Mean-spirited. Nasty. Spiteful. Evil. All words that apply to this comedy. And they’re compliments.
Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas are Barbara and Oliver Rose. They’ve had seventeen wonderful years together. But their marriage collapses. Their hatred for each other emerges, and a tit for tat battle erupts, each indignity that one inflicts on the other inviting greater retaliation. The war escalates into a total domestic Armageddon. This is uncompromising black comed…, one that works out its gleefully nasty logic all the way through.
Generally speaking, the sound is very nice. The surround mix is solid, giving us good music and effects from the front and rear (though the rear effects are just a touch on the low key side, and could be pumped up a bit more). There is sometimes slight distortion on the upper registers of the voices.
Now this is nice. The picture is in its original 1.85:1 widescreen format, and there are no transfer flaws. But where the disc really excels is in the colours. They are rich, deep and vibrant, truly glorious. Flesh tones are bang-on, the reds are crimson, the blacks pitch-black. This is one of the best looking discs I’ve seen in a while.
The menu’s main page is scored, but it is also, like the other pages, still. The transitions, however, are fully animated, and quite funny.
The extras are considerable. Director Danny DeVito’s commentary is enthusiastic, witty, and covers just about everything. It is very scene specific, and his discussion ranges over such technical minutiae as the squeak of a door that pleased him, the thematic purposes of a given shot, and his theories about filmmaking in general. DeVito also introduces a montage of deleted scenes. This montage is fun, but has one drawback in that you cannot watch the scenes individually, and there is no commentary about why they were deleted.
Then there are the various galleries. You can view storyboards (accompanied by stills from the actual film) for four different sequences. There are sketches of the Rose house, and DeVito’s computer sketches. The still gallery itself is divided into sub-galleries covering production, visual effects props, and posters. The pictures are not labelled.
There are four different theatrical trailers, six TV spots, and even a THX optimizer. Oh yeah, and there is also the complete script of the film. That enough for you?
Have you had just one too many romantic comedies shoved down your throat? Here’s the perfect antidote, and packed with features to boot.
Special Features List
- Director’s Commentary by Danny DeVito
- Montage of Deleted Scenes
- Theatrical Trailers and TV Spots
- Computer Sketches
- Sketches of the Rose House
- Still Galleries
- THX Optimode