Tempted (2001)

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Released 9-Sep-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Main Menu Audio
Scene Selection Audio
Theatrical Trailer
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Interviews-Cast & Crew
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 91:26
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Bill Bennett
Studio
Distributor

Magna Home Entertainment
Starring Burt Reynolds
Saffron Burrows
Peter Facinelli
Mike Starr
George Dicenzo
Eric Mabius
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $14.95 Music David Bridie


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, During the opening credits

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

Plot Synopsis

    Tempted is basically a story set in the steamy south of the US in which Charlie Le Blanc, played by Burt Reynolds (Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Cannonball Run, Sharky's Machine) is a wealthy construction magnate. Charlie just so happens to have a beautiful and much younger wife, Lilly, played by Saffron Burrows (Enigma, Deep Blue Sea). As it turns out, Charlie is suffering a terminal illness, and as is the wont of all people in that situation (!) he decides to test the fidelity of his wife by offering to pay someone to seduce her. He meets one of his junior construction staff, Jimmy Mulate, Peter Facinelli (Supernova, Blue Ridge Fall), and offers him a tidy sum of money to attempt the deed.

    Reluctantly, at first, Jimmy, who just so happens to be studying Law part-time and needs the money, takes up Charlie's generous offer. Predictably enough, the attraction slowly develops between Jimmy and Lilly and leads to a story of lust, revenge, violence, twists and just a bit more lust.

    The cast, except for Burt Reynolds, appears to be relatively inexperienced in big screen productions although they put up a fair effort in Tempted, at least in terms of B-grade films.

    I personally found that whilst Saffron Burrows was distractingly attractive on-screen, Burt Reynolds was even more so, but for the wrong reasons! His appearance was quite strange, which I think was a combination of many obvious facelifts, as well as the odd contrast of his black moustache and eyebrows with his grey hair!  His face just looked tight and 'empty' of any acting ability. Some people might say he was always that way, even before cosmetic enhancement!

    The film was written and directed by Bill Bennett, whose previous works include Spider and Rose, and Two if by Sea.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The picture was clear at all times, albeit just slightly softer than some other recent releases. The softness was probably inherent in the original, to add to the steaminess of the story, or perhaps even to be a little flattering to Burt Reynolds. The shadow detail was good, though not exceptional, throughout, except in some overly dark night scenes in the graveyard.

    A strong golden-red colour was prevalent, and obviously artificial, throughout the entire film, no doubt to give the viewer the feeling of being in New Orleans. While it was effective in some scenes, I felt that it did get a little overwhelming after a while. The rich colour did make skin tones look a little artificial and also was on the verge of oversaturation in some scenes, for example, in the bar scene at 30:40. There was also very slight grain visible against the sky and white walls in a few scenes, but nothing really noticeable or distracting.

   The only traces of film artefacts that I spotted were very a few negative artefacts which showed up as small white flecks. These were not really noticeable unless they were specifically being looked for.

    There was an odd bit of what looked like posterization in the night scenes in the graveyard in Chapter 7, although in hindsight this might have been more the noticeable loss of shadow detail during those scenes.

    Somewhat surprisingly, there were no subtitles at all.

    This is a single layered disc.

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

Audio

    For a fairly low-budget, non-blockbuster style of film, this film has a superb soundtrack.

    The audio is offered in two flavours; English Dolby Digital 5.1 and English Dolby Digital 2.0 with surround encoding.

    I listened to the entire 5.1 soundtrack and extensively sampled the 2.0 one as well.

    Dialogue was clear and in sync with the actors' lips at all times. Occasionally I did find that the put-on Southern accents were a little difficult to decipher but that wasn't a fault of the transfer.

    The music, by David Bridie, whom I think is Australian like much of the principal crew, suited the on-screen action well without being memorable in any way.

    The soundstage was wonderfully spread across all the surround speakers extremely well almost right through the film. The rear speakers carried plenty of directional and ambient effects, as well as the music. Although there were too many examples to list here, a particularly good use of rear speakers occurred at 0:56. Also, at 13:00 there was a very good example of how rear surrounds should create an effective ambience, with the various noises of the construction site giving good depth and width to the soundstage behind the listener.

    There were also numerous examples of Foley effects being well placed across the front speakers, even doors being opened, and suchlike.

    The 2.0 soundtrack also used the surrounds well, within its parameters of course.

    The subwoofer was equally well used to support effects, such as the many engine sounds (do modern Lexus V8s really sound like throbbing hotrods???), eg at 7:26, as well as for music. A good example of the sub supporting both music and effects simultaneously was at 17:47.

    Only in very few, purely dialogue scenes did the soundstage fall towards the front, but even this didn't feel really lacking as it suited the actual scenes.

    Overall this was a great Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack that puts some recent big-budget extravaganzas to shame with its use of the front and rear surrounds and the subwoofer.

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

Extras

    All menus were presented in 1.78:1 and were 16x9 enhanced. They were all still but with looped audio effects or music from the film in Dolby Digital 2.0 surround. The audio for the 'scene selection' menu was particularly effective as it was rain and thunder that seemed to get progressively louder and more intense.

    The main menu allowed the user to choose between playing the film, select scenes, select Dolby Digital 5.1 (default) or 2.0 audio, and enter the Extras menu.

Trailer  (1:45)

    The film's original trailer presented in 1.85:1 letterboxed, not 16x9 enhanced. The audio was Dolby Digital 2.0 with surround.

Featurette - Behind the Scenes  (4:22)

    This short featurette was presented in 1.33:1 full screen with Dolby Digital 2.0 surround audio. There was no narrator or interviewer  - this was just a collection of short, behind-the-scenes segments, sometimes without sound. The picture was good at all times, but this would have been far more meaningful if it had had some narration and/or longer clips.

Interviews

    Selecting this option brings up a submenu of five interviews: Bill Bennett, Saffron Burrows, Burt Reynolds, Peter Facinelli, and Tony Clark. Oddly enough, there is no interviewer, but the questions appear on screen before the actual response from the 'interviewee', which is often no longer than 20 seconds.

    Bill Bennett (runtime 3:49). Claims that when he was young he asked his best friend to seduce his girlfriend as a test. This was the basis for making Tempted. Footage for his responses was obviously taken from two different interviews.

    Saffron Burrows (3:39). Gee it's very hard to have to watch Saffron for another few minutes (not!). It is far nicer to hear her in her native English accent rather than the Southern accent she had to put on for this film.

    Burt Reynolds (3:04). Talks about his on-screen character and the relationships between the various characters in the film. I still find his appearance odd....

    Peter Facinelli (3:59). Talks about the character he plays, and the background work he put in to characterise the part.

    Tony Clark (1:20). Also sounds like an Aussie, or dare I say, perhaps a New Zealander? Interesting but brief discussion of the photography for Tempted.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 4 release misses out on:

    The Region 1 release misses out on:

    Unless you really want or need the Spanish soundtrack, the R4 release is by far the better one, and much cheaper, too!

Summary

    Tempted is one of those films that bypassed the cinemas here and went straight onto the video shelves. Even its cover reminds me of those rental videos that one notices but never really picks up unless all the desirable titles are out!  In fact, within its constraints of being a high-quality B grade film, it's not too bad. It's quite well made technically, and the performers put in a reasonable effort. The plot, though it does rehash elements from other films, is still reasonably twisty, enough so to make it entertaining. I did find the scenes without Burt Reynolds somehow more enjoyable. I think age hasn't been to kind to him; where once he was a young mediocre actor, he's now just an older, mediocre actor.

    The film is presented on a good DVD which offer great surround sound, a good video transfer, and some extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Satish Rajah (don't read my bio!)
Tuesday, September 16, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-344 Multi-Region, using S-Video output
DisplaySony KV-XA34M31 80cm. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2801
SpeakersMain: Mission 753; Centre: Mission m7c2; rear: Mission 77DS; Sub: JBL PB10

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