Directed by Ridley Scott in 1987, Someone To Watch Over Me takes place in Manhattan. Here a high society person about town, Claire Gregory (Mimi Rogers), witnesses firsthand the killing or her friend by a mobster named Joey Venza (Andreas Katsulas) at a fancy party one night. Given that she's now a witness to a mob related murder case, the cops decide she needs protection. Enter Mike Keegan (Tom Berenger), the New York City cop who is assigned to… watch over her. Soon enough, they hit it off and it's clear very early on that Mike is developing feelings for Claire, the kind of feelings that can complicate things for both of them. Claire responds in kind and they begin a love affair.
Before you know it, his wife Ellie (Lorraine Bracco) has figured out what's going on and is, quite understandably, a mess about all of this. Mike finds himself having to choose between these two women all while Venza and his team do their best to get close enough to Claire to take her out of the picture, permanently.
Someone To Watch Over Me is a pretty big departure from the four films that Scott had made prior (they being The Duellists, Alien, Blade Runner and Legend). There are no science fiction or fantasy elements here at all, the whole thing is very grounded and when compared to those earlier efforts, the scale is quite small. Still, Scott makes the film his own. It's paced well and it looks absolutely fantastic. To call this one slick would be an understatement, the cinematography, the lighting and the overall visual tone of the film really do a fine job of pulling us in, almost convincing us that the story is better than it actually is. That's not to say that the story is bad, because it isn't, but it is rather pedestrian and more than a little bit predictable. If you pay attention, or you've seen your share of the classic film noir pictures that Scott and company were clearly influenced by here, you'll figure out where this one is going well before it gets there. The solace in this is that even with that being the case, the movie ensures that the ride is fun.
The performances here are genuinely solid across the board. Mimi Rogers is well cast here, she plays the socialite type well and she's attractive, glamorous and smart enough that we can easily see why Berenger's character would be drawn to her. As to Berenger himself? He's an interesting blue-collar contrast to her, the Queens to her Manhattan if you will. He suits the role, he looks the part and he delivers some fine work. Lorraine Bracco as his wife also does very good work here. We feel for her in this situation and she's perfectly convincing in her portrayal of a conflicted woman even if her character is abrasive and not as fleshed out as the two main lead characters. Andreas Katsulas might chew just a little bit of scenery as the film's main villain, but he does so well and his performance is quite entertaining to watch.
Someone To Watch Over Me is presented in AVC encoded 1080p high definition framed at 1.85.1 widescreen on a 50GB Blu-ray disc. Picture quality here is strong, with nice, natural looking color reproduction and very strong black levels. The image is also very clean, showing virtually no print damage at all. Detail is pretty strong throughout, even in the film's darker moments, and there's good depth and texture evident here as well. The picture retains a filmic quality, showing some natural film grain and is, thankfully, devoid of noticeable edge enhancement and noise reduction issues. There are no noticeable compression artifacts to complain about either. All in all, a solid presentation indeed.
The DTS-HD 2.0 Stereo track on the disc, which comes with optional English subtitles, is fine. Dialogue stays clean and easy to follow throughout and the track remains properly balanced from start to finish. There are no problems with any audible hiss or distortion to complain about.
Extras mainly consist of two interviews, the first of which is an eleven-minute segment called Someone…To Write A Script: A Look Back With Howard Franklin. In this piece, the screenwriter of the film talks about the surprising place that he got some of his inspiration from for the story, working with Ridley Scott and what that was like, and how some of the themes that the film deals with were a little advanced for the era in which the film was made. The second piece is Someone…To Shoot A Movie: A Look Back With Steven Poster, a fourteen-minute interview with the film's cinematographer. He talks about working with Scott after collaborating with him on Blade Runner and how the director wanted to bring in a smaller scale film on time and on budget with this project. He also talks about some of what went into the camerawork for this shoot, why certain shots were framed and setup the way that they were and more. Both interviews are pretty interesting.
Menus and chapter stops are also included.
Someone To Watch Over Me is a decent, noirish thriller that makes up for the somewhat pedestrian story with some slick visuals and strong performances. Shout! Factory's Blu-ray release is light on extras but the two interviews are interesting and the technical presentation is a strong one. Recommended.