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Blu-ray Review HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: Body Heat (1 Viewer)

Citizen87645

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Cameron Yee


Body Heat

Release Date: October 7, 2008
Studio: Warner Home Video
Packaging/Materials: Single-disc Blu-Ray case
Year: 1981
Rating: R
Running Time: 1h53m
MSRP: $28.99

MAIN FEATURESPECIAL FEATURES
Video1080p high definition 16x9 1.85:1May be in standard definition
AudioDolby TrueHD: English 5.1, Dolby Digital: English 5.1, French 1.0, Spanish 2.0, German 1.0Audio standards may vary
SubtitlesEnglish, French, Spanish, German (movie and select bonus material)


The Feature: 4.5/5
The temperature rises on an already hot day when downtown attorney Ned Racine (William Hurt) meets uptown housewife Matty Walker (Kathleen Turner). At first she seems like a lost cause - being married and all - but before long Ned's busting down doors to get to her and, more importantly, she's letting him. Trysting turns to scheming though and soon they have a plan to get rid of the husband and be together forever. There's only one problem - somebody hasn't been totally honest.

Lawrence Kasdan's directorial debut is a classic film noir tale set and made in a more modern time, meaning there's lots of sex where there's usually just innuendo. Though reading between the lines in older films might be more fun, there's something to be said about the way "Body Heat" lays it all out there. And though it's graphic you can't say it's gratuitous; it makes it clear why Ned would fall so hard for the woman. Hell, as a viewer - fully aware of how these kinds of stories go - you're lulled into the same state of denial as Ned. Like the movie's femme fatale the movie's put together so well and so good at what it does that before you know it you've been had. That's not an easy thing, fooling today's viewer, making "Body Heat" all the more impressive and potent. It's a film that makes good on its genre at the same time that it does it one better.


Video Quality: 4.5/5
Though the packaging lists the aspect ratio as 1.85:1 the absence of the telltale slivers of black bars indicates it's closer to 1.78:1. IMDB lists the aspect ratio as 1.85:1, meaning the image (if IMDB is to be trusted) has either been opened up a little or enlarged and cropped a little. In any case, the VC-1 encoded image looks very good, being generally free of blemishes, signs of edge enhancement and noise reduction. In fact the grain structure is readily apparent from the first shot of billowing smoke and it looks wholly untampered with. Black levels look very good as well. Though shadow detail is a little lacking at times, it's more than befitting the film's tone and content. Detail is excellent, beads of sweat, fine hairs and skin texture all being quite clear, though there are a couple shots that are soft overall. Daylight scenes were also shot with a hazy, filtered quality, which comes through beautifully with great dimension and depth.


Audio Quality: 3/5
The Dolby TrueHD audio mix is a mostly center channel experience, with some surround activity providing support for the saxophone-heavy score. Dialogue is generally clear, though there are a couple instances of noticeable strain and more than a few times when I had trouble understanding actors' lines. LFE is non-existent, as one would expect from a film of this vintage, but even the couple instances where bass is in play are pretty subdued.

In comparison the 640 kbps Dolby Digital 5.1 track sounds less expansive and flatter in its dynamic range, making the lossless track preferable.


Special Features: 3.5/5

The special features carry over the items from the 2006 "Deluxe Edition" DVD. The documentary featurettes are well made and filled with great anecdotes. The "lifted" scenes have a little more replay value than most simply for the fact that they amount to more footage of Turner in provocative situations.

Lifted Scenes: Five scenes totaling around 9m30s. The clips are titled as "In the Backseat," "Stewardess," "Practice Run," "First Murder Attempt" and "After the Attempt." Their removal from the film was mostly for pacing, though fans of Turner in particular will be glad to have them available again.

"Body Heat: The Plan" (17m06s): Documentary covers the development and casting of the film, including interviews with Kasdan, Turner, Hurt and Ted Danson.

"Body Heat: The Production" (16m16s): Interviews with cast and crew continue with challenges of shooting on location (in a place where it was cold when it was supposed to be hot), dealing with the sexual content, and discussions of pivotal scenes. Additional interview subjects include director of photography Richard Kline and editor Carol Littleton.

"Body Heat: The Post-Production" (10m37s): Discussion of editing, scoring and theatrical release. Additional interview subjects include composer John Barry.

Vintage Interviews (12m36s): 1981 intereviews with Hurt and Turner cover the requisite talking points.

Theatrical Trailer (1m34s)


Recap

The Feature: 4.5/5
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 3/5
Special Features: 3.5/5
Overall Score (not an average): 4/5

Early '80s film noir gets excellent video, decent audio and an acceptable special features package. The strength of the feature makes it a worthy addition to the library, though perhaps a harder sell for those who already own the DVD edition.
 

DeeF

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Body Heat BD on my Pioneer Elite 05, the audio goes slightly out of synch when choosing TrueHD. It happens midway through the movie, and never synchs up again, so it may be the disk. The Dolby 5.1 track is in synch throughout.
 

Todd Erwin

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I have often referred to this film as "the Last Tango In Paris of my generation."
I have the original DVD release, in the dreaded snapper case, and will have to be on the lookout for a good WB catalog sale to upgrade to the BD.
 

Edward Schatz

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I have bought the Blu-Ray but haven't opened it yet. I am concerned about the audio and the aspect ratio. Any corroboration on the audio issue?
 

Citizen87645

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Cameron Yee
The audio sync DeeF noticed sounds pretty significant and that never happened during my viewing.
 

Michael Reuben

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Toddwrtr said:
I have the original DVD release, in the dreaded snapper case, and will have to be on the lookout for a good WB catalog sale to upgrade to the BD.
I don't know if this is what you had in mind, but Amazon currently has it for $14.95.
M.
 

Ed St. Clair

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Thanks for the review.

Watched this last night.

SUPER stylized picture; so who here can say what should look like what.

(Too me it was very dark & red)

Would agree w/one reviewer that stated it look like a "new" movie; did looked a processed, butt was that intentional? Just for added noir look, it was soft. So, glad too see a speck or two; at least the DNR couldn't have been cranked up to 10! :)

I found the grain too be even/fine & agree the "smoke"/fog was handled well (even thought the Ladd logo looked OK).

Man, Kathleen Turner was "HOT"!!!

Good luck finding "waxy faces" in this flick, cause everyone is sweating like pigs! ;-)

Glad I picked this up; on sale at BB for 15 bucks.
 

Matt Butler

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Kathleen Turner has alawys been hot! Cant remember the last time I saw this but for $15 I may have to pick it up.
htf_images_smilies_smile.gif
 

Doug Otte

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Believe it or not, I remember seeing this in the theatre during its initial release, and it was very dark. I remember at least one night scene where I had a hard time distinguishing what was going on. I can't remember what the color palette was like.

Doug
 

Dave H

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I watched this tonight and thought it had very film-like qualities with grain intact.
 

Doug Otte

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Doug Otte said:
Believe it or not, I remember seeing this in the theatre during its initial release, and it was very dark. I remember at least one night scene where I had a hard time distinguishing what was going on. I can't remember what the color palette was like.
Doug
Thanks for bumping this thread, Dave. I didn't have the BD when I posted the above note, but now do. I didn't think the BD looked too dark - it was about how I remember seeing the film.
Doug
 

Chris Gerhard

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Matt Butler said:
Kathleen Turner has alawys been hot!
Not so much anymore, you should see her in "Marley and Me". I have this BD but haven't watched it yet but I like the film a lot and will find time soon to watch it.
Chris
 

Dave H

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I enjoyed the film. I remember watching bits and pieces on cable years ago, so this was the first time I ever really watched it all of the way through. I think the atmosphere was quite good. Some parts of the movie and acting borderlined on being a little cheezy, but that's alright.
 

Konstantinos

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Sorry to bump this thread but i wanted to ask something:
I read in reviews they say, that although the audio is front centered, the music and some effects (chimes) are heard from the rear channels too.
However, I don't hear anything at all from the rear channels.
I also had made a graph of the rear channel activity, and there was nothing there.

How is that possible?
 

The Drifter

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Jim
Body Heat is an amazing neo-noir. The Florida summer setting is great, and may as well be another character in the film. When watching the film, you can almost feel the sticky summer heat making your shirt stick to your skin. Kathleen Turner is probably at her hottest in this film...that white dress was amazing.

It's interesting that George Lucas/Lucasfilm. was involved in the film's production, but didn't want to take credit - partially due to not wanting to be associated with a film with "adult" themes - LOL.

Also never knew they filmed in the winter when it was cold. Here's an interesting article on the film:

http://mentalfloss.com/article/84997/10-cool-facts-about-body-heat
 

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