Indecent Proposal (1993) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Drama / Romance
Paramount || R - 116 minutes - $28.99 || June 9, 2009
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-06-04


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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: Adrian Lyne
Writer(s): Jack Engelhard (novel); Amy Holden Jones (screenplay)
Cast: Robert Redford, Demi Moore, Woody Harrelson


Theatrical Release Date: April 7, 1993


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Plot: Diana and David Murphy are a financially strapped couple who are betting on a quick trip to Las Vegas to deal them a lucky hand. But odds are suddenly even more attractive when billionaire John Gage ups the ante — complete financial freedom. The price? One night of passion with Diana. The payoff? A cool $1 million. But what seems to be a quick and simple solution to their money problems creates more friction than the couple bargained for as the high stakes of trust, love and attraction come into play.

Indecent Proposal suffers from a couple faults, the first being clichés, another just all an around poor-to-average writing beginning with a voice over to start the film and a bad casting choice with Woody Harrelson.

Starting with that last point, I didn’t have a problem with Harrelson himself per se. He’s a capable actor and proved that he could do drama, but I’m unsure if it was dynamic performance. I do get why he was cast. When you compare him with Robert Redford (John), you can see how Demi Moore (Diana), despite any anger toward him, could be attracted towards the man. At the same time, though, there were only glimpses as to why someone like Diana would be with Dan.

My issue with the screenplay stems from character decisions, namely that of Diana as she ultimately chooses John after Dan could not get beyond that one night in Vegas that landed them the money they desperately needed (which was all for not as that money was to save their dream home only to find out it was foreclosed). There were a few minutes to show how the Dan/Diana relationship crumbled but how did the John/Diana evolve to the point to not only dump Dan but give up herself to John. I never quite bought it.

Another problem I had was with these characters, none of whom are really that likeable. Firstly, you have Dan who is willing to go with the plan that would basically sell his wife for $1 million, then you have Diana who is willing to with it and basically become a hooker. Reluctant, sure, but a hooker none-the-less. Yeah, they both had reservations but their intentions were at best naďve. Then you have the billionaire who is basically willing to pay a million for sex. It was all explained away that he did it to prove nothing is unattainable but it is what it is.

The last problem is the film is awfully clichéd and way too predictable, a combo which results in a movie that isn’t very interesting to watch. I kept watching waiting for something good to happen but alas it never developed. Even Robert Redford’s charm and Demi Moore’s beauty couldn’t help. Then came a climax and final scene that anyone could see coming a mile away.

Indecent Proposal was directed by Adrian Lyne (Fatal Attraction), based upon a novel adapted by Amy Holden Jones (Mystic Pizza, Beethoven). As with most book-to-screen adaptations, there was probably something intrinsic missing and it’s unfortunate this film was unable to utilize what could have been a unique story.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Only the commentary track with director Adrian Lyne is available. In fact, the back cover is probably exactly the same as the DVD including the old and ugly “Special Features” box Paramount used for some time.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Oh my goodness. I know the movie is 16 years old and all, but I must admit that this 1080p high-def transfer looked at times (most of the time) pretty bad. There’s a fair amount of grain and noise during certain scenes, details are lost in both character faces as well as background items and I also noticed some dust and scratches as well. While a few scenes did look fine, a good number looked as if they were ripped from the DVD. Up to this point, Paramount has done a decent job with their catalogue HD transfers, but this was not good at all.

The TrueHD 5.1 track isn’t the greatest. Like most of the Paramount catalogue titles I’ve reviewed, the bass is rarely used (but I know it’s there as I heard my subwoofer click on). Dialogue levels are a little low but the (over-the-top) score by John Barry resounded pretty good from the other channels.



.::OVERALL::.

Indecent Proposal was very much an indecent movie with a subpar script. But worse yet, the Blu-ray has a poor video transfer with some of the most grain and noise I’ve seen and even the audio doesn’t live up to the TrueHD name. There’s no “however” here. If you enjoy the movie and can find this cheaper down the road, then by all means, otherwise you might be better of searching for the DVD...