Bedazzled: Special Edition (2000)
Featurette-Making Of-HBO Featurette: The Making Of Bedazzled
Featurette-Behind The Scenes Of The Scoring Session
Featurette-Bedazzling Designs with Deena Appel
Audio Commentary-Harold Ramis
Audio Commentary-Elizabeth Hurley & Trevor Albert
|Year Of Production||2000|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Harold Ramis|
Twentieth Century Fox
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (96Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (96Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
A remake of the 1967 movie of the same name, Bedazzled is a fun comedy with likeable characters.
The plot of Bedazzled is loosely based on the tragic German legend of Faust (based on the sixteenth century Doctor Faustus), who sold his soul to the devil in exchange for something else. That 'something else' depends on whose version you read: sometimes it's knowledge and power that Faustus sought, other times it was a young woman called Margarete that the Devil allows Faustus to seduce. In all the versions, the protagonist discovers his folly at the end. This theme is used in a number of books and movies where the Devil has been symbolized by something else, such as a huge multi-national corporation. For example, consider the movie Wall Street where a young man sells his soul (symbolically) in exchange for power and money, only to learn his lesson at the end. After all, this story is always a moral lesson.
In this movie, Elliot (Brendan Fraser) is an unpopular geek, sorely lacking in social skills. He pines after the aloof Alison (Frances O'Connor), a seemingly unobtainable dream. Enter a rather cheerful Devil (Liz Hurley), who offers Elliot seven wishes in exchange for his soul. Elliot agrees, and a series of comic sketches follow, as each wish is granted. This gives the movie an almost chapter-like structure.
Although the movie is guilty of being a 'one joke comedy', the leads are likeable enough to make the movie enjoyable. In my opinion Hurley steals the show. She seems to have had a lot of fun with this role, and plays the Devil with a real mischievous gleam in her eye. Fraser is fine as the puppy like, and slightly dopey, Elliot and this movie offers him the opportunity to stretch his legs as a comic actor.
One quick note first: after I had finished my review, I compared my comments to Dean McIntosh's review of the rental version of this DVD (which can be read here). As our reviews of the transfer are virtually identical, I assume that this is the same transfer as the rental version, with the addition of an extra layer for the 'extras'.
The transfer is very good, and is presented in the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced.
The transfer is very sharp. For example, in close-ups every one of Liz Hurley's eyelashes are discernable. The black level and shadow detail are excellent, and a good example of this is the scene with Elliot and the Devil strolling through a dark alleyway at 14:14.
The transfer displays a rich palette of colours, and very realistic skin tones. The art direction of the movie has colours themed around characters, for example the Devil wears primarily red, while Alison wears primarily blue. It is a subtle, but clever use of colour in story-telling.
Aliasing appears frequently throughout the movie, and an obvious example is the shimmer on the background wall at 19:02.
While never becoming a problem, film artefacts appear randomly throughout the movie. There are not a great deal of them, and they are very small. Examples of these tiny white flecks can be seen at 19:22 and 30:37. In fact, a fairly large screen would be required to spot these. I use an 82cm widescreen television, and they still appeared as only 'pin pricks'.
The DVD offers eleven sets of subtitles, and the English subtitles are very accurate.
This is a Dual Layer disc, as it appears that the movie has been squeezed onto one layer and the extras on to the other. You may recall that the 'rental only' version was a single layer disc, and again the very talented people who did the compression have created a DVD that is MPEG artefact free.
The audio is excellent, and provides quite an immersive soundfield. From memory I would have to say that this is one of the most aggressive surround sound mixes that any comedy has been given.
Apart from the default English Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track, there are also two Dolby Stereo-Surround commentary tracks.
The dialogue quality and audio sync are excellent.
The musical score is credited to David Newman and consists of very subtle orchestral swells, and is used to complement the setting, such as nineteenth century USA, or twentieth century Columbia. I think that viewers will however rather remember the movie's use of songs such as Bem Bem Maria performed by The Gipsy Kings, and Wild Thing performed by Tone Loc.
The surround sound mix is very aggressive for a comedy, and the rear speakers are used effectively to help carry the score, for example at 24:40, and provide ambience, such as the sounds of the crowd when Elliot pushes through the throng of fans and press mobbing him outside a nightclub at 17:33. There are even some very effective split rear directional effects, such as the voices that stagger out of the speakers at separate intervals at 22:56.
The subwoofer is also utilized very effectively to support both the score, for example the hip-hop music at 9:28, and the sound effects, such as the explosion at 34:20.
|Surround Channel Use|
There are a number of extras on this DVD.
The main menu, which features Liz Hurley in a skimpy bikini holding a snake, offers four different themed menus: Rich, Famous, Intelligent and Sensitive. Once you select one of these themes, the next menu presents a shot of Brendan Fraser dressed as the appropriate character. The menu choices are standard across the different themed menus. All the menus are presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, with Dolby Digital stereo audio.
There are two commentary tracks, one with the director (Harold Ramis) and the other with Liz Hurley and the producer (Trevor Albert). As an actor, writer and director, Ramis is a movie comedy veteran, and he seems to have a lot of fun doing this commentary track. His credits as a director include Caddyshack (1980), National Lampoon's Vacation (1983), and Analyze This (1999). On their track, Liz Hurley and Trevor Albert make a number of interesting comments, and provide a few anecdotes.
HBO Featurette: The Making of Bedazzled (13:21)
This extra is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with Dolby Digital stereo audio. It features the usual letterboxed clips and sound bites from cast and crew, but it is livened up by Liz Hurley who attempts to make this more than your standard advertorial.
Behind the Scenes of the Scoring Sessions (2:22)
This extra is also presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with Dolby Digital stereo audio. It features a picture-in-picture image of the movie, and the orchestra recording the score.
There are two deleted scenes, one featuring extended footage of the basketball game, running for 5:49, and the other entitled 'Rock Star Fantasy', running for 10:20. Both are presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, non-16x9 enhanced, with Dolby Digital stereo audio.
Bedazzling Designs with Deena Appel (4:41)
Hosted by the movie's costume designer Deena Appel, this extra is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with Dolby Digital stereo audio. It features letterboxed clips and some behind the scenes footage relating to the many costumes that are used during the movie.
Theatrical Trailer and Television Spots
There is one trailer provided, and it runs for 2:22. It is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, non-16x9 enhanced, with Dolby Digital stereo audio. There are also three television spots, each running for 32 seconds. They are presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with Dolby Digital stereo audio.
Illustrations and photographs from the production.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
Bedazzled was released on DVD in Region 1 in March, 2001.
The Region 4 DVD misses out on:
The Region 1 DVD misses out on:
I would call it even, but would favour the local release for its affordability, and most importantly, its superior PAL image.
Bedazzled is a fun comedy with a great transfer.
The video quality is very good.
The audio quality is excellent.
The extras are plentiful.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-535, using S-Video output|
|Display||Grundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Sony STR DE-545|
|Speakers||Sony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer|