What happens when you take a writer/producer known primarily for music videos and documentaries, give him a modest budget, and a script of vignettes? You get a very artsy David Lynch imitation that I like to call Lynch-Lite. Jon Reiss wants so much to be David Lynch that there are even moments of the Twin Peaks theme in the score. I don’t mind struggling through a piece of film noir if I can eventually find my way to a payoff. Not that there aren’t bright spots and even flashes of cinematic genius here, just not enough.
A couple trying to have a baby time a second honeymoon in the mountains to rekindle their relationship. They hire a couple to house sit for them and away they go. The weekend turns into a disaster, but nothing like the one waiting for them back home. The fish are dead and the place has been trashed, and yet they still allow these wayward sitters to remain as guests. The ladies eventually have enough and a sadistic relationship is played out between the men.
The audio is presented in a bland Dolby stereo format. The score is subtle and not present often enough to create any kind of atmosphere. The dialogue is clear and always easy to understand.
Cleopatra’s Second Husband is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 Again there is nothing exceptional here. The print is clean and colors are for the most part accurate. The blacks are adequate. At times the film appears to be under-exposed, but it is quite possible this was intentional due to the dark nature and artsy intent of the film.
There is an audio commentary by Jon Reiss which serves mostly to tell us how “cool” all of the shots really are.“ There is a trailer and photo gallery as well as bio information.
I guess I would have been able to overlook the desperate attempts to create a work of art if the story made any sense. Throughout the film I kept asking myself, “Why is he letting these things happen?” The film will probably appeal to those with a David Lynch sense of humor. The only way to enjoy this film is to “lighten up a little bit”.