Bedazzled: Special Edition
Based on the 1967 film of the same name and released theatrically last year, Bedazzled was directed by Harold Ramis, and stars Brendan Fraser (Elliot), Elizabeth Hurley (Devil), and Frances O'Connor (Alison).
Elliot Richards is a rather obnoxious loser who is ignored by his co-workers at his tech support job at Syne Dyne. One night at a bar, Elliot, feeling rather rejected, runs into his co-workers who had been trying to avoid him. Elliot attempts to make conversation when he sees Alison, the secret love of his life who has also worked with him at Syne Dyne for the past four years. His "friends" goad him into talking to her, and though he tries, she walks away. He then mumbles to himself that he would do anything to have her in his life. The Devil, who hears his plea, befriends him and offers him seven wishes in exchange for his soul. Determined to be with Alison, he accepts and signs the Devil's contract. Each of his wishes often leads to comic results and an unhappy ending for Elliot; but will he be able to get it right before he loses his soul?
I really enjoyed Bedazzled, though admittedly, some wishes are funnier than others. Fraser does a remarkable job, as does Hurley, and they work really well with each other. The only slight problem I had with the film was that Elliot really doesn't put much thought into each wish. The Devil prompts him with something, and instead of combining it with his previous wishes and thinking it over, he rushes in blindly. It probably wouldn't be as funny that way though.
Bedazzled is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen that is THX-approved. The transfer is nothing short of fantastic! Blacks are rich and deep with lots of detail, and flesh tones appear natural. Colors are likewise vibrant and bold, and I didn't see any oversaturation or smearing. No flaws are present that I detected, exactly as one would expect from a film only a few months old.
Bedazzled is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 in English and Dolby Surround 2.0 in English and French. I was impressed by how active the 5.1 track was; usually comedies are a bit light in surround, but not this one. Surrounds in the Columbia Drug Lord wish especially impressed me; they were well utilized and sounded amazing. The score, likewise, sounds fantastic in 5.1. Dialogue throughout the film remains crisp and clean with no distortion that I could detect. Subtitles are also included in English and Spanish.
Bedazzled is billed as a Special Edition, and it certainly lives up to the title. Included is not one, but two commentary tracks. The first is with Ramis and the second is with Hurley and producer Trevor Albert. Each track has its pros and cons, though. Ramis shares quite a few stories about the production and what it was like working with the actors involved, but towards the end, the track becomes rather uninteresting. Hurley and Albert's track is a bit less informative, with Albert's main focus on locations and Hurley remaining rather quiet throughout. Both though, are recommended for fans of the film. There's also two featurettes. The first is the HBO Making of featurette which Hurley hosts and it contains interviews with Fraser, Ramis, and others, though its rather short at about 14 minutes in length. The second is a featurette on the costume designs by Deena Appel. While rather short at about five minutes, it too is fairly interesting. The two scoring sessions on the disc show some of the process involved in scoring the film; each lasts about a minute. An extended scene of the basketball announcers making jokes is on here as well. Rounding out the disc are three still galleries featuring conceptual artwork and photos, the theatrical trailer, three TV spots, the THX Optimode calibration tests, extra NUON features, and a hidden easter egg that features a long deleted scene with Elliot as a rock star.
The menus, I felt, are also worth a mention. When the disc is first accessed, you're prompted to pick one of four "wishes:" rich, famous, intelligent, or sensitive. The main menu screens then correspond to your pick, and they all differ. It's a neat and unique feature that I felt added to the home experience.
Bedazzled is a terrific comedy that fans of Fraser, Hurley, or director Ramis should definitely see. Fox has done an amazing job with the DVD; the picture and sound are incredible and the disc boasts an enormous amount of extras. Highly Recommended!