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Obsession: Collector’s Edition Blu-ray Review

Obsession.jpg

“Obsession” is typical Brian De Palma. Make of that as you will.

In the year 1959, a wealthy real estate mogul (Michael) is celebrating the tenth anniversary of his marriage to Elizabeth. The joyous occasion does not last, however, when Michael’s wife and daughter are kidnapped and held for ransom. Without spoiling what happens, let’s just say things don’t turn out well.

The movie jumps to the year 1975 where Michael is still mourning the loss of his wife. While in Italy with his business partner Bob, Michael sees a woman (Sandra) that looks shockingly like his wife. This is where things start to get really odd. Michael begins to fall for Sandra and wants to marry her, Sandra begins to obsess over Elizabeth, and things aren’t quite they seem overall.

Aside from “The Untouchables,” I’ve never been a big Brian De Palma fan. I’ve always felt the director lifted more from other masters (namely Alfred Hitchcock) rather than establishing his own style. With “Obsession,” De Palma goes full Hitchcock as this is essentially his version of “Vertigo” only darker and more twisted (and more predictable). The script (written by Paul Schader) differentiates itself from “Vertigo” enough, but you can’t help but feel like you are watching one big ode to Hitchcock. Heck, De Palma even used frequent Hitch collaborator Bernard Herrmann to compose the score (and it’s a bombastic score at that). Really, the whole movie just comes across as a phony throwback that fails to deliver more fully developed characters (particularly Elizabeth and Sandra). Schrader and De Palma seem far too focused on trying to trick the audience with the “twist.”

Cast wise, there are some good performances here at least. Genevieve Bujold steals the show in dual roles. Her roles may be slightly underdeveloped, but she’s the most compelling part of the film. Cliff Robertson of “Charly” fame gives an odd performance although that was certainly the intention. The usually reliable John Lithgow is hamming it up here as the over-the-top Bob character.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.35:1 1080p. How does it look Unfortunately, the transfer looks more like an upscaled DVD.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? The dialogue is a bit soft in spots, but the score is loud.

Extras:
* “Obsession” trailer and radio spots
* Photo gallery
* “Producing Obsession With George Litto”- A 26 minute interview with the producer.
* “Editing Obsession With Paul Hirsch”- You guessed it, an interview with editor Paul Hirsch. This one runs 20 minutes.
* The 37 minute featurette “Obsession Revisited” contains film clips, behind-the-scenes stories, technical discussions and interviews with Brian De Palma, Cliff Robertson, Genevieve Bujold, among others.

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January 4, 2019 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , ,

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