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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » A Night In Heaven
A Night In Heaven
Starz / Anchor Bay // R // August 9, 2005
List Price: $14.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Raymond So | posted August 5, 2006 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:
The 1983 movie 'A Night In Heaven' is the story of a school teacher, Faye Hanlon, played by Leslie Ann Warren, who falls under the seductive spell of her hot young college student, Ricky Monroe (Christopher Atkins) who moonlights as a male stripper named Ricky Rocket. After failing Ricky in her class, she goes out with friends to a male strip show only to be shocked to find her student performing there. Ricky makes his teacher the focus of his striptease, which gets her all hot and bothered despite the fact that she is married. Meanwhile, Faye has to contend with her increasingly rocky marriage, particularly as her husband deals with losing his job at the Space Agency. Things get complicated as the flirting turns more heated and her husband begins to suspect her infidelity.

This movie really capitalized on Christopher Atkins' post-'Blue Lagoon' sex symbol status, in a decidedly more adult role than that breakout film. Atkins is shirtless or in early-Eighties' style short shorts in much of the film, perfect for showcasing his toned, muscular body. And, just like those infamous fully-nude shots of Atkins in 'The Blue Lagoon', this movie also gives viewers a quick but clear glimpse of Atkins' manhood and a couple of fully nude scenes.

The chance to see Atkins' body is really the main selling point, as the storyline seems like an afterthought, without much plot development. Atkins does exhibit an undeniably irresistible boyish charm, but the other actors have very peripheral roles and basically sleepwalk through their performances.

The movie is also notable for its soundtrack, particularly its hit theme song "Heaven" by Bryan Adams, as well as the original version of "Obsession" performed by Michael Des Barres and Holly Knight (later made famous by the band Animotion), plus tracks from such 80's musical icons as English Beat, Split Enz, Jan Hammer, and Gary U.S. Bonds.

The DVD:

Video:
The film is presented in its original 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio, enhanced for 16x9 TVs. The film has the look of a film from the early 80's that has not gone through a thorough clean-up and enhancement process for DVD release. Color tones are a bit muted and soft, and the level of detail is substandard. While certainly somewhat better than a VHS tape, it is definitely not as good as it could be. Fortunately, there are no noticeable artifacts or other visual defects.

Audio:
There is one audio track only, which is Dolby Digital Mono. Surprisingly, there is a fair amount of fidelity for being a mono track, probably about equivalent to what one would expect from an FM radio broadcast. This is particularly important since the movie has a heavily pop/rock soundtrack. Voices are clear and understandable in the audio mix.

Extras:
This disc is really barebones. It includes only a chapter selection option and a trailer for this movie and other releases from the studio. The trailer for 'A Night In Heaven' is quite poor quality, looking like an old dub from a video tape. The best of the miniscule extras are the included trailers for the classic 80's flicks 'License to Drive', 'Rhinestone', and 'Six Pack' that were a nice blast from the past.

Final Thoughts:
This film was a "guilty pleasure" for a lot of middle-aged housewives and more than a few budding young gay men who flocked to theaters to see the sexy Christopher Atkins strip for them. We imagine there were more than a few sighs from the audience every time Atkins appeared with his shirt off. Atkins generates a lot of erotic energy on-screen and he is really the reason to see the film. The short 84-minute length doesn't allow for much plot development, and the storyline is pure fluff to provide excuses for Atkins to appear on-screen shirtless. If you fancy Atkins, you probably already own 'The Blue Lagoon', and you might want to add this to your collection as it shows just about as much of Atkins shirtless, and with an older, more muscular and toned build. For others, this is worth a late-night rental, as the film is at least enjoyable fluff for those into male eye-candy.

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