Sleeping with the Enemy (1991)

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Released 3-Oct-2001

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Theatrical Trailer
Interviews-Cast & Crew-5
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1991
Running Time 94:34
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (56:48) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Joseph Ruben
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Julia Roberts
Patrick Bergin
Kevin Anderson
Case ?
RPI $36.95 Music Jerry Goldsmith


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Czech
Danish
English for the Hearing Impaired
Finnish
Hebrew
Hungarian
Icelandic
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese
Swedish
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    I should be more careful. I should research what a movie is about before I volunteer to review it. I saw the title, and thought I knew which movie this was - a comedy about a woman married to a mobster. I've since worked out that I confused it with Married to the Mob. Stop laughing!

    Sleeping with the Enemy is not a comedy. You might call it a drama, but I think I agree with the director. He says, in his sound bite, that you don't need to involve the occult for a horror film. This is definitely horror, despite the distinct lack of axe-wielding psychos in masks, bats, and telekinetic pyromaniacs.

    I'm faced with a dilemma. Normally I don't like to give away vital twists that add to the impact of the movie. But at the same time, I don't want you to buy this movie without knowing enough to decide if you will like it. If you want a strong drama, with horrific overtones, and you don't want anything to spoil your enjoyment, then skip the next paragraph. If you are concerned about the subject matter, read on...

    OK, this movie is about wife bashing, taken to an extreme. Patrick Bergin plays a man who is obsessive and controlling - towels must be lined up perfectly; everything in the cupboards in the kitchen must be perfectly straight; any slip-up and he gets violent. Oh, he buys flowers and presents afterwards, but that's hardly the point. While I was watching this I was screaming "get out!" to Julia Roberts inside my head - the movie is very effective. It's terrifying, because you start to wonder if there's some of that inside every heterosexual man - the possessiveness, the obsession, the brutality.

    There are several twists in this movie. I won't say any more, because you will want to appreciate them as they come up.

    One thing I will say: I didn't like the ending. A bit too pat. 

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This movie is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, or thereabouts. There's a black bar above the picture, but not one below.

    The image is a little soft, but is mostly clear. Shadow detail is quite good. The only low-level noise appears around 82:20, in a night-time shot.

    Colour is interesting. The first 30 minutes, or thereabouts, is kind of pastel; not washed out, just light. There's some real black, but very little else in the way of solid colour. Then real colour starts to appear. It's effective, and deliberate. There are no colour bleed issues.

    There are no significant film artefacts to be seen. There is no visible aliasing, nor any MPEG artefacts worthy of note (a little shimmer on a night sky, for example). This is quite a clean transfer.

    There are subtitles in ten languages, plus captions in English. The subtitles are white with a black border, easy to read. They are placed on the picture.

    The disc is single-sided, and dual-layered (RSDL-formatted). The layer change is sneaky. It is placed in the middle of a moment of complete blackness and silence at 56:48 - utterly invisible.



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

Audio

    There is exactly one soundtrack. It is English. It is Dolby Digital 2.0. The surround encoding flag is set, but I detected no trace of surround sound.

    Dialogue is clear and readily understood. I didn't see any glitches in audio sync.

    The score is very good. It's by Jerry Goldsmith, and he has had a bit of experience. Some scenes have no dialogue, and the score carries things by itself, and does so very well. And I must say that I won't be able to listen to Berlioz for a while (you'll understand afterwards).

    The surrounds and subwoofer don't get used by this soundtrack. That's fine - they're not needed.



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

Extras

Menu

    The main menu is static and silent - simple, but functional, and actually rather attractive.

Theatrical Trailer (1:47)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. Don't watch it before the movie unless you want to spoil (some of) the twists.

Sound Bites

    These are short grabs from each of the five main people associated with this movie. These are less self-congratulatory and more insightful than many.

R4 vs R1

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

    As far as I can discover, this movie is yet to be released on DVD in Region 1. I'm surprised. But it makes the "which is better" decision kinda easy, doesn't it?

Summary

    Sleeping With The Enemy is a dramatic, involving movie, presented well on DVD.

    The video quality is rather good.

    The audio quality is very good for a stereo mix.

    The extras are limited.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Saturday, October 13, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDArcam DV88, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left and Right: Krix Euphonix, Centre: Krix KDX-C Rears: Krix KDX-M, Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

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