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The Last Seduction [Blu-ray]
(John Dahl, 1994)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Incorporated Television Company (ITC)
Region: 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Runtime: 1:49:54.916 / Director's Cut DVD: 2:08:48
Disc Size: 23,581,745,501 bytes
Feature Size: 21,126,844,416 bytes
Video Bitrate: 22.00 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: January 26th, 2015
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 24 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
English (only on the BD), none
•Original theatrical trailer (1:46 in HD)
• The Art of Seduction making-of documentary (29:01)
• Behind-the-scenes footage (8:31)
• 50 Images gallery (2:30 in HD)
Second Disc DVD (dual-layered,
anamorphic, Region 2, PAL):
Description: A critically acclaimed neo-noir, The Last
Seduction stars Linda Fiorentino as the ultimate screen
bitch: Bridget Gregory, wife of Clay Gregory, an
unscrupulous doctor who has just made almost a million
dollars from a drug deal. Stealing the money and hiding out
in 'cow country' to avoid her husband and his private
investigator, she begins a passionate affair with local man
Mike. Mike has never met anyone like Bridget. She's
intelligent, classy, beautiful, dangerous a master of
emotional and sexual manipulation. Passion, greed and
revenge forge a desperate triangle as Bridget controls
events that can only have a tragic outcome.
Director John Dahl's The Last Seduction is an updated film noir centering around a seductive, cheerfully lethal femme fatale. Bridget Gregory (Linda Fiorentino) talks her gullible, easily manipulated, doctor-husband Clay (Bill Pullman) into pulling off a $700,000 drug deal to pay off his gambling debts. But while Clay is in the shower, Bridget quietly leaves with the money. She ends up in a bar in a small town where she meets Mike (Peter Berg) and uses him to further her scheme to keep the money and get rid of her inconvenient husband. Linda Fiorentino was championed by many critics for a Best Actress Academy Award nomination, but neither she nor the movie could be nominated since the film had made its debut on cable television.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
When Wendy (Fiorentino) arrives out of the blue in a small, cow-country town near Buffalo, New York, the locals - notably Mike (Berg) - don't know what's hit them. She's smart, sexy, refuses to use the customary verbal niceties, and can twist the male population round her little finger. More importantly, unknown to Mike, who soon falls in love with her, she's not Wendy but Bridget, in hiding from husband Clay (Pullman), ever since she ran out on him, taking the entire proceeds of a drug deal he'd almost died perpetrating. And that's just the start of this tortuous, well-acted, witty, crisply photographed and immensely enjoyable thriller.Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The Last Seduction unfortunately, has a few issues on Blu-ray from Network in the UK. I'd prefer to compare this to another source (preferably HD - not only the included SD Director's Cut) before laying blame. Certain very intentionally grainy, modern films, don't always come across well in 1080P. The grain is there but so is some rather clunky background noise. I've included a zoomed-in capture at the bottom that shows digitization, edge-enhancement, some color bleeding and blocky noise. The PAL DVD is similar - it is also cropped (see comparative captures below). Generally the film, in-motion, didn't highlight these flaws - it, instead, just looks quite flat and textured. This is single-layered with a modest bitrate and perhaps a more robust technical transfer could have improved this aspect of the video presentation. Also, it is described as a 'High Definition transfer made from original film elements in its as-exhibited theatrical aspect ratio,' and I doubt the latter as this is in the bastardized 1.78:1 (not 1.85:1.) This Blu-ray is certainly imperfect but it didn't ruin my enjoyment of the film. It just doesn't look anywhere near what we have become accustomed to with this new home theater format.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
More Blu-ray Captures
We are given the option of a linear PCM in a smart, tight 2.0 channel or a standard, compressed, Dolby 5.1 surround. I only sampled the latter and I wouldn't say the film was dominated by separations - although there are a few. The score was composed by Joseph Vitarelli, who predominantly, seems to have done a lot of TV work. It has an expressive ambient jazz-noir edge that sounds excellent. The acoustic bass and horns are very stylish and atmospheric. Perfect for this film. There are optional English subtitles on the BD (not the DVD) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.
The Blu-ray disc has a 1/2 making-of documentary entitled The Art of Seduction with director John Dahl and writer Steve Barancik giving input. There is 8.5 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage, an image gallery and the original theatrical trailer in HD.
Included is a PAL DVD of the, more than 18-minute longer, Director's Cut of The Last Seduction (in SD). It comes with an optional commentary by Dahl. There are deleted scenes that run close to an hour, but they have been inserted within footage taken from the finished film in order that the footage be viewed in its original context. There is a 10-minute alternate ending with optional commentary by Dahl, and a a 1/2 hour episode from November 1995, of Fallen Angels entitled Tomorrow I Die. This episode was directed by John Dahl and Phil Joanou and stars Bill Pullman. The package contains a 12-page liner notes booklet with essay by Linda Ruth Williams entitled 'Linda Fiorentino as Screen Bitch' and photos.
Network (Theatrical Cut) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Network (Director's Cut DVD) - Region 2 - PAL
February 19th, 2015
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 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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