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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Femme Fatale
Femme Fatale
Warner Bros. // R // March 25, 2003
List Price: $26.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Ron J. Epstein | posted March 24, 2003 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Recommended
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
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The Feature:
I'll be honest here. The only reason I jumped at the chance of reviewing this movie is because it's an erotic thriller featuring Rebecca Romijin-Stamos. I know, that's pretty unprofessional of me, but hey, we all have our vices. Lucky for me (and you), what I was given was more than an excuse to just parade Romijin-Stamos in various states of undress; instead, it's a well-crafted jewel heist movie centered around a severe case of mistaken identity.

The movie opens on the eve of the 2001 Cannes International Film Festival. Laure Ash (Rebecca Romijin-Stamos) and her associates have a plan to steal $10 million in diamonds that, barely, adorn the body of a supermodel attending the evening's festivities. The plan consists of Laure Ash luring the supermodel into the ladies bathroom, and making out with her for a few minutes. Far-fetched? Yes. Am I complaining? No.

Anyways, Laure double-crosses her associates and changes her identity. Enter Nicolas Bardo (Antonio Banderas). As a member of the paparazzi, he takes her picture thinking Laure is someone she is not. Seven years later, they meet again. To be fair, I will not disclose any more of the movie's plot, as I feel I have given away too much already.

Brian De Palma's "Femme Fatale" is a very good movie. Instead of relying on MTV-style quick edits, and simplistic dialogue, it relies on the patience of its audience. There were some spots where I didn't even notice that 10 minutes went by without any dialogue because I was so into what was, or was not, about to happen. I appreciated the fact that "Femme Fatale" was something different.

Video:
Warner Brothers presents "Femme Fatale" in Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1. Colors are sharp and lively (especially the ones the nighttime scenes), and flesh tones look accurate. Because "Femme Fatale" relies so heavily on visuals, it's nice to see that Warner Brothers did such a good job on the transfer here. There is essentially no artifacting, grain, or pixelation present here.

Audio:
The audio is presented here in Dolby 5.1 Surround and French 5.1. The movie relies heavily on the ambiance the score provides, as well as background noises. Engines rumble, and footsteps have a chilling effect (especially in the scene where an unknown woman runs away from the men chasing her). Everything sounds crisp and clean, and there are no audio dropouts whatsoever.

Menus:
Interactive DVD menu with scenes from the movie offers the choices of "Play Movie", "Scene Selections", "Special Features", and "Languages."

Extras:
Unfortunately, there are no commentaries present (I would have loved to have heard from De Palma). Instead, we're given three featurettes. The first one is called "Visualizing Femme Fatale" The second one is "Femme Fatale: An Appreciation". And the last one is "Femme Fatale: Dressed to Kill." Each one features behind-the-scenes footage, and interviews with the cast and crew (De Palma does give us some interesting tidbits about why he shot scenes a certain way). Overall, these featurettes aren't as "fluff" as most other ones I've seen lately.

In addition to the above featurettes, we are treated to "Behind the Scenes." It's rather short, and contains nothing that wasn't already covered in the above featurettes. There are two trailers also included, one being the "Theatrical Trailer", and the other being the "French Trailer."

Final Thoughts:
Good movie + Great Audio + Great Video + Decent Extras = "Recommended." Had this DVD contained a commentary from De Palma, it would have been given a higher recommendation from me. Otherwise, it's definitely worth checking out, especially for fans of De Palma and the genre.

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