best friends, Harry (Jean-Luc Bilodeau) and Dalyn (Kaitlyn Leeb, whom the film credits as Kaitlyn Wong), warn her to stay away from Lucas. But Lucas makes a mix CD that delights Sylvia and occupies her headphones for days. Soon, against prevailing wisdom, the two enter a relationship.

Immediately to us, something seems off about Lucas. Part of it is that actor Johnston has the look of a creep barely hidden under his preppy features. There's also the fact he lives in a mansion with a nanny while his parents are usually away. Furthermore, he seems obsessive and has definite stalker tendencies. If all that isn't troubling enough, there is the fact that he is the lead suspect in the disappearance of Melissa Kennedy, his girlfriend, which makes him subject to the watchful eyes of two determined police detectives (Michelle Haug and Peter Skagen).

Sylvia (Lindsey Shaw) has eyes for Lucas (Jamie Johnston), the rich, obsessive bad boy with a bad reputation.

Somehow, though the story remains local newspaper fodder noticed and commented on by the kids, no one at the school is aware of Lucas' connection to the case. Not exactly ice-breaking material, he keeps authorities' suspicions secret from Sylvia, acting strangely around Melissa's comic book and yearbook photo he still keeps in his bedroom.

Love Me feels like a Lifetime original TV movie, albeit one without any "based on a true story" claims. Not having a real victim and real killer to trivialize, the movie has a license to be dumb and insensitive, which it uses extensively. You realize early on that the film, posing as a thriller, is backing itself into a corner, as it builds the case against Lucas wholeheartedly. You are correct if you recognize that this design requires a twist. And even with distracted viewing you are sure to notice the one it seems to be developing long in advance.

That foreseeable twist winds up being an oversold wrong turn, allowing the real twist to come and make almost no sense at all based on what we have been shown. Love Me essentially functions as a murder mystery, in which all the young principal characters are potential suspects, one far more so than the others and therefore a little too obvious a solution.

Best friend Dalyn (Kaitlyn Leeb/Wong) is clear in her disapproval of Lucas, who she neglects to mention she dated in 8th grade. In Canada, police detectives (Michelle Haug and Peter Skagen) just kind of hang out and keep an eye on young murder suspects.

This is not a smart movie, nor a well-made one. The two detectives (one pregnant, the other goateed) defy logic with their nonlinear procedure, and seem to come from another movie altogether, with their minimal screentime defined by clichιd banter and dramatic flourishes. The proceedings are marred by preposterous contrivances (for example, the missing girl's shoe happens to have her name written on its side) and by excess, with a nearly ten-minute coda asking far more of us than what it gives in return.

There's no reason to expect anything more out of a low-budget Canadian movie from a director whose directing has been limited to television and three direct-to-video Hellraiser sequels,
a writer who has primarily dabbled in short films, and a cast whose best-known work is ABC Family original series and "Degrassi: The Next Generation." But you don't get that information on the case; you just get a standard thriller cover artwork with a shattered glass design and there is even a Blu-ray release to suggest maybe this is a limited release indie movie you missed in theaters. Alas, it is telemovie quality production that acquisition distributor Anchor Bay Films, who often bestows minimalist theatrical releases, didn't bother to treat to even one big screen exhibition.


The Blu-ray's 1.78:1 widescreen transfer is terrific, offering clear looks at the cast's covered-up acne and other such details. The picture remains sharp and clean throughout. The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack is also commendable. The music is lathered in no-name contemporary pop, but the dialogue stays crisp and audible alongside it.

Jamie Johnston, Lindsey Shaw, and Jean-Luc Bilodeau describe the film in a joint autumnal interview from "Behind the Scenes." The fine filmmakers of "Love Me" are celebrated in "Stories from the Set."


The Blu-ray includes two making-of featurettes, each presented in 1080p high definition. In between many clips from the movie, "Behind the Scenes" (7:14) collects comments from the cast members about the story and their characters. "Stories from the Set" (6:10) lives up to its title with the same cast discussing production alongside outtakes from filming of the movie and the interviews.

The disc opens with trailers for the high school reunion comedy 10 Years, the lycanthropic horror film The Howling, and the witness protection program high school thriller Hiding.

The menu plays scored clips from the film with a hazy border. The disc unfortunately does not resume playback, but it does at least support bookmarks. No inserts or slipcover here.

Harry (Jean-Luc Bilodeau) is another longtime friend who is neglected by Sylvia's controversial relationship. Love me, love me, say that you'll love me. Fool me, fool me, go on and fool me.


Love Me opens as one of those shocking, tragic, true Lifetime original movies and gradually morphs into a teenaged murder mystery. But, more than either of those things, it ends up being a stupid exercise in illogical audience manipulation. True, you most likely will not see the surprise ending coming. Nor will you want to, because the whole movie, which at its very best isn't very good, suffers from the vapid misdirects.

Buy Love Me from Amazon.com: Blu-ray • DVD

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Reviewed January 16, 2013.

Text copyright 2013 DVDizzy.com. Images copyright 2013 Anchor Bay Films, Dolphin Entertainment, Aircraft Pictures, Corkscrew Media, and Anchor Bay Entertainment.
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