I Love Your Work appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Actually, some oddness came with the aspect ratio. The first three minutes, 35 seconds – through the introduction of the movie’s title – and its end credits were 2.35:1, while the rest of it ran at 1.78:1.
That led me to believe that the flick was shot 2.35:1 but cropped to 1.78:1 for the DVD. I couldn’t find any documented evidence of that anywhere, but I couldn’t think of many other explanations for the change of ratio. Since I saw some obvious panning at times, it made sense. Oddly, the framing on the top sometimes seemed off as well. Most of the shots were appropriate, but some cut off heads for no apparent reason. Some of this may have stemmed from sloppy cinematography.
Even without the odd dimensions, the DVD offered a lackluster transfer. Sharpness varied. Wide and medium shots tended to look soft and indistinct. Otherwise the movie was fairly concise and accurate. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, but I noticed a bit of edge enhancement. Source flaws also created distraction, as I noticed a little too much grain as well as sporadic examples of specks and marks. This was a moderately messy image for something so new.
Colors depended on the style of each scene, though the tones usually appeared decent to good. Reds tended to be too thick, though, and some of the other hues were a bit messy. Blacks seemed acceptably deep, while shadows were fairly well-defined. This was an inconsistent image with too many problems to rate above a “C”.
Like the movie itself, the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of I Love Your Work was too self-conscious to totally succeed. It featured a surprisingly active soundfield, and I saw that as both a positive and a negative. On the good side, the audio was more involving than anticipated. It used all five channels throughout the movie and created a lively soundscape.
However, this became a distraction at times. The sound designers went a little nuts at times and featured audio from the surrounds and sides that detracted instead of added to the experience. The elements occasionally seemed too “speaker-specific” as well; sometimes they were awkwardly focused in one spot. Despite these periodic nuisances, I thought the scope of the mix was fairly impressive.
Only a few issues with audio quality emerged. Speech occasionally sounded a little edgy, but the dialogue was usually concise and crisp. Music showed nice life and definition, and effects were also vivid. Those elements seemed clean and accurate. This mix could be a bit too pushy for its own good, but it usually was satisfying.
As we move to the extras, the main attraction comes from an audio commentary with writer/director Adam Goldberg and actor Giovanni Ribisi. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific discussion. Don’t expect many pearls of wisdom here, as the commentary offers little substance.
The pair talk about locations, the cast, a few influences and inspirations, and various production elements. Much of the time they just joke with each other, and they prefer to keep an ironic distance from the purpose of the commentary. They speak of the film in affected pretentious tones but don’t tell us a lot.
Actually, Ribisi occasionally tries to get Goldberg to take things more seriously, but the director quickly subverts those attempts. This leaves us with lots of dead air and very little useful material. It’s a consistently weak commentary.
A Music Gallery lets us hear a few isolated selections from the score. We get “Opening Title – Full Orchestra”, “Theme – John/Jane Montage”, “Best of Sunday” and “Stopwatch”. This feature does nothing for me, but perhaps others will like it.
The DVD includes a trailer for Work and some other ads. At the start of the disc, we get promos for Fateless and The Aristocrats. These also appear in a Trailer Gallery along with clips for Dallas 362 and Second Best.
Pretentious and annoying, I Love Your Work believes it has a lot to say. Unfortunately, it’s as shallow as its main character, and the film does little more than provoke annoyance and disdain. The DVD features mediocre visuals with busy but generally good audio. Its short roster of extras adds little to the package. I’d avoid this bad movie and lackluster DVD.