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Adrian Lyne buffs the premise of Honeymoon in Vegas to a fine gloss in this yuppie melodrama that poses the conundrum of whether the loving husband of an equally loving wife will accept $1 million to allow his wife to spend one night with a billionaire who looks like Robert Redford.
For more about Indecent Proposal and the Indecent Proposal Blu-ray release, see Indecent Proposal Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on June 4, 2009 where this Blu-ray release scored 2.5 out of 5.
Starring: Robert Redford, Demi Moore, Woody Harrelson, Oliver Platt, Seymour Cassel, Billy Bob Thornton
Director: Adrian Lyne
» See full cast & crew
Indecent Proposal Blu-ray Review
Should you shell out the Blu-ray cash for a night with 'Indecent Proposal?'
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, June 4, 2009
Some things aren't for sale.
The early 1990s saw several risqué pictures steam up theaters, among them Paul Verhoeven's edgy, well-made thriller Basic Instinct, the throwaway outing Sliver (also featuring Sharon Stone), and Director Adrian Lyne's (Fatal Attraction) star-studded Indecent Proposal. Featuring a cast that boasts the names Robert Redford (Spy Game), Demi Moore (G.I. Jane), Woody Harrelson (Natural Born Killers), Oliver Platt (Flatliners), and character actor Seymour Cassel, it's a shame that Indecent Proposal ultimately plays out as completely vapid and without much meaning or depth. Playing with the idea of and the repercussions from a one night, million-dollar tryst on both a young, financially-struggling married couple and the billionaire playboy that comes between them, Indecent Proposal features a good premise that could have made for one of the better psychological Dramas of the decade. Seemingly meant to examine the bonds of love, the allure of money, and the struggle to reconcile between the two, Indecent Proposal does little more than tickle the surface, playing out as shallow melodrama with a predictable story arc and good character development that falls by the wayside when the plot needs it to.
High school sweethearts David (Harrelson) and Diana (Moore) married young but are deeply in love and reconcile their differences with but a touch and a kiss. Financially stable -- David an architect and Diana a real estate agent -- it seems they live a storybook marriage. When a recession hits and the housing market dries up, the couple faces their first real challenge and head to Vegas on a whim to try and win the money they need to pull through. Hearty earnings the first night turn to a total loss on the second. While there, Diana has a chance meeting with billionaire John Gage (Redford) who ultimately offers the couple one million dollars -- a lifetime's financial security -- for but one fleeting night with Diana. The couple accepts the offer not through a handshake and the exchange of cash but rather via a legal document involving David's attorney (Platt). Though the encounter promises to last but one night, its repercussions will be felt long after Diane returns to David in the morning, each a changed person, questioning their own moral code, their trust in one another, and the very love that seemed unbreakable only hours before.
Indecent Proposal begins well enough by setting up the two primary characters as sympathetic, love-struck nobodies that struggle to get by and seem to place their affections for one another above all else. Their Vegas exploits and chance meeting with Gage make for intriguing cinema, but from there on the film conveniently allows the relationship to fizzle for the sake of the plot and at the expense of the previously -- and strongly -- defined relationship. Though desperate for cash, the decision to allow the one-night stand comes far too easily and its fallout all too predictably. The film never explores more than the most shallow of repercussions, and for as believably as it sets up the relationship between Diana and David, it unbelievably and all-too-conveniently dismisses it. For a time, the movie plays as at once unsettling, depressing, and heartbreaking, at least until it moves into dull and trite territory where it wallows in plot contrivances and ends with a whimper, the none-too-surprising ending capping a second half that drags and fails to capitalize on the plot's good idea and the first half's compelling set-up.
Indecent Proposal Blu-ray, Video Quality
Indecent Proposal makes its high definition debut with a 1080p, 1.78:1-framed transfer. Heavy grain dominates most every shot. Viewers will note above-average levels of detail throughout, particularly in several interior kitchen shots of David and Diana's home. Detail never fluctuates much between the foreground and background; objects appear generally sharp in both areas of the frame, though close-up shots don't particularly stand out as strikingly impressive. The many interior casino shots also don't showcase an abundance of fine detail. Appearing slightly hazy, textures and depth don't particularly impress, but they don't necessarily look bad, either. Colors do tend to stand out, a few bright, outdoor scenes later in the picture reveal strong hues, but the aforementioned casino sequences don't revel in the abundance of colors one might expect of them. Flesh tones remain a neutral shade throughout, but blacks occasionally devour background details. All in all, this isn't a bad transfer. It's not exactly handsome, either, but it is rendered well enough on Blu-ray.
Indecent Proposal Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Indecent Proposal arrives on Blu-ray with a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless soundtrack. This front-heavy mix never stands above the crowd. Ambient casino noise spreads out across the front to good effect, with beeps, buzzes, patron chatter, and the coins spilling out of slot machines playing well here and there. However, there is no sense of total immersion into the experience as the rear channels rarely come out to support the front. A few outdoor scenes midway through the picture feature the faint sounds of rustling grass, a blowing breeze, or a dog barking in the distance. Once again, the experience doesn't necessarily impress but the results don't surprise considering Indecent Proposal's early 1990s roots. A few effects do pour into the back speakers on occasion, but they rest for most of the two hours for this one. Music plays clearly enough and dialogue never sounds muffled. Indecent Proposal offers up a suitable soundtrack that supports the film's basic sonic needs but does little else.
Indecent Proposal Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Certainly not sporting a million-dollar supplemental package, Indecent Proposal fails to seduce buyers seeking a long list of extras on the back of the box. All that is included here is a middling commentary track with Director Adrian Lyne. He dryly delivers a plethora of information, including shooting locales, shooting around casino rules and requests, working with the legendary Robert Redford, why he likes particular scenes, and more. Though plagued by some gaps, the track flows well enough and fans of the picture, its director, or both should enjoy it.
Indecent Proposal Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Indecent Proposal proposes a good idea that is handled expertly at first and indecently for the remainder of the picture. A good first half, marked compelling drama; solid acting; and good, fundamental filmmaking falls by the wayside in favor of a trite and superfluous experience that never really touches upon but in a superficial sense the repercussions of the affair. Though still worth watching for the good first half and above-average performances from its collection of A-list talent, Indecent Proposal isn't nearly as good as Adrian Lyne's best works but it is representative of his fascination with the world of erotica also explored in films like Fatal Attraction, 9 1/2 Weeks, and Unfaithful. Paramount's Blu-ray release doesn't particular impress. The transfer seems faithful enough to the source, the lossless soundtrack plays predominantly through the front speakers, and a director's commentary track makes up the entirety of the supplements. Worth a rental for the curiously inclined.
Indecent Proposal: Other Editions
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