Bedazzled (Rental) (2000)
|Year Of Production||2000|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||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)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||Yes|
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Nonetheless, when Bedazzled is examined as a whole rather than the sum of its parts, what one has here is a comedy that stands reasonably well on its own merits. The film begins with Elliot Richards (Brendan Fraser) reporting for another day at work at Synedyne computer systems. His workmates Carol (Miriam Shor), Dan (Orlando Jones), and Bob (Paul Adelstein) all pretty much hold him in very low regard, thanks in no small part to his personality. Elliot is a complete dork who couldn't attract a woman if his life depended upon it, in spite of his sweet nature, and his workmates let him know as much when he meets them in a bar one night after work. He attempts to prove them wrong by talking to Alison (Frances O'Connor), a woman who works in the same building that he has been secretly admiring from afar. Of course, the conversation doesn't go as well as he would like, a fact that has been patiently observed by The Devil (Elizabeth Hurley). She decides to help Elliot out of his misery, taking him for a ride in her Lamborghini Diablo (I always knew she drove one of those) and taking him to her rather stylish nightclub.
Once there, she offers Elliot a deal, in that he must give her his soul in exchange for seven wishes. Elliot isn't quite so sure about this deal, so The Devil shows him a taste of what he could have if only he wished for exactly the right thing, in the right wording and so forth. Once Elliot sees himself with the woman of his dreams on The Devil's special multi-screen display, he needs no further persuasion to sign on the dotted line, and so begins the first of seven escapades that result from his wishes. Before beginning on the first of numerous escapades, The Devil hands Elliot a special pager upon which he can call her if anything goes wrong. As Elliot wishes to be everything that he perceives Alison to want, we see one amusing sequence after another with The Devil reappearing in various skimpy outfits to try and help him get it all right.
One IMDB user recommends "seeing the 1967 Bedazzled if you are over the age of thirty and leaving this new one for kids who don't know any better". Well, although I haven't seen the 1967 version of this film, I can't really imagine it having any more impact upon me than this effort (which isn't a great deal to begin with). I know better, and I still would prefer Brendan Fraser and Elizabeth Hurley to Dudley Moore (who has never impressed me as being able to play anything other than a drunken loser, anyway) and Peter Cook. The real flaw in this film is that it doesn't explore the characters deeply enough, with numerous opportunities for clever and funny sidetracks being missed. Exploring Elliot's personality below a superficial level could have turned up all sorts of interesting asides and depths that might have raised this film above the level of cheap humour. As it stands, I really can only recommend Bedazzled for the occasional viewing at moments when you're not in a demanding mood.
The transfer is extremely sharp, with a myriad of fine detail for the viewer to snag their eyes upon. The shadow detail is excellent in the same way that any transfer in which you can pick out a Lamborghini Diablo from the darkness of the night can be said to have excellent shadow detail. There is no low-level noise.
The colours of the film are faithfully rendered, with plenty of striking shades on offer for the viewer to behold. The location of the film varies between places such as South America or Oakland, both of which throw some varied and rich colour schemes at the viewer. There were no problems with bleeding or composite artefacts.
MPEG artefacts were not a problem for this transfer. Film-to-video artefacts, specifically aliasing, are a real problem in this transfer. Some rather distracting examples of aliasing occur at 1:40, 3:19, 3:26, 3:56, 4:40, 7:32, 8:50, 10:31, 10:42, 11:24, 13:31, 15:45, 17:13, 17:53, 19:02, 19:43, 20:32, 21:22, 21:55, 23:19, 28:29, 29:23, 30:53, 31:28, and 31:35. Then there's twenty-nine more equally distracting examples of aliasing that simply shouldn't occur in a transfer of this nature. The aliasing in this transfer gets to be very distracting and annoying after a while. Film artefacts were not a problem for this transfer.
The dialogue is clear and easy to understand at all times, although it is easy to be thrown for a loop by some sound effects and then miss a line when one is viewing this film for the first time. A small but significant number of lines in the film are spoken in Spanish, with translations appearing to be burned into the video rather than encoded as a subtitle stream, which is somewhat off-putting when you can understand enough Spanish to follow what is being said. A much smaller number of lines are spoken in Russian, which are also accompanied by burned-in subtitles. Although I don't speak a word of Russian, I think it is safe to assume that the same complaint applies here. There are no discernible problems with audio sync.
The music in this film is credited to David Newman, with contemporary numbers supervised by Dawn Solér. Neither component of the music in this film left an impression upon me, either negative or positive, which is even less of an endorsement than my being able to say the music left a negative impression.
The surround channels are used in this soundtrack to support the sounds of speeding cars, crashing waves, gunfire, explosions, cheering crowds, and numerous other directional effects from the situations Brendan Fraser and his character are thrown into. No two sequences in this film use the surrounds in quite the same way, although there are no moments when the soundfield becomes monaural or even frontal in nature. The result is a soundfield that draws the listener into the film, but is somewhat hard to get fully comfortable with because it shifts from an action mood in one scene to a pseudo-romantic mood in another.
The subwoofer was similarly used in a constant fashion to support the sounds of cars, explosions, crashing waves, and other such bass-heavy effects. At no time did it call attention to itself, although the opportunities for its use to become more sporadic were greater in number than is the case with the surrounds. That, however, is no fault of the audio transfer, per se.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;
The video transfer consists of far too much aliasing.
The audio transfer is excellent.
The extras are non-existent.
|DVD||Toshiba 2109, using S-Video output|
|Display||Samsung CS-823AMF (80cm). Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Amplification||Sony STR DE-835|
|Speakers||Yamaha NS-45 Front Speakers, Yamaha NS-90 Rear Speakers, Yamaha NSC-120 Centre Speaker, JBL Digital 10 Active Subwoofer|