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Michael Douglas plays Dan Gallagher, a New York attorney who has a tryst with seductive Alex Forrest (Glenn Close) while his wife (Anne Archer) is away. Dan later shrugs off the affair as a mistake and considers it over. But Alex won’t be ignored. Not now, not tomorrow, not ever… even if it means destroying Dan’s family to keep him.
For more about Fatal Attraction and the Fatal Attraction Blu-ray release, see Fatal Attraction Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on June 5, 2009 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, Anne Archer, Fred Gwynne, Ellen Hamilton Latzen, Mike Nussbaum
Director: Adrian Lyne
» See full cast & crew
Fatal Attraction Blu-ray Review
Go ahead. Ignore this disc. Glenn Close won't mind...will she?
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, June 5, 2009
I think you're terrific, but I'm married.
What's the allure of Fatal Attraction? An admittedly good but nevertheless by-the-numbers thriller, Director Adrian Lyne's (Unfaithful) most popular picture features strong performances, solid direction, and an unnerving atmosphere, but its reliance on blasé plot developments and its predictable, unimaginative finale does nothing to truly elevate it above its peers. Perhaps it's the personal, "it could happen to anyone" nature of the story, but no matter the reason, Fatal Attraction remains a staple of American pop culture. Nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture, but leaving the ceremony without anything for the shelf, the film beat out a number of superior pictures for the honor of being among the five finalists, including Full Metal Jacket, Empire of the Sun, The Untouchables, and RoboCop.
Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglas, Romancing the Stone) is a happily-married New York lawyer. Working a case with a publishing house regarding a novel that may find itself at the center of a lawsuit, he meets editor Alex Forrest (Glenn Close, Air Force One). With his wife Beth (Anne Archer, Patriot Games) out of town, Dan enjoys a quiet dinner with Alex that leads to a passionate encounter. Though seemingly agreed upon as nothing more than a one-night affair between two consenting adults, Alex rejects the fact that Dan needs to leave her to return to his established life where he works a demanding job and enjoys the company of his loving wife and daughter. Alex begins stalking Dan, her aggressive pursuit becoming more serious as time goes on, leading Dan to fear every ring of the phone and knock on the door while doing all he can to convince Alex to leave him -- and his family -- alone.
Perhaps its best asset -- and almost overshadowing the superficial plot and textbook developments -- is the film's nonchalance towards the affair during its onset. Both in the film and behind the camera, Fatal Attraction takes on a rather simplistic air that seems to minimize the importance of the romantic tryst not to the story but rather in the lives of its characters. In front of the camera, Alex and Dan take their chance encounter in stride, the attraction they share electric but not overtly so. The rendezvous begins and ends with nary a hint as to the consequences that will later evolve either physically or emotionally. Fatal Attraction plays it perfectly in the context of the story, framing the one-night affair as a throwaway happening in the lives of the characters, with neither appearing particularly interested in taking it to a deeper, more emotional, more cerebral level. On the other side of the Camera, Lyne gives these scenes an easygoing, pedestrian feel, never hinting at the moral issues or emotional consequences and allowing it to play out with an innocent quality that never hints at the deadly obsession to come. The camera simply observes the goings-on and allows the actors to sell the audience on the affair, and Close and Douglas do so by lending to the set-up a feeling that their encounter will be as harmless as a white bunny rabbit with long ears and pink eyes.
Despite a predictable story line, Fatal Attraction plays out with an unsettling, nail-biting tone thanks in large part to the performance of Glenn Close. Her character's psychotic and obsessive tendencies don't seem overtly obvious when she seduces Dan, but she unleashes a frightening inner-demon early on in the affair, not when he breaks it off but rather when he simply must leave her arms not even to return to his family but to go to work. Her clingy personality slowly molds into an obsessive stalker that morphs into a jealous rage that would have her deny Dan his life for the sin of his denial of her happiness. Lyne effectively captures the tone on both sides of the affair; a lingering shot of Alex as she sits on the floor, mascara running down her face, blankly staring into the distance as she flips a light on and off, perhaps symbolizes the last few flickers of sanity fading away inside of her. On the other side, Lyne uses everyday occurrences to great effect to demonstrate the fear and anger building inside Dan. The ringing of a telephone, for instance, becomes a potential harbinger of evil that may reveal the secret and tear his family apart. No matter the scene, Fatal Attraction rises above its otherwise routine story thanks to fine performances in front of the camera and the steady hand behind it.
Fatal Attraction Blu-ray, Video Quality
Fatal Attraction arrives on Blu-ray with a good 1080p, 1.78:1-framed transfer. The print features the occasional pop, particularly over the opening credits, but looks pleasantly clear and fresh, all things considered. The image consistently appears the slightest bit dim with soft focus cropping up over several scenes. The disc also sports adequate levels of detail throughout and a decent, but not eye-catching, color palette. Much of the film takes place in interior locales, some with low levels of light, but most every scene appears rendered nicely with crisp details in the foreground. Black levels and flesh tones are also sufficiently rendered. Grain is slightly visible in some scenes, practically nonexistent in others, and in a few shots it looks static across solid backgrounds. Nevertheless, its presence is nowhere near as heavy as seen in the other June 9, 2009 Adrian Lyne Paramount release, Indecent Proposal. Fatal Attraction looks quite good for an aging catalogue title.
Fatal Attraction Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Fatal Attraction debuts on Blu-ray with a lackluster Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless soundtrack. Likely a victim of a terribly uninteresting sound design, this soundtrack rarely leaves the comfort of the center channel. Dialogue is delivered adequately through the center, though sometimes fighting with ambient noise that seems to come almost exclusively from the middle, too. Occasionally, they play over one another making words slightly difficult to make out. Dialogue reproduction never falters in quieter scenes, though. The track delivers practically no ambience at all; were one simply listening to the track rather than watching the movie, it's likely one would miss completely the presence of a rainstorm in chapter three. It's an odd sequence, the visuals portraying characters scrambling to dodge the downpour, yet the soundtrack almost completely ignores the rain. In the following scene, soft piano music is heard playing through the front left and right speakers, and several outdoor scenes feature chirping birds and other nuanced sounds of nature. Such occurrences are the exception to the rule, for this one features little play in the front right and left channels and next to nothing in the rears. The subwoofer takes a vacation during this one, too. All in all, Fatal Attraction makes for one of the most bland listening experiences yet on Blu-ray.
Fatal Attraction Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Fatal Attraction comes to Blu-ray with several bonus features. First up is a commentary track with Director Adrian Lyne. Despite his self-proclaimed bad memory, Lyne serves up a dry but informative track, speaking on the casting, the themes of the film and the way it is played by the characters, shooting the love scenes, and more. There are some moments of dead air in the delivery. Forever Fatal: Remembering 'Fatal Attraction' (480p, 28:16) is a piece that looks at the history of the project, including an examination of the screenplay, the process of assembling the cast and crew, developing the characters, shooting the erotic sequences, and other tidbits. Social Attraction (480p, 10:00) examines the picture's allure with audiences in the 1980s, framed in the context of the feminist movement. The piece also looks at the psychology of the characters and the story's impact on them. Visual Attraction (480p, 19:39) focuses attention on the look of the film, including the shooting style, makeup, and costuming. Concluding the supplements is a collection of rehearsal footage (480p, 7:09), an alternate ending with director introduction (480p, 0:16 & 1080i, 11:51), and the film's theatrical trailer (1080p, 1:34).
Fatal Attraction Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Perhaps the film played a bit better in 1987, but Fatal Attraction now seems not an Oscar-caliber picture but rather simply a good movie marked by solid performances on both sides of the camera but featuring a by-the-book plot and a routine conclusion. Glenn Close and her 80s hairdo continue to fascinate with her descent into madness over a seemingly trifle affair that winds up scarring more than one man's conscience. Well-paced, scary at times, engaging, and even somewhat memorable, the film plays well but doesn't hold up as an all-time classic. Paramount's Blu-ray release generally impresses. Featuring a steady and pleasing 1080p transfer, a passable but nevertheless lackluster soundtrack, and a few bonus materials, fans shouldn't hesitate to pick this one up.
Fatal Attraction: Other Editions
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Fatal Attraction Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Today on Blu-ray - June 9th - June 9, 2009
With over 50 years in front of the camera, and over 30 years behind it, Clint Eastwood's dynamic ability to entertain audiences worldwide has yielded the 79-year-old icon many Oscar statues. Today, Warner Brothers is releasing his latest film 'Gran Torino' on Blu-ray, ...
• Fatal Attraction and Indecent Proposal Announced - March 9, 2009
Paramount Home Entertainment has announced that they will bring Michael Douglas and Glenn Close's 'Fatal Attraction' and Woody Harrelson and Demi Moore's 'Indecent Proposal' to Blu-ray on June 9th. For both films, video will be presented in 1.85:1 1080p AVC accompanied ...
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