I’ve found a new crime genre: New Orleans noir. I’ve seen a few of these in the past month. The films seem to be about the flawed people of Louisiana (the Pelican State, by the way) and center around steamy murders and love affairs. All made with a certain bayou charm. Tempted is another movie that fits this pattern. It has all the makings of a guilty pleasure.
Tempted stars, Stroker Ace himself, Burt Reynolds as a well known New Orleans business magnate who hires a young stud employee (…eter Facinelli) to sleep with his wife (Saffron Burrow) for a lot of cash. Facinelli has moral qualms, of course, but he is a struggling law student. Why the hell not. Would you do it? Would I? That’s for me to know and for you to find out. Complications arise… seductions, twists, death… you know the deal. It’s all been done before and seems vaguely familiar to Body Heat with Kathleen Turner. Tempted is B movie trash. But the good news is that the movie is not afraid to admit it. I like the honesty.
Burt Reynolds, naturally, has seen better days. Burt has always had the Cannonball Run’s, but he’s also had the Boogie Nights and the Deliverance’s. There is a good actor inside the former host of Win, Lose, or Draw. Burt’s ice cold eyes are steely sharp in this campy role. And there’s a Burt sex scene! The man is almost 70 years old. He’s still got it, but you know who does all the work. Saffron Burrows is one of the most beautiful women on the planet. I discovered her work in Mike Figgis’s Miss Julie. She’s stunning, talented, and British. Her Louisiana accent is a bit shaky at times, but she’s the perfect film noir woman; she’s to die for. Peter Facinelli has some nice moments. At heart, his character is a decent man. But, like most people, he can succumb to the basest of actions; Facinelli plays these traits well.
Whether you choose the Dolby Digital 5.1 or 2.0 surround track, you will not notice much of a difference. Most surround effects include music and sounds of nature. In the 5.1 track it’s just louder, and even a bit distracting at times. It’s an intimate movie, about people and plotting. I was surprised at the choice of the 5.1 track. I guess it looks good on the cover, but did not add much in terms of directionality. The dialogue is very distinct; Burt’s gravely voice is heard loud and clear. The soundtrack also sounds quite good on your speakers.
Surprised again… this 1.33:1 fullscreen transfer is very clean. One of the best direct to DVD transfers I’ve seen. Hardly any print damage at all. Edge enhancements and halos…minimal. Blacks are good, and the flesh tones look good. Saffron has a nude scene from the back and…well…never mind. But the movie seems to be bathed in this bayou bronze. It totally works for the lurid locale. The transfer does the cinematography justice. Well done! I just wish it was widescreen instead of 1.33:1.
Some cast bios. That’s about it. The Menu looks cool, but isn’t scored.
Tempted is a very tempting rental. It’s got Burt. It’s got Saffron. It’s trashy. It’s got Dolby Digital 5.1 as well as a good transfer. Rent it, and take a bath in bayou swamp water.
Special Features List
- Cast Bios