Lila & Eve Blu-ray Review

Lila & Eve purports to be a dramatic portrait of grief in a time of loss. Viola Davis struggles to accept the murder of her son who was shot outside of a convenience store. Her support group is of limited help, so Lila & Eve turns into a feminine-charged revenge story. It’s an odd mixture.

There is a slow procession toward violence. Davis plays her role – Lila – with earned sympathy. Direction builds a scenario which is uncomfortable, certainly moody in presentation. Trips to group therapy build a character who is distant. Then comes Eve (Jennifer Lopez). Eve is the devilish side, a smoker, an antagonist, and a counterpoint to Lila’s mournful attitude. It’s Eve who brings the guns.

The film sinks into a benign revenge tale.

Much of the feature is cold, even crass. Low grade, prime time TV cop talk builds a pair of indifferent detectives who improbably shrug off a series of gang murders. Lila and Eve stay busy. Bodies pile up. The film sinks into the formalities of a benign revenge tale. Whatever was to explored about the bereavement process is cut off in an entanglement of violence.

Lila & Eve pursues the routine motions of such a thriller. At times, it nearly finds them, but then relies on a series of severe stereotypes to power through. The villains are mediocre, undeveloped drug dealers portrayed with mannerisms skirting offense. They’re targets who generate no sympathy because the film never lets them have any. Then, it’s emotionally frozen by blasting their mothers with an accusatory spiel.

Eventually, the piece peaks with a twist. Lila & Eve was not as simple as it may have appeared, but ends happy which feels dishonest to the movie’s intent. Much of Lila & Eve feels personal and reckless. It’s solution is to be absurd, more so than casting Lopez who appears out of place, even lost. Final moments send a detective reeling in defeat, as if murder sprees are so freely wiped from the system.

A bizarre film, if occasionally on point.

Movie ★★★☆☆ 

Intense profile @ 19:17

While Lila & Davis appears to be built for TV, that is not a negative. Resolution and facial definition are exemplary. Consistency is appreciated. Lila & Davis’ cinematography is crisp and often confined to night. Light sources are always in place to capture the finest details.

Of concern are the black levels. While strong enough to hold the image together and hide any artifacts, they lack power. Depth feels sacrificed. In brighter shots, noise is persistent, so maybe the black levels are working better than it appears. Entertainment One’s disc carries a thick bitrate in the high 30s, but does some battling with the source’s digital noise. Solid colored walls crawl with chroma artifacts.

Color schemes are pedestrian, generally adhering to oranges indoors, blues out. Lila & Eve is not fond of striking primaries. Everything dilutes to fit the dour mood.

Video ★★★★☆ 

With DTS-HD behind it, the track will mingle in the center. Some street ambiance is thick enough to notice and widen the soundfield. Gunfire is weak and pops typically in the center without reaching into the low-end. LFE support is hefty when recreating the sounds of approaching car stereos and eventually, a strong explosion near the end.

Surrounds do engage during a tense moment with voices swirling around Davis. The effect is pleasing and a moment where Lila & Eve can stretch itself.

Audio ★★★★☆ 

Four cast interviews – including Davis and Lopez – run for a combined 14-minutes. Materials are of a standard Q&A, “Why did you take this role?” style.

Extras ★★☆☆☆ 

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Click on the images below for full resolution screen captures taken directly from the Blu-ray. Images have not been altered in any way during the process.