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WARNER BROS. continues to aggressively fulfill high-def fans with releases in both HD-DVD and BLU-RAY simultaneously.  “THE LAKE HOUSE” is available on HD-DVD as part of a combo-pack, offering the HD-DVD version on one side and the standard dvd on the opposite side. Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock star in this love story with a sci-fi twist.  A remake of the Korean film, “IL MARE”, Bullock leaves a vacation home she’s been living in for the city.  A short time passes when she begins to receive letters with a man whom once lived there. While corresponding with each other, the two fall in love. The big problem…although they’re receiving one another’s letters, magically, almost instantly, the two are writing from different periods in time, years apart. Shall the twain meet? Will love prevail? It’s not too hard to predict, but it’s due to incredible directing and a fine chemistry, albeit most of the time apart, of the two leads, that the film works, in spite of a problematic script.

There are many fine visual touches throughout the film and there are plenty of moments where the film surprisingly, effectively takes the viewer somewhere unpredicted.

WARNER BROS. has presented a widescreen image pretty close to the original 2.40:1 theatrical aspect ratio, but it’s closer to 2:20.  The image, while completely artifact-free, isn’t consistently dazzling. Colors are much richer than the standard dvd, but the level of detail varies from scene to scene. At times, the level of detail is wonderful, almost 3-d, but there are large portions wherein it fails to blow the viewer away in the manner one expects from HIGH DEFINITION. Blacks and grays are much deeper than the standard dvd.

WARNER BROS. has presented a DOLBY DIGITAL PLUS 5.1 mix.  Surrounds are used sparingly, with subtle effects appearing occasionally, but separation is used effectively with the front soundstage. The music is terrific and it’s used effectively through all speakers. In comparison to the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix on the standard dvd, the DOLBY DIGITAL PLUS 5.1 is offers better dynamic range and better bass.WARNER BROS. has provided several additional scenes, outtakes and the theatrical trailer.