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The Devil's never been so hot or hilarious! Elliot, a hapless, love-starved computer technician agrees to sell his soul in exchange for seven wishes. But the sly Princess of Darkness has more than a few tricks up her sleeve. And before you can say Fire and Brimstone, Elliot's life becomes a hysterical hell on earth.
For more about Bedazzled and the Bedazzled Blu-ray release, see Bedazzled Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on June 1, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: Brendan Fraser, Elizabeth Hurley, Frances O'Connor, Orlando Jones, Paul Adelstein, Toby Huss (I)
Director: Harold Ramis
» See full cast & crew
Bedazzled Blu-ray Review
Better wish the she-devil you know in a blue dress bedazzles before you're dead.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, June 1, 2013
How would you like to make one simple decision that would change your life forever?
How many Blu-ray fans remember that old song by Garth Brooks that says something about "sometimes God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers?" Anyone? Ah, a few, good. Chances are a few more are familiar with the phrase, "be careful of what you wish for, because you just might get it." Great. Now, combine those two and behold the gist of Bedazzled, a Y2K Comedy from Director Harold Ramis (Groundhog Day, Year One) that's all about one man's wish to be someone he's not just for the chance to love someone that maybe isn't the one destiny has mapped out for his life. Add in a deal with the devil and plenty of wish-twisting comedy mayhem, and this remake of the 1967 movie of the same name with Dudley Moore proves quite the surprising little charmer, a smooth, gentle, fun, easygoing movie that really hits the spot when the mood calls for a sinfully sassy and silly Comedy with a little bit of heart thrown in for good measure.
Elliot Richards (Brendan Fraser) works in computer technical support. He's good on the phone with his customers but to say that he's not very good with his co-workers would be a gross understatement. He's full of energy, very approachable and outgoing, but to a fault; he tries to buddy up with his work team but they do their best to avoid him like the proverbial plague. He's also fairly dense, not very good at taking "no" for an answer, and he finally realizes that maybe he's the problem when pretty girl from work Alison Gardner (Frances O'Connor), on whom he has a major crush, walks away from him at a bar. He prays for divine intervention to make her his, and just then, he sees a woman in red who introduces herself to him as The Devil (Elizabeth Hurley). She preys on the desires of his heart and promises him seven wishes -- anything he wants -- in exchange for signing away his soul. A desperate Elliot reluctantly takes her up on the offer but quickly comes to realize that wishes granted aren't necessarily wishes fulfilled.
So the plot is pretty much razor-thin, but Bedazzled isn't so much about story specifics as it is the fun it has in the process and along the way towards the tenderhearted, feel-good resolution that's easy to feel coming but not so simple to predict specifics. The picture works through several vignettes that see Fraser living out a few minutes of life under the parameters of his "wishes" which, thankfully, aren't like those stories about the guy who makes a deal with the devil to cure his father's caner only to have him killed in a freak accident the next day. No, these are a little more innocently funny but still effective at demonstrating the folly not necessarily of wishes or lifestyle choices but rather sudden transformations with no context, no preparation, no understanding of what it means to be someone else, to live a different life, to accept the consequences that come with a sudden wholesale change. Brendan Fraser is quite good at playing all the parts, from the cliché-spitting basketball star to the emotionally overwhelmed star-crossed would-be lover. Some of the vignettes are more miss than hit, but there's an underlying charm to the entire thing that molds the movie into a pleasing little excursion away from the realities of life, one that shows just how precious those realities can really be.
Yet it's Elizabeth Hurley who really steals the show. Not only does she look great -- appearing in tight-fitting, form-flattering costumes -- but she embraces the part with a zeal that really sells the premise not only to Elliot but to the audience as well, leading the viewers on as well as she leads Elliot and thereby earning the audience's figurative signature on the deal, too, and making it feel a wee bit more personal than if Elliot's signature were gained in a more dry, straightforward manner. She finds a broad range of sales pitches to use on the bumbling Elliot, turning on the charm, cranking out the puns, amping up the devilish cliché, making use of every trick in the book, doing anything in her power to seal the deal and, then, leading him on for every wish right down a path that will allow her to completely manipulate the situation to her own ends, her own gain, and his loss. Fortunately for the hero, her zealousness teaches him that, just maybe, it's not enough to just wish for something but rather to go with the flow and see what life brings, how life experiences can shape the moment and the future both. It's a nice little message wrapped in a fairly simple but appealing movie that does its thing very well.
Bedazzled Blu-ray, Video Quality
Bedazzled features a bright and cheery high definition presentation. It's not a prototypically stunning transfer but for a midrange catalogue title given a cheap Blu-ray release, it's more than adequate. Grain fluctuates a bit, appearing nicely preserved in spots but looking almost scrubbed away in others. However, details rarely suffer. There's a good, basic crispness and clarity to the image, and it reveals very well defined faces and clothes with regularity. Colors are vibrant and pleasing throughout, particularly reds that tend to leap off the screen. Color balance and accuracy are equally impressive. Flesh tones, too, rarely stray from normal, but black levels sometimes suffer from a purplish and lightly noisy appearance. A couple of pops and spots are evident, but there are no other major eyesores to report. This is a nice, even budget catalogue transfer.
Bedazzled Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Bedazzled features a routine Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless soundtrack. The opening title music enjoys well pronounced clarity and fine, but not aggressive, range and surround support. Popular music and dance beats in chapter two play with a bit more kick, though certainly not with the sort of pure, natural aggression fans might expect to find in a newer soundtrack. There aren't all that many highly aggressive sound elements, but there's a basic clarity to anything above light background ambience. That supporting sound also plays nicely and evenly enough. Dialogue is always clear and accurate, though delivery occasionally looks slightly off-time with mouth movements, and seems very noticeable during the "Abraham Lincoln" sequence. Otherwise, a solid track but not exactly one fans will remember post-listen.
Bedazzled Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Bedazzled contains no extras, and no menu is included. The film begins playback immediately after disc insertion. Optional English SDH subtitles must be switched on or off in-film with the remote control.
Bedazzled Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Bedazzled won't warm the heart -- at least not until the end -- and it's not a sinfully good time at the movies, but it is quite the entertaining little venture that's fairly unique (though a remake) and very well put together. Director Harold Ramis finds the right pitch for his jokes and he certainly has the right leads in place to really carry the movie well beyond the outer limits of the premise. It's funny, kind of touching, and offers a few good little life lessons thrown in for good measure. There aren't many better ways to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon. Anchor Bay's Blu-ray release of Bedazzled features good video and audio. Unfortunately, no extras are included. Still, this release earns a recommendation.
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Bedazzled Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Anchor Bay to Release 11 TCFHE Catalog Titles in May - March 5, 2013
Anchor Bay is releasing eleven bargain-priced Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment catalog titles on May 28th: Airheads, Bedazzled (2000), Best Laid Plans, Black Knight, Chasing Papi, Dying Young, Jumpin' Jack Flash, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, The Newton Boys, ...
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