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  Directed by
    None Listed
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL )
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  Subtitles
    Hebrew, Czech, Polish, Hungarian, Portuguese, English - Hearing Impaired, Icelandic, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish
  Extras
  • 2 Deleted scenes
  • Theatrical trailer
  • 2 Audio commentary
  • Featurette
  • Photo gallery
  • Animated menus
  • Behind the scenes footage
  • 3 TV spot
  • Awards/Nominations

Bedazzled: SE

20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox . R4 . COLOR . 89 mins . M15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Having reviewed the rental-only version of this last year, and seeing as the film hasn’t exactly changed at all since then, this first section is essentially identical to the one from that review. Just scroll on down for the new bits...

The devil went down to Frisco, she was lookin' for a soul to steal...

Harold Ramis (you know, star of Stripes and Ghostbusters, director of Groundhog Day, Analyse This, the utterly skanky Multiplicity etc) pops on his directorial cap once again for this remake, no - loosely based upon take would be more appropriate - of the classic '60s Pete'n'Dud film of the same name.

Elliot Richards (the completely, totally and utterly ADORABLE Brendan Fraser) is one of those typical office dorks that you end up spending more time than you should have to simply trying to avoid getting caught up in the eddy of. Working in computer support, he's the type to carry around Polaroids of his stereo system (including the backs of his speakers!) and crash bar work colleague get-togethers without ever taking the hint that he's simply N-O-T welcome. It is at such a bar that whilst mooning over the co-worker of his dreams (the gorgeous Frances O'Connor, who gives one of the film's best performances as Alison), being needled by his invadees to speak with her, then essentially crashing and burning in a fireball of dorkdom that he makes what would seem a simple, throwaway wish - "I'd give anything to have that girl in my life".

(Pool) cue the woman in red (Liz Hurley), who assails the hapless Elliot, befuddling him with wonderings as to whether she's a hooker - or worse, a Scientologist (oops, I'd better change my locks), and eventually convinces him of her true vocation - for she is in actual fact the devil. She overheard his wish and wants to help him out - who'd a thunk that ol' Beelzebub could be such a sweetie-pie?

Baiting him into admitting his desires to be liked, loved, respected, feared - the usual male stuff - then hooning off together in her black Lamborghini (a Diablo, naturally), she drags an incredulous Elliot to her nightclub DV8, where a Twilight Zone moment sees the lad suddenly becoming the most popular boy in school, with guys high-fivin' him and girls going all melty at his mere presence. Here the Princess of Darkness lays her offer on Elliot, seven wishes in exchange for his soul.

"I can't give you my soul!"
"What are you, James Brown?!"

By now sucked into her beguiling vortex he has a cursory glance at the phonebook-thick contract and signs away, and makes what he thinks is his first wish.

Now there just wouldn’t be much of a tale to tell if things didn’t have their way of going rather awry now, would there? You wish to be very rich and powerful and married to Alison - you become a moustachioed Colombian cocaine baron whose wife is bonking her "English tutor" (you didn’t say "happily married" sweetie). You wish to be the most emotionally sensitive man in the world to woo Alison - you become a weeping ninny that bawls at the sight of sunsets, whips up salads and composes odes to dolphins. You wish to be big, strong, athletic and have legions of adoring fans to impress Alison - you are transformed into a sweat drooling, 7'6" thicker than thick (imagine taking every single phone book from an overflowing Book Muncher bin, stacking them ALL up on top of each other, measuring that and you'd still fall way short of the mark) basketballing yokel with a thimble-sized appendage. You wish to be really smart, articulate, witty sophisticated, charming and popular (oh, and don’t forget the big willy!) to sweep Alison off her tootsies - you end up - well, I won't give that one away, but you may be able to guess...

Anyway, on getting thrown in jail after being forcibly removed from a church, Elliot meets the film's Yoda (for every movie seems to have one in some shape or form nowadays), in this instance his cellmate. On realising a few home truths he tries to call off his pact with the Lizster (oops, that sounds more like a classical music buff), but to no avail - remember the contract honey. So he eventually makes his final wish and, well, to avoid spoilers let's just say that life goes on...

  Video
Contract

The rental release came on a single layered disc, this release too has no layer change, and to be honest it looks like the exact same 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced transfer has been used. This, however, is anything but a bad thing – as other than some occasional outbreaks of aliasing on the usual culprits this is a simply superb transfer. This is one vivid film, with Liz’s predominantly red wardrobe (she IS the devil, duh!) brightening up the screen delightfully, without heading into over-saturation territory. She’s not the only beacon of colour here, and in all this disc handles it all with much aplomb throughout the entire film. There are a lot of night scenes, however shadow detail never falters for a second, and when coupled with the general sharpness and detail on display this makes for one rather scrummy visual experience.

  Audio
Contract

This is one fabulous rollercoaster ride of a DD 5.1 mix. While often sonic fireworks take a backseat in comedies, nobody told that to those involved with the sound for Bedazzled. Surrounds are used rather aggressively at times, supporting everything from the usual things like music to many, many effects – the whooshes when Elliot returns from his various adventures being particularly noteworthy. Supporting this is the subwoofwoof, who gets to huff and puff along with some of the music (Tone Loc’s Wild Thing in particular benefits from this), as well as a number of spot effects throughout the film. Synching is superb, and basically anybody who doesn’t enjoy this audio experience must have forgotten to plug their ears in.

The score comes courtesy of David Newman (who has scored some utter turkeys, but also gems like Heathers, the two Bill and Teds, Never Been Kissed and Galaxy Quest), is never in your face and suits the film perfectly. The soundtrack is a curiously mixed bag, running the gamut from early '90s cheesy-doof practitioners 2 Unlimited (and you don’t get one song from them, you also get... a second song - assuming you can tell the difference, of course) to latter-day soundtrack floosies Apollo 440, via way of a couple of Spanish tunes and even a typically American '90s whine rock number. In all nothing startling, and if you rushed out to purchase the soundtrack I'd be seriously questioning your sanity, but it all works OK in the context of the film.

  Extras
Contract

Here’s where this disc takes on added shine, with a delightful assortment of goodies afforded us to make this release actually live up to its ‘Special Edition’ tag. It doesn’t disappoint.

Things begin with a quick animation of Liz and a slithery f(r)iend (the girl is MAD I tell you!), before dropping into a menu offering us a choice between ‘Rich’, ‘Famous’, ‘Intelligent’ and ‘Sensitive’. All these lead to the same options, however each has a different piccie of Mr Fraser for some of us to drool over. More Brendan for your buck, what more could you ask for? You can also drop back and choose a different theme at any time by highlighting the little red 666 pager thingy at bottom left. Otherwise we are tempted by...

Commentary – Director/co-writer/co-producer Harold Ramis: Starting off a tad almost nervously, Harold soon settles in and starts to enjoy himself in this often gappy, but regularly informative commentary. As you expect from better features such as this we are given much information on production design, locations, cast and crew – and in all this ends up quite the entertaining little listen.

Commentary – Actor Elizabeth Hurley and co-producer Trevor Albert: Hmm. This sounds suspiciously like two different recordings from two different places, although attempts seem to have been made by Trevor to make it appear otherwise. It still has its moments though, with Albert coming across quite keen, while Liz more often than not sounds like she’d rather be hanging with Donatella than sitting somewhere chatting about her exploits on set.

Featurette - The Making of Bedazzled: Made for America’s HBO, this sub-fourteen minute affair manages to do its job as a promotional piece well whilst also being entertaining. Hosted by Liz, it takes the piss out of the format a wee bit as it gives us the usual collection of film clips and interview snippets (don’t blink when Brendan comes on, as you’ll miss him), and as an added bonus features clips from some of Harold Ramis’ other flicks such as Ghostbusters, Stripes, Groundhog Day and Caddyshack. Hang around through the end credits for some fun outtakes, too.

Behind the Scenes of the Scoring Session: rather brief at just under two and a half minutes, this features main screen footage of the orchestra and composer/conductor David Newman, with the appropriate section of the film displayed in a small window at bottom left.

Deleted scenes: There may be only two, however these are simply fabulous fun, even if video and audio quality isn’t the greatest. First up is Basketball Game, where we can an extended (almost six minutes) take with the two commentators adlibbing their little hearts out, trying to outdo each other with peculiar analogies and over the top superlatives. It lacks finished sound, so it is kind of odd seeing a silent crowd mucking about behind them – however we do get to hear some prompting from Ramis, so it’s all kind of interesting.

The next is an entire wish sequence that was excised. Entitled Rock Star Fantasy, it runs for over ten minutes, and sadly is bleeped – possibly more than your average episode of The Jerry Springer Show. Here Brendan gets to experience those three little words that appeal to so many – “sex”, “drugs” and “rock’n’roll”, as a delightfully stereotypical British-accented rocker who comes across like a bastard cross between Ozzy Osborne, Marilyn Manson, Trent Reznor and Marc Bolan, with a healthy sprinkling of Sid’n’Nancy for good measure. This is an absolute cack at times, and a brilliant extra feature.

Featurette - Bedazzling Designs with Deena Appel: No, it isn’t an instructional video for a K-Tel-type product, rather this sub-five minute featurette concentrates on the vast array of drool-worthy for girls, and drool-worthy in different ways for boys, clothing worn by Liz in the film. There are some actor interview snippets, shots of early design drawings and much name dropping of fashion designers.

Theatrical trailer: Almost two and a half minutes long, this non-anamorphic, Dolby Digital 2.0 trailer isn’t really as effective as some. It does, however, feature EMF’s Andrew Dice Clay sampling Unbelievable as well as Australia’s very won Scotsmen Acca Dacca with their fabulous Highway to Hell (a rather predictable inclusion in this case, but always welcome), both of which don’t feature in the film itself.

TV spots: Three full frame affairs, each clocking in at 32 seconds, and each squeezing their jobs into the allotted time reasonably well.

Still gallery: Divided into three sections, DV8, The Devil and Her Office and Work, Brewery and Fantasies, in all 51 production drawings, logos and behind the scenes photographs are featured.

  Overall  
Contract

Featuring fabulous Faustian fun for Fraser fans – or anybody else who appreciates an enjoyably silly comedy on a well-presented DVD - Bedazzled won’t be everybody’s cup of tea, but most should find it an enjoyable 90 minute comedic diversion, and fans of special features have plenty to get down and dirty with. While fans of the 1967 Pete’n’Dud original may be up in arms about this “remake”, comparisons with that classic are quite unfair, as other than the basic gist of the plot not much else remains.

Anyway, to more important things - I want a funky fashion wardrobe like Liz gets to play with here (and I’m not talking something wooden with doors and rails)! If anybody wishes to help me out then please let me know, OK? Oh, and a partiality for redheads would be handy... ;)


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      And I quote...
    "Fabulous Faustian fun for Fraser fans – or anybody else who appreciates an enjoyably silly comedy on a well-presented DVD..."
    - Amy Flower
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Pioneer DV-535
    • TV:
          Sony 68cm
    • Receiver:
          Onkyo TX-DS494
    • Speakers:
          DB Dynamics Eclipse RBS662
    • Centre Speaker:
          DB Dynamics Eclipse ECC442
    • Surrounds:
          DB Dynamics Eclipse ECR042
    • Subwoofer:
          DTX Digital 4.8
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
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