Abandoned (2010) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Drama / Mystery / Thriller
Anchor Bay || PG13 - 88 minutes - $34.98 || August 24, 2010
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2010-08-25


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Michael Feifer
Writer(s): Jeffrey Schenck & Peter Sullivan (story), Peter Sullivan (screenplay)
Cast: Brittany Murphy, Dean Cain, Mimi Rogers, Peter Bogdanovich, Jay Pickett


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Trailer


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (PCM 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Brittany Murphy’s death is tragic and between Deadline and now Abandoned, it’s easy to forget that she had done a few good films including the one that made her a star, Girl Interrupted, though she had made a splash in the now cult classic, Clueless. But she’s not done yet as Something Wicked is set for release sometime in 2010 or 2011, I can only hope that perhaps her real final performance will do her justice, but I won’t be holding my breath.

The story surrounding Abandoned opens with loving couple Mary (BRITTANY MURPHY) and Kevin (DEAN CAIN) on their way to the hospital where Kevin is set for minor surgery on his ACL which he tore. She drops him off and meets him in an exam room and while the surgery is only supposed to an hour, she waits a couple hours and asks around only to discover the hospital has no record of him every being there or even scheduled for surgery. Making things harder for her is the fact the hospital is set to close down for extensive renovations thus the place is understaffed. Soon enough police detective Franklin (JAY PICKETT) is called in to investigate and he too comes up empty.

After going to anyone who will listen and discovering that nobody had ever even seen him nor knows of the nurse that had gone into the examination room to check him in. Soon enough, hospital staff and security begin to believe she is making the whole thing up and making matters worse, she is on anti-depressants and is counseled by psychologist Dr. Bensley (PETER BOGDANOVICH) while still having the critical eye of hospital administrator Markham (MIMI ROGERS).

As a whole, Abandoned reeks of a low-budget and poorly written movie topped off with acting that is pretty bad starting with Ms. Murphy herself. While the script does her no favors with flat dialogue and a predictable story that anyone can see coming, the cast can’t help the film out at all, which is kind of surprising when you have someone like Mimi Rogers in there. However, I expected nothing less from Dean Cain who isn’t in it a whole lot, especially during the second act which is completely devoted to Murphy running around being stalked by hospital administrators and security personal and looking utterly befuddled and scared... that is the extent of her performance and, in all fairness, to the character. Meanwhile, Peter Bogdanovich shows up half-way through and looking absolutely bored out of his mind, no doubt thinking he needed this gig to pay the mortgage or something.

I guess what gets me about films like these is how they get as far as they do. I know how they can get B and C-level actors, that’s easy since everyone has to put food on the table and all that, but how do scripts get to the filming stage? Often times I can ignore sketchy performances and even poor production design but if the script fails then all the other flaws come front and center and makes an average film bad and not in the “so bad it’s funny” category either. Just plain bad, which this basically is.

The film was directed by Michael Feifer who previously helmed a couple other DTV gems that I had the misfortune of watching including B.T.K. and Boston Strangler: The Untold Story. Here he tries to provide a dark and tense atmosphere and instead it just looks dark but doesn’t help prop up any of the thriller aspects.

Overall, I feel sorry that films like this and Deadline will be among Murphy’s final performances (though to be fair, I actually enjoyed Across the Hall) because Abandoned is a big failure not just on her part but on everybody’s including a predictable script and 1-dimensional characters you couldn’t care less about. No doubt about it, this one can be skipped.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

The only feature included is the trailer (1:40; HD).



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Abandoned is presented in 1080p high-definition and in 1.78 aspect ratio. Although the picture is fairly clean and clear throughout, it does have the look and feel of a direct-to-video release. It’s not a flawless video experience by any measure but I guess for the low budget, it doesn’t look too bad, it’s just a shame that the movie wasn’t any good.

Meanwhile, once again Anchor Bay provides a PCM 5.1 track that gets the job done but outside of a couple action-y sequences, this is pretty much a dialogue driven film with Murphy doing a lot of shouting mixed in with a clichéd thriller score that makes use of the other channels.



.::OVERALL::.

As I said before, Abandoned is one film that can be skipped. If you want to see Murphy at her best, skip some of her more recent releases, and go back towards the beginning with films like Clueless, Girl Interrupted and Don’t Say a Word. Otherwise this is a film that should’ve been... discarded.