Liz and Dick – DVD Review

“I never go after dumpy women”

Legendary, tempestuous, forbidden, worthy of two marriages, and generating an ocean of tabloid ink – the affairs of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton are perfect fodder for the silver screen they lit up.  That may come one day, but now we’re only shown this small screen rendition that suffers in the casting department. 

Richard Burton (Grant Bowler) is cast as Mark Antony against Elizabeth Taylor (Lindsey Lohan) in Twentieth Century Fox’s production of Cleopatra. It doesn’t take long for the two co-stars to become involved in a torrid affair that wrecks both of their marriages and ends up being covered by every possible tabloid. 

Liz and Dick filled me with emotion. Unfortunately, that emotion is sadness.  I figuratively wept that the story of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton is given the small screen treatment instead of a proper one.  Although it is ironic that it’s treated with the same tabloid attitude that the real story got. 

I’m sure the internet story-de-jour will be to recount how awful Lohan is, but it just reminds me how she’s crapped away her talent.  I’m reminded of Molly Grue in the Last Unicorn that she laments that she finds a real unicorn when she’s used up. 

Lohan has apparently wanted to play Taylor and idolizes her.  It’s too bad that the role comes to her in the form of stunt casting and she’s bloated and burnt out. 

On the other side of the coin, Bowler has Burton’s voice down but doesn’t look a thing like him.  He’s actually pretty good in the role.  Taylor was a beauty that enchanted with Cleopatra but in this film we don’t see any of that power thanks to the listless Lohan.  You wonder what Burton saw in her, but that’s thanks to the casting more than the reality. 

Liz and Dick is presented in widescreen (1.78:1) and is enhanced for 16×9 televisions.  Special features include 20 minutes of interviews (Lohan, Bowler, director Lloyd Kramer, writer Christopher Monger, executive producer Larry A. Thompson, and costume designer Salvador Perez, Jr.

Liz and Dick implies that we’re to be treated to an intimate portrait of the two global superstars, but what we end up with is people turning in to see the train wreck that is Lindsey Lohan. 

The story of Taylor and Burton has content that would make a smashing movie, but this small screen look just reeks of a cash it in quick mentality. 

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