Blu-ray
Give it a Rent
3 stars
Amazon
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Overall Grade
3 stars

(click linked text below to jump to related section of the review)

The Movie Itself
2 Stars
HD Video Quality
4 Stars
HD Audio Quality
4 Stars
Supplements
3 Stars
High-Def Extras
0 Stars
Bottom Line
Give it a Rent

Unfaithful

Street Date:
January 20th, 2009
Reviewed by:
High-Def Digest staff
Review Date: 1
March 26th, 2009
Movie Release Year:
2004
Studio:
Fox Home Entertainment
Length:
0 Minutes
MPAA Rating:
Rated R
Release Country
United States

The Movie Itself: Our Reviewer's Take

Adrian Lyne is obsessed with the idea of inappropriate relationships, having previously directed '9 1/2 Weeks,' 'Fatal Attraction,' 'Indecent Proposal,' and 'Lolita.' 'Unfaithful' tells the story of a middle-aged wife and mother named Connie (Diane Lane) who makes an impulsive leap into infidelity when on a trip into the city on a windy day, leading her to a steamy love affair with a younger man (Oscar Martinez). Her husband, Ed (Richard Gere), subsequently grows suspicious and heads down the spiral of mistrust and confusion having previously thought he was living the perfect life.

On paper it sounds like a Lifetime movie, but the film begins to step out of B-movie status when Ed hires a private investigator and sees exactly what his wife is up to. He had noticed the telltale signs, but needed to know what he wanted to deny. When Ed ultimately confronts his wife's lover, he is overcome with emotion and acts completely out of character. Afterwards, the real test of the marriage begins.

The film offers a sad and depressing look into suburban life and marriage, showing how still and neutral life can become for some. Yet outside of living out a steamy tryst through film, what else does Unfaithful offer? Well, to be honest, not much, outside of being a conversation starter. Can a marriage sustain after a major strain such as this? Could it actually be repaired or strengthened? Or is it simply on a one-way course for destruction?

Lane enjoyed a big career boost after playing Connie (the part garnered an Oscar Nomination), showing her ability to display a woman's sensuality, desire, and inner turmoil, while communicating the fear, fragility, and embarrassment of indulgence. Her non-verbal communication and body language spoke louder than her dialogue, and that is the biggest reason to watch the film. Gere plays the straight up husband and father well, and they do a good job of shlubbing him up, making him look as far from a leading man as I've seen. Besides these two performances, the story is full of very familiar takes on infidelity, and if it weren't Lane and Gere, would this be a film revisiting? Honestly, no.

The Video: Sizing Up the Picture

Unfaithful's 1080p AVC-encoded transfer ofers a solid upgrade from the previously released DVD. Lyne's warm and muted palette was downplayed in previous versions, but here it looks striking. Skin tones (and there's a lot of skin) look natural, enriched in warm colors. There are no problems with over-saturation or distracting edge enhancement. Shadows and depth are both very good with lots of detail coming out, like Paul's apartment which is a book store and has lots of little junk scattered about. Lots of scenes do have a soft quality to them, which is due to the way those scenes were shot. There's also a fine bit of grain in the film that's pleasing to the eye. There aren't any noticeable weaknesses in the video that jump out. It's subtle and low key like everything else.

The Audio: Rating the Sound

Unfaithful carries a 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio track highlighted with low-key and softly spoken dialogue. It's always clear no matter the volume. Traveling sound, especially in the city is surprisingly active given the rest of the film. The swirling winds that knock Connie off her feet in the beginning of the film swirl all around the viewer. Street noise like traffic and idol chatter put you into the city scenes immediately. Subwoofers don't get an aggressive workout, but it's definitely there throughout the film to add subtle weight to scenes. And the even-keeled score is mixed appropriately to add emotion at just the right time. There are also French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital tracks.

The Supplements: Digging Into the Good Stuff

Everything has been ported over from the DVD release which had quite an abundant bunch of supplements, always a nice surprise on a small film such as this. Nothing ground-breaking but if you're a fan of the film there's plenty to explore.

  • Audio Commenary by Director Adrian Lyne - There are some directors who can carry a full-length commentary on their own with enough energy and stories to keep you interested. Lyne does a noble job but in the end this track grows tiresome. He talks at great lenth of the themes of the film, casting choices, and how this film fits in with the rest of his filmography.
  • Scene Specific Actors' Commentary with Diane Lane and Oliver Martinez - I think it would have been good to splice this commentary track with Lyne's to break it up. This is an hour's worth of chatter on the characters they play and what they brought to these roles. Lane is far more talkative while Martinez seems very green.
  • Featurette: "Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Lyne" (17:46, HD) The only extra in high definition which shows eleven scenes that didn't add much more outside of details about the main characters.
  • Featurette: "Charlie Rose Interview" (18:52, SD) - Diane Lane, Richard Gere, and director Adrian Lyne join the wonderful Charlie Rose in a fine segment about the film and the main characters' struggles..
  • Featurette: "A Conversation with..." (Richard Gere - 5:38, Diane Lane -9:42 Oliver Martinez- 7:22 SD) - Three 2002 interviews with the lead cast on various topics. Gere talks about the context of the film, the dark areas it explores. Lane talks about her career path and acting on files like The Outsiders and Lonesome Dove. Martinez talks about his family and how he chose acting instead of following the family lineage of boxers. No subtitles are available.
  • Featurette: "Anne Coates on Editing " (8:54, SD) - A veteran film editor who has worked with Steven Sodebergh as well as on Lawrence of Arabia, discusses some of the editing choices that were made.
  • Extra "Director's Notes"- In a little bit of film school, this extra gives the ability to see pictures along with the shooting scripts with Lyne's notes scribbled on the margins for three scenes.
  • Theatrical Trailer

HD Bonus Content: Any Exclusive Goodies in There?

There are no high-def exclusives.

Easter Eggs

Not sure how much of an egg this is given that it's in the menus, but it is unlisted in the extras. If you click on the manhole cover before the theatrical trailer, you're treated to an outtake of Erik Per Sullivan (Malcom in the Middle) who plays the son, as he falls asleep in the backseat of the car for real and can't get up

Final Thoughts

Unfaithful is okay, but similar themes have been covered in other, better films. However, this Blu-ray is a fine upgrade from the DVD, offering strong picture and audio and a nice number of extras. Give it a rent.

Technical Specs

  • Blu-ray
  • BD-50 Dual-Layer Disc

Video Resolution/Codec

  • 1080p/AVC MPEG-4
  • 480p/i/MPEG-2 (Supplements Only)

Aspect Ratio(s)

  • 1.85:1

Audio Formats

  • English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Surround (48KHz)
  • French Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Surround (48KHz)

Subtitles/Captions

  • English For Hearing Impaired
  • French Subtitles
  • Cantonese Subtitles
  • Mandarin Subtitles
  • Thai Subtitles
  • Spanish Subtitles

Supplements

  • Audio Commentary
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Featurettes
  • Director's Notes
  • Theatrical Trailer

Exclusive HD Content

  • None
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