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post #1 of 22 Old 02-03-2014, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
86





Studio and Year: Sony Pictures Classics - 2013
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 123 minutes
Genre: Documentary

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Chinese, French, Indonesian/Bahasa, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai
Written & Directed by: Alex Gibney
Music by: David Kahne
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 11, 2014







"I didn’t live a lot of lies. But I lived one big one"


Film Synopsis:

In 2009, Academy Award®-winning director Alex Gibney (2007, Best Documentary, Taxi to the Dark Side) was hired to make a film about Lance Armstrong’s comeback to cycling. The project was shelved when the doping scandal erupted, and re-opened after Armstrong’s confession. THE ARMSTRONG LIE picks up in 2013 after Armstrong was stripped of his 7 Tour de France titles, and presents a riveting, insider’s view of the unraveling of the greatest deception in sports history.


My Take:

I am a cyclist but I don’t really follow the sport of cycling. This of course isn’t a prerequisite to knowing who Lance Armstrong is and how he dominated the sport between 1999 and 2005. I couldn’t imagine the grueling physical undertaking that the Tour De France is nor is it something that I aspire to. I appreciate the spirit of competition and respect those can push themselves to the outer limits of physical and mental endurance. Like most with only a cursory knowledge of Armstrong I bought into his story of the battle with
Cancer (which I feel is separate from this issue) his comeback from that, LiveStrong, and what his celebrity did not only for the sport of cycling but the encouragement it brought to others.

When he announced his 2009 comeback which drew lots of media and resulted in a top three finish at the Tour De France it was all pretty dramatic. During that period was the first time that I had heard rumors of his use of performance enhancing drugs. The following year when it all came out and he was later stripped of his titles and ultimately banned from cycling it was pretty disappointing but not entirely surprising especially in light of how the use of performance enhancing drugs have plagued other athletes in a variety of professional sports. When I saw the trailer for The Armstrong lie I was intrigued as it appeared to be told from an interesting perspective.

This film began as a project by writer/director Alex Gibney that was to chronicle Armstrong’s “road back” in his 2009 quest. Gibney knew little of cycling going in and had heard the doping rumors/allegations surrounding Armstrong but took Lance at his word that he was “clean” and had never used PED. Once the film was completed and post production began in 2010 the truth about Lance Armstrong’s use of various performance enhances substances including allegations of using blood transfusions during races surfaced. This shelved the film project until early last year when Alex Gibney decided to approach it from a different angle choosing to use the 2009 footage incorporated with new interviews etc. to tell the story.

I found The Armstrong lie to be a compelling and eye opening film. The fact that Lance Armstrong cheated was certainly bad but what made it worse in my opinion was the fact that he spent years publicly denying it, and outwardly challenging and in some cases crucifying those who called him out on it. Listening to him answer tough questions today about what went on was enlightening although not wholly gratifying especially when you consider the lengths he went to in order to subvert the process. I won’t go into the ins and outs of propriety, rule of fair play etc. because truth be told Armstrong wasn’t the only cheater out there nor will he be the last. What the film really does is paint an interesting picture of him and the downfall of his legacy. While Lance Armstrong must shoulder the blame for what happened there is no question that he is a product of culture that fueled his actions.

The Armstrong lie predominantly pulls few punches and makes for a resonating portrait of one of professional sports biggest disappointments.



Parental Guide:

The rating is for language.



AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


Audio: 84

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692



Video: 88

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699


The Armstrong lie comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 25 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.1 Mbps.

This filmed documentary is a mix of interviews, still photos and vintage footage. The new interviews/footage appears lucid, with crisp definition, muted/cooler color, stable contrast and punchy blacks. The lower resolution elements are softer while occasionally exhibiting minor artifacts that don’t rise to problematic levels. I had no real complaints with the video quality and on a whole thought that this presentation looked quite good.

The high resolution DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack has excellent dynamic range and refining detail. Dialogue is articulately reproduced through the center channel and maintains a position of prominence within the front soundstage. This isn’t an active surround mix but when applied the surround channels generate plenty of atmosphere. Front and rear channel imaging is quite good as sounds and spatial cues, mate perfectly with the events transpiring onscreen. I found this to be a satisfying and complimentary audio presentation.

Bonus Features:

  • Commentary with writer/director Alex Gibney

  • (HD) Q&A with Alex Gibney, Frank Marshall, Bill Strictland, Jonathan Vaughters, and Betsey Andreu – 40 minutes

  • (HD) 9 deleted scenes

  • (HD) Theatrical trailer

  • Ultraviolet Digital Copy




Final Thoughts:

The Armstrong lie is the story of two films/one man that presents and insider’s perspective on the unraveling of one of the greatest deceptions in sports history. I found it to be a compelling and eye opening film that paints an interesting portrait of its subject and the downfall of his legacy. It comes to Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition audio/video and limited but worthwhile supplemental material that offer insights from the filmmakers and those with deeper knowledge of the events depicted in the film. If you tend to find subject matter of this type to your liking toss The Armstrong lie in your rental queue. You won’t be disappointed.




attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 22 Old 02-03-2014, 01:48 PM
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I was a cyclist too, I loved what LeLomd did in the late 80's and the early 90's and what Lance did from about 95 on, the recover and the wins that came. I figured that all of them in the top level of the sport had help. It would not have done Lance a bit of good if he was not out training them. The fact that he lied about it makes no deference to me, I forgive it, the show he and the rest put on was great. Today I am off the bike for 3 years now and I am in the middle of a cancer fight that I am winning, with 2 of the Livestrong wristband's and I hope to get back at it, my return to the road well be a hard but worthwhile deal. There's no way I can be what I once was but at 68 I still love and remember the freedom of the bike. I did tell one of the oncologist that I wanted what Lance got but she said I was not that sick. I want one of the Blu-rays.
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post #3 of 22 Old 02-03-2014, 03:50 PM
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"The fact that Lance Armstrong cheated was certainly bad but what made it worse in my opinion was the fact that he spent years publicly denying it, and outwardly challenging and in some cases crucifying those who called him out on it. Listening to him answer tough questions today about what went on was enlightening although not wholly gratifying especially when you consider the lengths he went to in order to subvert the process" And, "While Lance Armstrong must shoulder the blame for what happened there is no question that he is a product of culture that fueled his actions."

Great writing Ralph and in my opinion right on the money. Lance actually sued people over writing about his doping. Because other people cheat isn't an excuse -- some people are willing to do just about anything for fame and glory and if that means selling their souls then so be it. We're defined by our actions and Lance has now defined himself and his legacy. What does this all say about the culture we live in -- as long you don't get caught it's all good?
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post #4 of 22 Old 02-03-2014, 10:09 PM
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I knew something was fishy about Lance from the beginning. There is NO WAY that everyone else cheated, he didn't, yet he managed to keep winning clean while others were doped up. That defies logic.

I've also been to places where Lance happened to be during the height of his popularity and the way he treated people who were "below" him was a sight to see and truly disgusting (Tiger Woods is a lot like that also with how he treats the "little" people). Not to mention the fact that he not only cheated and lied, he went out of his way to ruin people to cover it up (Ryan Braun took this play out of Lance's playbook). To this day, he has never apologized for trying to bully and ruin people nor has he made restitution.

Lance Armstrong is easily one of the most disgusting, despicable people on the planet and I truly wish his cancer would return slowly and not ever go back into remission.

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post #5 of 22 Old 02-03-2014, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GalvatronType_R View Post

I knew something was fishy about Lance from the beginning. There is NO WAY that everyone else cheated, he didn't, yet he managed to keep winning clean while others were doped up. That defies logic.

I've also been to places where Lance happened to be during the height of his popularity and the way he treated people who were "below" him was a sight to see and truly disgusting (Tiger Woods is a lot like that also with how he treats the "little" people). Not to mention the fact that he not only cheated and lied, he went out of his way to ruin people to cover it up (Ryan Braun took this play out of Lance's playbook). To this day, he has never apologized for trying to bully and ruin people nor has he made restitution.

Lance Armstrong is easily one of the most disgusting, despicable people on the planet and I truly wish his cancer would return slowly and not ever go back into remission.

I would say the last part is a bit harsh lol..

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I think the writing was on the wall when Lance dumped the love of his life who stood by him during cancer....kinda like that other wonderful human being Newt Gingrich who espoused family values while dumping his family. I wanted to believe he was a super cyclist at one point, too. As a cyclist (mountain biker more than roadie) it's just sad, although in a way it is making the sport stronger I think. I won't be watching this and won't be adding it to my collection as I'm all too familiar now with the gory details....I couldn't even get thru the Oprah interviews. Thanks for the review, Ralph and keep the rubber side down!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil17108 View Post

I was a cyclist too, I loved what LeLomd did in the late 80's and the early 90's and what Lance did from about 95 on, the recover and the wins that came. I figured that all of them in the top level of the sport had help. It would not have done Lance a bit of good if he was not out training them. The fact that he lied about it makes no deference to me, I forgive it, the show he and the rest put on was great. Today I am off the bike for 3 years now and I am in the middle of a cancer fight that I am winning, with 2 of the Livestrong wristband's and I hope to get back at it, my return to the road well be a hard but worthwhile deal. There's no way I can be what I once was but at 68 I still love and remember the freedom of the bike. I did tell one of the oncologist that I wanted what Lance got but she said I was not that sick. I want one of the Blu-rays.

Greetings,

Thank you for sharing Phil. I dealt with cancer last year but caught it very early and after surgery am cancer free. It kept me off of my bike for three months so I can only imagine how tough it must be for you. Good luck in your fight. We are all pulling for you... smile.gif


Best regards,
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post #8 of 22 Old 02-04-2014, 08:21 AM
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Yet another great write-up, Ralph! Renting this one too for sure! Many thanks!

Great to hear you recovered! Pulling for Phil indeed!
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post #9 of 22 Old 02-04-2014, 05:55 PM
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I would say the last part is a bit harsh lol..

+1

The one thing that doesn't get attributed to him is where would cycling be without him. He put it on the map.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pokekevin View Post

I would say the last part is a bit harsh lol..

+1

The one thing that doesn't get attributed to him is where would cycling be without him. He put it on the map.

Thankfully he doesn't seem to have done serious damage but I do think it will suffer somewhat here in the US particularly, but then it will probably stay ahead of the pre-Lance status. Some of the guys stepping up to the plate these days seem to be keeping it interesting for now....
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Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

Thankfully he doesn't seem to have done serious damage but I do think it will suffer somewhat here in the US particularly, but then it will probably stay ahead of the pre-Lance status. Some of the guys stepping up to the plate these days seem to be keeping it interesting for now....

Boys I'll tell you were cycling would be without Lance, not much deferent then now. The sport started gathering speed here in the US in the 70's and by the time Greg was coming to the front in the meed 80's the sport was doing well. What Lance did was put in on the cover of Sports Illustrated and none cyclist became aware of it, but for the most part stayed in front of the tube.
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While Lance certainly benefited from those who came before him and was riding a rising wave of popularity, IMHO he was the one who rode it to the top when it got its biggest publicity here in the US. I've been following it for quite a while, and noticed how many of my non-cycling friends would pay attention and some even got into not only watching it but also riding, and he had a lot to do with that....I wonder how many Trek bikes alone he sold?
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Wow, this wasn't even on my radar until I saw Ralph's review, and I'm fascinated just by the circumstances of how this film came to be. Please let me know if I have this correct: The filmmaker began this project as a way to chronicle Armstrong's success/dominance in the sport, and then it was shelved after the film was already shot and/or nearly completed? And then after the rumors were proved true, they sort of brought the thing full circle and added onto the original material with what went down after he was busted? If I have that correctly, that sounds pretty compelling and this will be moved to the top of my list.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Summa View Post

Wow, this wasn't even on my radar until I saw Ralph's review, and I'm fascinated just by the circumstances of how this film came to be. Please let me know if I have this correct: The filmmaker began this project as a way to chronicle Armstrong's success/dominance in the sport, and then it was shelved after the film was already shot and/or nearly completed? And then after the rumors were proved true, they sort of brought the thing full circle and added onto the original material with what went down after he was busted? If I have that correctly, that sounds pretty compelling and this will be moved to the top of my list.

Greetings,

That is pretty much the size of it AJ....


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Greetings,

That is pretty much the size of it AJ....


Regards,

Wow, I find that fascinating lol...sort of like film making serendipity (at least for the filmmakers lol), cause I would guess this documentary is far more interesting now than it would have been without all the drama.
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There are a lot of pro's looking for work today due the loss of a number of pro teams. I don't think the corporate world who in the past have financed these teams want to be associated with the 'doping' culture of pro cycling. Not that Lance is responsible for all of the doping that went on, but he certainly is the poster boy especially in the US.

So yes I do believe Lance has damaged the sport along with the other high profile dopers. I hope that cycling recovers and we start seeing new corporations willing to sponsor teams and races.
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The one thing that doesn't get attributed to him is where would cycling be without him. He put it on the map.

LOL! Put it on the map, until that map became littered with drugs and blood doping. Think of all the millions that were duped by him and his ilk! Now, pro cycling is a laughing stock to people who have even half a brain. Armstrong was only about himself, as were all the other cycling dopers...

I may rent this sometime, thanks Ralph.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LowellG View Post

The one thing that doesn't get attributed to him is where would cycling be without him. He put it on the map.

LOL! Put it on the map, until that map became littered with drugs and blood doping. Think of all the millions that were duped by him and his ilk! Now, pro cycling is a laughing stock to people who have even half a brain. Armstrong was only about himself, as were all the other cycling dopers...

I may rent this sometime, thanks Ralph.

These comments relate largely to the US, it's been huge elsewhere long before great US cyclists (largely unknown here) like Davis Phinney or Greg LeMond or even Eric Heiden (more known for his skating, though) put it back on the map in the US somewhat in modern times. This would still be just a comeback, compared to around the turn of the century when it was the US' big money sport with a superstar like Major Taylor. Lance did help put it on more American's tv sets....but so did the Outdoor Life Network wink.gif
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Anyone who believes any pro sport isn't littered with performance enhancing drugs is naïve. Look how beefy many of the NBA players are right now. I have never looked up to any pro sports in general, so I don't care when something like this happens. If everyone stopped putting them on pedestals this would go away. If the money and glory were not there it would normalize things.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

These comments relate largely to the US, it's been huge elsewhere long before great US cyclists (largely unknown here) like Davis Phinney or Greg LeMond or even Eric Heiden (more known for his skating, though) put it back on the map in the US somewhat in modern times. This would still be just a comeback, compared to around the turn of the century when it was the US' big money sport with a superstar like Major Taylor. Lance did help put it on more American's tv sets....but so did the Outdoor Life Network wink.gif

You did your home work or were there, there is a women, Eric Heiden's sister that was as dominate as any, Beth Heiden, and as I remember it she just up and quit one day. She like Eric was also a very successful speed skating. A lot of the first bunch of the successful cyclist got on the bike to cross train, and like Greg LeMond found that they liked it more. Most of that first bunch came out of the elite athlete training program I think in Denver in the early 80's, and brought home some gold in the 84 Olympics in Los Angles. I live in Orange County CA and have ridden the Olympic road course many times. I remember how great it was for the sport in SOCL at the time. The guy that won the road race never made it to the big time, but some of the guys he beat did. Eric Heiden won the US pro championship in Philadelphia in 85 or 6 and I do believe he also won a stage at the tour.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

These comments relate largely to the US, it's been huge elsewhere long before great US cyclists (largely unknown here) like Davis Phinney or Greg LeMond or even Eric Heiden (more known for his skating, though) put it back on the map in the US somewhat in modern times. This would still be just a comeback, compared to around the turn of the century when it was the US' big money sport with a superstar like Major Taylor. Lance did help put it on more American's tv sets....but so did the Outdoor Life Network wink.gif

You did your home work or were there, there is a women, Eric Heiden's sister that was as dominate as any, Beth Heiden, and as I remember it she just up and quit one day. She like Eric was also a very successful speed skating. A lot of the first bunch of the successful cyclist got on the bike to cross train, and like Greg LeMond found that they liked it more. Most of that first bunch came out of the elite athlete training program I think in Denver in the early 80's, and brought home some gold in the 84 Olympics in Los Angles. I live in Orange County CA and have ridden the Olympic road course many times. I remember how great it was for the sport in SOCL at the time. The guy that won the road race never made it to the big time, but some of the guys he beat did. Eric Heiden won the US pro championship in Philadelphia in 85 or 6 and I do believe he also won a stage at the tour.

Seems you don't need to do your homework! The place I just moved from was near a cycling hotbed in the SF Bay Area, near where the Heidens apparently lived for quite a while. A famous local hill climb, the climb back home for me when I went for a ride on the bay side of the ridge) was Old La Honda Rd, on which the Heiden's home as kids was located from what I was told. Eric apparently held the record for ages, about a 1300 ft climb up 3.3 miles or so in 14 or so minutes (check out a coupla these links https://www.google.com/#q=old+la+honda+road+heiden). I am mostly a mountain biker these days but do road ride as well, having done that mostly at first since there were only the relatively new "sting rays" when I was a kid (pre bmx) smile.gif I remember Beth now, wonder if she had a nice career post sports like Eric did....in those days not much but glory past the Olympics.

ps Ralph, sorry to steer things off topic.
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post #22 of 22 Old 02-09-2014, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

Seems you don't need to do your homework! The place I just moved from was near a cycling hotbed in the SF Bay Area, near where the Heidens apparently lived for quite a while. A famous local hill climb, the climb back home for me when I went for a ride on the bay side of the ridge) was Old La Honda Rd, on which the Heiden's home as kids was located from what I was told. Eric apparently held the record for ages, about a 1300 ft climb up 3.3 miles or so in 14 or so minutes (check out a coupla these links https://www.google.com/#q=old+la+honda+road+heiden). I am mostly a mountain biker these days but do road ride as well, having done that mostly at first since there were only the relatively new "sting rays" when I was a kid (pre bmx) smile.gif I remember Beth now, wonder if she had a nice career post sports like Eric did....in those days not much but glory past the Olympics.

ps Ralph, sorry to steer things off topic.

Yes I think Beth is having a nice life. Take a look http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmqNyDHACfs

And for la honda I to remember it along with a lot of other grunts. I was exiled to San Jose by the company I was working for in 91 or 92 and the first thing I did getting into town was find a bike shop and got info on bike clubs, and then rented a place to live. I joined the Almaden cycling touring club and fell into a group in the club that were working on what were called Goats and if you did all of them in one year there was an award for it, I got them all only from summer to late spring, when I came back to Orange County. By the way I did a ride to a park called Henry Coo or Couo something like that, one a 100 plus day and once in the snow. I had the wrong bike the first time, to stiff and the wrong gears. At the meeting place or start point I looked around and saw guys that looked like they should be doing R.A.M. with road bikes with mountain bike parts and new I was in trouble. This is getting to long but here is the best part of the deal. On the way out of there in the hi heat on a rough road I need to hang on to the breaks or go off the side. I blew the rear tire right of the bike. I was on tubulars and was thing I had been shot at. New tire and gone but I used the front brake and then the rear so as to not blow them. Got back to starting point put bike in truck and found the both the front and back he'd burn marks.
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