Untamed Heart (1993)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 3-Mar-2003

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1993
Running Time 97:51
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Tony Bill
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Christian Slater
Marisa Tomei
Rosie Perez
Case ?
RPI $31.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
German for the Hearing Impaired
French
Italian
Spanish
Dutch
Swedish
Norwegian
Danish
Finnish
Turkish
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Untamed Heart is a love story about lonely waitress Caroline (Marisa Tomei) and orphaned kitchen hand Adam (Christian Slater), and the journey they take in discovering each other. The story begins by giving an insight into the bad run of luck Caroline has had with men. One late night she is attacked by two men as she walks home from work, but unknown to her her secret admirer saves the day. Adam, having worked with her at the same diner, is smitten and follows her home every day to ensure that she arrives safely. Luckily for her, he was there that night.

   With their newfound friendship, they both develop a deep attraction to each other, and Caroline discovers Adam's secret, which will impact both their lives. What follows is a slow but steady-paced telling of their growing love for each other, and how each makes the other happy beyond that which they could imagine. I must say that there are a few convenient story points that seem a little too contrived, and the dialogue does become rather laboured and overly sentimental at times (not quite cringe-worthy, but close). It must be said too, however, that the performances of Tomei and Slater are very good. I still believe that Slater is more suited to action roles, such as his role in Broken Arrow, and I will always remember Tomei as the loud but loyal wife in My Cousin Vinny (for which she won the 1992 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress), but both of them appear to have taken this story to heart and play their roles with obvious chemistry and conviction. It is a pity that the movie also stars Rosie Perez as Caroline's best friend. Perez must win the award for the most annoying voice in Hollywood.

    In short, Untamed Heart is a perhaps a love story that takes itself a little too seriously, and perhaps did not need to be so contrived. It attempts to tug on the heartstrings, but doesn't quite get there even though the lead performances are strong.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    The movie is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The sharpness level throughout the movie is quite soft, with most scenes displaying quite a blurry look. In addition to the low sharpness level, the transfer also displays some grain and has a very hazy look. It is similar in some ways to the transfers given to some Friends episodes that look as though a gauze mat has been placed over the screen, contributing to what looked like a small amount of low level noise. Black level and shadow detail was lacking in some areas, but overall was average.

    Colours seemed a little washed out, with skin tones seeming a little pale at times, but I guess this conveys the American winter well. The opening black and white sequence didn't seem quite right, displaying a slight brownish tinge instead of the expected strong blacks and whites. I am not sure if this was intended or is a problem with the transfer. However, all in all, colour is not too bad.

    I did not detect too many film artefacts with this transfer. Due to the soft nature of the transfer, aliasing is also absent. Edge enhancement is not a problem, but in many cases bright objects and objects against bright backgrounds displayed a halo effect, with the bright areas bleeding into the darker objects. Examples include the street lamps at 40:47 and snow at 51:55.

    A number of subtitles are provided. The English subtitles appeared to accurately represent the dialogue at all times.

    The disc is not RSDL-formatted and thus does not have a layer change.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     An English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s) audio track is provided.

    Dialogue is always clear with only a couple of instances that appeared to be ADR synchronisation problems.

    The music score is appropriate for this type of film, and is very mellow, soft, and depressing. It opens and closes with the Nature Boy theme song that now always reminds me of Moulin Rouge.

    Surround activity is limited, but that is to be expected for a dialogue-driven movie such as this. There were some instances of ambient activity that created a nice sound field, such as the intermittent rain and the people at the ice skating arena. The surrounds are also used sparingly to carry the score.

    I cannot recall the subwoofer being called into action during the movie.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Theatrical Trailer

    The trailer audio and video quality is very similar to that of the feature itself, and it is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 with 16x9 enhancement.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    From what I can gather, there is no difference between the Region 4 and Region 1 releases, save for the usual PAL/NTSC differences. For those inclined to purchase this DVD, I would recommend the Region 4 version.

Summary

    Untamed Heart is a love story that seems to try too hard to tug on the heartstrings, and ends up coming across as contrived. Still, very good lead performances make up for average video and audio quality.

    The video quality is average, being very soft and hazy.

    The audio is satisfactory for a film of this type.

    The token extra is nothing worth writing home about.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Chanh-Khai Ly (My biodegradable bio)
Thursday, May 01, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDOnkyo DV-SP500, using Component output
DisplayRK-32HDP81. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderOnkyo TX-SR600 with DD/DD-EX/DTS/DTS-ES matrix and discrete.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SR600
SpeakersKef KHT 2005 5.1 Home Theatre System

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Anthony H (read my bio)
The DVD Bits - Chris A

Comments (Add) NONE