H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze


Fatal Attraction [Blu-ray]


(Adrian Lyne, 1987)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Paramount Pictures

Video: Paramount Home Entertainment



Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:59:28.411

Disc Size: 45,895,396,141 bytes

Feature Size: 39,345,248,256 bytes

Video Bitrate: 36.63 Mbps

Average Total Bitrate: 43.91 Mbps

Chapters: 17

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: June 9th, 2009



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



Dolby TrueHD Audio English 3106 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3106 kbps / 24-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio French 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps



English, English (SDH), French, Portuguese, Spanish, none



• Commentary by director Adrian Lyne

Forever Fatal: Remembering Fatal Attraction (28:16 - SD 1.33:1)

Social Attraction (10:00 - SD 1.33:1)

Visual Attraction (19:39 - SD 1.33:1)

• Rehearsal Footage

• Alternate Ending with Introduction by Adrian Lyne (11:51 HD)

Original Theatrical Trailer (1:34 HD)





Description: Stylish and sexy, Fatal Attraction took audiences to terrifying new heights with its thrilling story of a casual encounter gone terribly awry. This box-office smash was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director (Adrian Lyne—Indecent Proposal, Flashdance). 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.



The Film:

''Fatal Attraction,'' which opens today at the Paramount and other theaters, is a thoroughly conventional thriller at heart, but its heart is not what will attract notice. As directed by Mr. Lyne, who also made ''9 1/2 Weeks'' and ''Flashdance,'' it has an ingeniously teasing style that overrules substance at every turn. Mr. Lyne, who displays a lot more range this time, takes a brilliantly manipulative approach to what might have been a humdrum subject and shapes a soap opera of exceptional power. Most of that power comes directly from visual imagery, for Mr. Lyne is well versed in making anything - a person, a room, a pile of dishes in a kitchen sink - seem tactile, rich and sexy.

That kitchen sink is quite literally thrown into the torrid romance of Dan Gallagher and Alex Forrest, played by Michael Douglas and Glenn Close, neither of whom has previously given off much heat in other roles. However, Mr. Lyne's handiwork transforms them into a convincingly passionate pair. The change in Miss Close is especially startling, with the witchy blond tendrils and hard, steady gaze that make her character so seductive and finally so frightening. She first meets Dan at a party, then at a weekend business meeting, and after that Mr. Lyne toys luxuriantly with the viewer's expectations. In a film of his, even Miss Close's signaling Mr. Douglas to wipe some cream cheese off his nose during the meeting can have a remarkable charge.

Excerpt from Janet Maslin's review at the NY Times located HERE



Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Fatal Attraction appears to have a competent rendering to Blu-ray and while everything is pretty tight, nothing ever really jumps off the screen. Contrast never seems intense and there are signs the print may be a bit faded but overall it looks very acceptable, if flat.  Grain is visible and the 22-year old image is clean. The Blu-ray doesn't produce a glossy appearance and I don't see signs of digital manipulation. Colors show some realism - never venturing to the unnatural. It would surprise me if this looks dramatically different from the theatrical.  It's pretty good and competent if not overwhelming. It supports the film very adequately in 1080P as, hopefully, the full resolution screen captures should indicate.















Audio :

The TrueHD has some punch in the more explosive thriller moments but even at 3106 kbps isn't as comparable to modern renderings. Dialogue is centre channel and everything is consistent. There is a surprising amount of effect noises as I've noted in other Lyne films. It's helpful in supporting atmosphere as is Maurice Jarre's deft score. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu identifies this as being Region FREE.



Extras :

The supplements duplicate the last DVD edition with nothing new. The Lyne commentary is probably the most worthy. While I may be indifferent to some of his films - I find him interesting to listen to. The three featurettes are in SD and total almost an hour but are fairly dry and give short input from cast, crew and producers although there is nothing highly notable about them. It's funny to hear the controversy that existed back over 20-years ago about the subject matter that, while not tame, is more commonplace by today's standards. There is some rehearsal footage, an alt-ending and a theatrical trailer in HD.



Lyne's films have a kind of hollowness to them but are surprisingly entertaining - even upon revisitation.  Paramount are doing some fine Blu-rays and this is another one representing the film probably about as well as possible on digital. While this isn't an action film the increase in transfer characteristics deepens Fatal Attraction's moments of eliciting visceral reaction - which often seems the point of the director's work. Glenn Close is excellent and her performance escalates to such a terrifying level that it seems worth the viewing solely on that basis. It's no classic but a Hitchcockian (or perhaps maybe Chabrol-ian would be more apt) take on the modern trappings of adultery with its sexy evils laid bare. The 1080P transfer does its job very well and for those keen on seeing this film in its most thrill-inducing glory - this is the way to go.  

Gary Tooze

May 28th, 2009





About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 7500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

Samsung HPR4272 42" Plasma HDTV
Toshiba HD-A2 HD-DVD player (firmware upgraded)

Sony BDP-S300 1080p Blu-ray Disc Player (firmware upgraded)
Sony DVP NS5ODH SD-DVD player (region-free and HDMI)

Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

Gary W. Tooze








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