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HTF REVIEW: "Fatal Attraction" (with screenshots)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Apr 9, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein

    Fatal Attraction

    "I'm not going to be ignored!"
    It has been 15 years since director Adrian
    Lyne's highly suspenseful psychological
    thriller shocked movie audiences everywhere,
    earning 6 Academy Award nominations including
    Best Picture and Best Director. It was the
    film that begged to answer the question:
    "How do you dump a one-night stand even though
    she makes a great rabbit stew?"
    Dan (Michael Douglas) and Beth (Anne Archer) are
    an attractive, well-to-do couple living in
    Manhattan. They seem to have a happy marriage;
    they have a cute baby daughter, and are planning
    a move to the suburbs.
    Then Dan meets Alex Forrest (Glenn Close) at
    work. It's a chance meeting, but an instant
    attraction for them both. With the wife away
    for the weekend, Dan decides to have a one-night
    fling with Alex.
    Dan sees this fling as being nothing more than
    an innocent human mistake. Alex sees it differently,
    as this shunned woman becomes obsessed with Dan
    and the rest of his family. She becomes the
    screen's most memorable psycho stalking the
    family right up through the film's explosive
    climatic finale.
    How is the transfer?
    Though the picture generally looks good
    throughout, the age of the film is a tad
    apparent in this 16X9 enhanced widescreen
    (1.85:1) transfer.
    The film begins with an excessively dirty
    title sequence. It seems to have become the
    standard for most catalog DVD titles to have
    title sequences that look unrestored. As we
    get into the film itself, however, image quality
    improves substantially.
    The problem with the overall picture quality
    lies in how the movie was filmed. All the
    indoor scenes are filmed way too soft and have
    a hazy look to them as if shot through a sheer
    cloth. You notice pale colors and flesh tones
    that show more redness than they should. When
    the film switches to outdoor scenes of the city
    and countryside, the picture quality looks
    amazingly better, with more accurate flesh tone
    The film is also slightly littered with film
    speckles and a hint of video noise that is more
    pronounced in the darker interior scenes. Overall,
    however, I don't think anyone will complain
    about the transfer. It's the best it has looked
    on any format.
    The 5.1 Dolby Digital mix is nothing spectacular.
    Dialogue in the center speaker often sounded a bit
    flat with little distinction over the film's main
    channels. The rear speakers added little support
    to the mix. In fact, it was often hard to tell
    how much surround information was coming from the
    rears as it remained at relatively low levels. The
    LFE channel became surprisingly active, supporting
    Maurice Jarre's score, booming at the film's most
    dramatic musical cues.
    Special Features
    Paramount has put together a rather attractive
    Special Collector's Edition that boasts over
    three hours of brand-new, never-before-seen
    Special Features.
    Once you pop in the disc, you are treated to
    a newly produced animated menu that begins with
    a white screen, the appearance of a ringing telephone,
    and then ghostly images of Douglas and Close set
    against the DVD's MAIN MENU selections.
    The DVD contains a full-length commentary by
    Director Adrian Lyne.
    There are no less than three featurettes presented
    on this DVD. The first, Forever Fatal: Remembering
    Fatal Attraction, is a fantastic newly produced
    featurette that begins with Producers Stanley R. Jaffe
    and Sherry Lansing reminiscing about a short film
    script called "Diversion" that was submitted to them,
    and how obsessed they became with the script's ending
    that they wanted to develop it into a big-screen
    feature. Michael Douglas talks about being attracted
    to the film as it talked about the "What if?" that
    could happen to just about anyone. It's interesting
    to learn that all the studios turned down the initial
    draft of the film twice because the film seemed
    highly uncommercial. Actors Anne Archer, Glenn Close
    and screenwriter Nicholas Meyer talk about how the
    film finally all came together. Director Adrian
    Lyne recalls receiving the script in the mail, and
    within an hour, became so impressed with what he
    had just read that he had to do this film. As it
    turns out, Lyne was the perfect choice to make this
    film, as he was not afraid to bring the audience so
    visually deep into what happens when relationships
    go wrong. We are treated to a few minutes of Glenn
    Close's original screen test. Close recalls how
    she researched her character with the help of a
    psychiatrist, to make sure that the behavior she
    exhibited on screen was truly possible. This
    28-minute featurette ends with the entire cast
    reflecting on the huge success of the film. A
    superb documentary that succeeds in reuniting all
    the pivotal persons involved with this film.
    Social Attraction expands upon the
    original featurette, as psychologists and film
    critics talk about the film's social phenomenon.
    Released at a time when feminism was under siege,
    the film touched a nerve, making a bold statement
    amongst the single career women community. The
    impact of the film is compared to "Jaws". It
    became a masculine horror film about fooling
    around at the office behind your wife's back and
    the circumstances that could happen as a result.
    This 10-minute featurette examines how a man or
    woman who so seemingly appears to be emotionally
    stable can easily lose their sense of self.
    Visual Attraction brings us into Adrian
    Lyne's vision as we go behind-the-scenes and
    meet the cinematographer, make-up artist, costume
    and production designers who talk about the
    individual puzzle pieces that they contributed
    to the film. Costume designer Ellen Mirojnick
    talks about the importance of dressing Glenn Close
    so that she looks like a regular sexy person
    with an edge. Make-up artist Richard Dean talks
    about the breakdown of the Glenn Close's makeup
    as her character degenerates. Production Designer
    Mel Bourne talks about selecting film's locations
    including Alex Forrest's apartment, where a
    bathroom and other studio elements were built.
    Cinematographer Howard Atherton recalls the tight
    limitations of shooting in a New York studio
    apartment. Incidentally, it was the same apartment
    that Lyne shot "9 1/2 Weeks" in. This 19-minute
    featurette concludes with the production team
    discussing the difficulties of designing the film's
    new ending that was shot 8 months after the original
    production had ended.
    Director Adrian Lyne personally introduces
    Rehearsal Footage of Michael Douglas and
    Glenn Close. Shot on video in Stanley Jaffe's
    office, we get a rare glimpse of both these
    actors meeting for the first time as we witness
    the earliest developments of their characters.
    Also included is test footage of Anne Archer
    in the scene where she first learns of her husband's
    affair. Terrific stuff here!
    Director Adrian Lyne personally introduces the
    Alternate ending. Approximately 8 minutes
    in length, the film takes on an equally dark (but
    less jarring) ending.
    Finally, the film's Original Trailer
    is included on this DVD.
    Final Thoughts
    It is so nice to see Paramount put so much
    effort into this DVD. The question of whether
    it is worth purchasing is an absolute no-brainer.
    Selling for under $20 at most on-line retailers,
    this is a value packed DVD with interesting
    commentary and featurettes that give fans the
    ultimate insight into one of the most popular
    films of the 80's.
    Buy it!
    Release Date: April 16, 2002
  2. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

    Aug 3, 2001
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    Great review, Ron. An absolute must-buy anyway, but your review cinches the deal. Thanks!
  3. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Stunt Coordinator

    Mar 2, 2000
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    Yep, also a must buy for me. Good to see that Paramount has done the work with this title. Lots of great extras and I'm particularly looking forward to seeing the alternative ending that I read about so long ago.

    Johnny B.
  4. David Coleman

    David Coleman Supporting Actor

    Jan 5, 2000
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    Count me in too for this one next week!
  5. Steven L

    Steven L Stunt Coordinator

    Nov 16, 1999
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    Ha! My most vivid memory of this movie is walking out of the theater at the end and seeing almost every woman telling her boyfriend/husband "See, that's what happens if you cheat!", my own wife (then-girlfriend) included. It was really funny noticing everyone having the same conversation!

    We both remember the incident to this day.
  6. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Jun 3, 1999
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    Consider this pre-ordered. Good assessment, Ron.
  7. josh4040

    josh4040 Second Unit

    Jan 17, 2002
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    Great review Ron, I was wavering on picking this one up and you sold me, it looks awesome!
  8. Britton

    Britton Supporting Actor

    Jun 3, 2001
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    Okay, lemme get this straight, Michael Douglas plays a guy who's married to Anne Archer(babe) and cheats on her with Glen Close(ugly hag)?!!!
  9. Julian Lalor

    Julian Lalor Supporting Actor

    Oct 5, 1999
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    Have you seen Anne Archer laterly? Fatal Attraction is one of those films I know I shouldn't like (it is deeply, if unintentionally, misogynstic) but it is such a campfest that I can't resist. I'd buy it for the 'bunny boiler' scene alone.
  10. Justin Doring

    Justin Doring Screenwriter

    Jun 9, 1999
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    My copy shipped today and I can't wait to get it!
  11. John Kilduff

    John Kilduff Screenwriter

    Oct 27, 2001
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    My friend Joe broke up with his girlfriend recently, and as a present, I'm going to save up some money and buy him this title so he can figure out how to deal with his ex. How to do it? It's all in the ending?

    I'm not serious. It'll be a gag gift.


    John "Experienced a near-fatal attraction once" Kilduff
  12. JJR512

    JJR512 Supporting Actor

    Dec 11, 1999
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    Is this DVD on sale now, or if not, when will it be in the stores?
  13. Paul E. Fox II

    Paul E. Fox II Second Unit

    Oct 5, 1998
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    This is a movie I really liked a lot! Anne Archer is a babe and while I don't usually think of Glenn Close being "a Hottie", she wasn't bad in this movie. Add that to the fact that I've been wanting to see the "Alternate Ending" ever sense I first noticed a Director's Cut VHS of this Oh SOOOOO many years ago!
  14. Joseph J.D

    Joseph J.D Cinematographer

    Dec 4, 2001
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    Looking forward to replacing my Paramount 'Director Series' VHS copy which also includes the alternate ending. Can't wait. Thanks for the review Ron. [​IMG]
  15. David Tolsky

    David Tolsky Supporting Actor

    Sep 3, 1999
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    Been waiting for this one for over a month. I've had the advance dvd cover insert signed by both Michael Douglas and Glenn Close. Just found out today that my local Circuit City will have it for $13.99! Are you kidding me? I'm there [​IMG]

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