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OBSESSED (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

August 1, 2009 by  



“A film definitely for the Beyonce fans! Slick visuals that is quite beautiful on Blu-ray but the film was average at best.”

Images courtesy of © 2009 Screen Gems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: OBSESSED

DURATION: 108 minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (2:40:1), English, French and Portuguese Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Spanish 5.1, Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish

COMPANY:  Screen Gems, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

RATED: PG-13 (For sexual material including some suggestive dialogue, some violence and thematic content)

Release Date: August 4, 2009

Directed by Steve Shill

Written by David Loughery

Executive Produced by Jeffrey Graup, Beyonce Knowles, Matthew Knowles, Damon Lee, David Loughery

Produced by William Packer

Co-Produced by Nicolas Stern

Associate Producer: George Flynn

Music by James Dooley

Director of Photography: Ken Seng

Edited by Paul Seydor

Production Design by Jon Gary Steele

Art Direction by Chris Cornwell

Set Decoration by Dena Roth

Costume Design by Maya Lieberman

Starring:

Idris Elba as Derek

Beyonce Knowles as Sharon Charles

Ali Larter as Lisa

Jerry O’Connell as Ben

Bonnie Perlman as Marge

Christine Lahti as Reese

Nathan/Nicolas Meyers as Kyle Charles

Matthew Humphreys as Patrick

Scout Taylor-Compton as Samantha

Richard Ruccolo as Hank

When successful financial advisor Derek Charles (Idris Elba) settles into a new Los Angeles neighborhood with his loving wife Sharon(Beyonce Knowles) and young son Kyle, everything seems perfect. But when a beautiful temp, Lisa (Ali Larter), joins the firm, Derek’s life takes a strange turn. After a misunderstood encounter at the company holiday party, Lisa begins to spiral out of control – putting Derek’s career in jeopardy and Sharon’s marriage and life on the line.

In the Spring of 2009, the obsessed psychopath film known as “OBSESSED” made its way to theaters.

The film would be directed by Steve Shill (“Dexter”, “The Tudors” and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”), featuring a screenplay by David Loughery (“Lakeview Terrace” and “Money Train”), music by composer James Dooley (“Pushing Daisies”) and cinematography by Ken Seng (“Quarantine” and “The Poker House”).

“OBSESSED” would star Idris Elba (“The Office”, “The Human Contract”, “28 Weeks Later” and “American Gangster”), pop singer Beyonce Knowles (“Dreamgirls”, “The Pink Panther”, “The Fighting Temptations” and “Austin Powers in Goldmember), Ali Larter (“Heroes”, “Resident Evil: Extinction”, “Final Destination 2” and “House on Haunted Hill”), Jerry O’Connell (“Do Not Disturb”, “Samantha Who?” and “Crossing Jordan”) and Christine Lahti (“Jack & Bobby” and “Chicago Hope”).

The film revolves around Executive VP Derek Charles (Idris Elba) who works for Gage Bendix.  A happily married man with a baby boy, he and his wife Sharon (Beyonce Knowles) have a new house and all things are looking good for him.  That is until the day he met Lisa Sheridan (a temp worker).

Lisa quickly uses her position to find a way to get closer to Derek by filling in as his secretary while the main secretary Patrick (Matthew Humphries) is out.  But other people in the office notice that Lisa has an eye out for Derek, especially co-worker Ben (Jerry O’Connell) who jokes around with Derek and calls her “the temptress”.

The business relationship between Derek and Lisa is good and if anything he tries to be a good boss and friend.  In one instance, Lisa fakes that she has broken up with her boyfriend and Derek tries to calm her down.  Telling her that she’s beautiful and if he wasn’t married, he would go for her.

Things start to get out of hand during the company Christmas party (which spouses are not allowed to come).   At the party, its evident that Lisa likes Derek as she dances quite closely with him.  Derek goes to the restroom to relieve himself and all of a sudden, Lisa sneaks up behind him and whisks him into a bathroom stall, wanting to have sex.  Knowing the predicament he’s in, Derek resists but while in the stall, co-workers are coming into the bathroom and tries his best to quite Lisa down.

Derek repeatedly tells her that he’s not interested and while he goes out on a business trip, Lisa does what she can to hurt Derek’s relationship with Sharon.  To the point that she tries to kill herself in his hotel room while on vacation.  Derek is shocked that she’s even there and it becomes a police matter when Detective Monica Reese (Christine Lahti) is checking to see if Derek is having an affair with Lisa.  Derek explains to her that she’s crazy but the Detective doesn’t believe him.  To make things worse, his wife doesn’t believe him either and kicks him out of the house and are separated for almost three months.  She only allows him to visit his son but as Derek tries to explain that he did not have an affair, Sharon doesn’t believe him.

Fortunately, Detective Reese who has been questioning Lisa starts to notice cracks in her story and starts to believe Derek and apologizes to him.  Because of this, Sharon now believes her husband and allows him to come back home to the family.  Lisa has moved to San Francisco and all things seem to look good.  But Lisa never left.  In fact, she has been plotting a way to put a wedge into Derek and Sharon’s marriage and the first thing she does is kidnap their baby and now, all hell has broken loose.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“OBSESSED” is presented in 1080p High Definition (with an aspect ratio of 2:40:1).  The picture quality is quite solid, with plenty of detail on the characters, Derek’s office and home. Director of Photography Ken Seng, does a good job of capturing the two areas of Derek by making sure the colors are different.  Colors for Derek’s office are more towards the blues while his home is more Earth tones and natural.  Blacks colors are nice and deep and overall, picture quality is quite vibrant during the outdoor scenes and colors look strikingly beautiful throughout the film.    There is adequate detail seen throughout the film and I found no digital artifact compressions.  Grain was subtle and overall, a beautiful looking film.

As for audio quality, “OBSESSED” is featured in English, French and Portuguese Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (and Spanish 5.1).  The film is primarily a dialogue driven film and mostly everything is center and front channel driven.  Along with the dialogue, you get composer James Dooley’s haunting music playing during the intense scenes during the film.  Also, you get quite a bit of contemporary music such as Estelle’s “American Boy” playing nice and clear.

As for subtitles, the film is presented in English, English SDH, French, Portuguese and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“OBSESSED” comes with a second disc which is the Digital Copy of the film.  The first disc comes with the following special features (all in High Definition):

  • Playing Together Nicely – (15:37) An interview with director Steve Shill, screenwriter David Loughery and the various talents on the film.  Everyone talks about what they enjoyed about doing this film and working with each other.
  • Girl Fight – (11:13) The film had to have a major climax and that is the confrontation between Sharon and Lisa and the “Girl Fight”.  This was a scene that had to be planned quite well and look effective.  So, through this featurette, we get to learn how this major scene was shot.
  • Obsessed: Dressed to Kill – (9:30) Interview with John Gary Steel and Ken Seng about the look of the film.  And an interview with Maya Lieberman, the costume designer and why she selected certain clothing for the main talents.

I do wish there was a commentary track because I wanted to hear if there were changes from the actual screenplay and the final cut.  Also, with the various scenes of the city, if a lot of it was stock video. It would have been a nice addition to hear from the director, screenwriter or cinematographer.

“OBSESSED” was a film that didn’t do that well when it came to critic reviews but in the box office, the film debuted at #1 for the weekend of April 2009 and has grossed over $71 million worldwide.

The film is essentially a springboard for Beyonce Knowles, the actress.  We have seen her in various comedy and dramatic films but this is the first time we would see her partake in film that required action scenes on her part.  On one hand, Beyonce fans can appreciate her growing acting range.  But on the other hand, part of the problem with “OBSESSED” is that it will be compared to a classic psychopath film “FATAL ATTRACTION”.

Where “FATAL ATTRACTION” lays groundwork of the stages of how a woman scorned through a one night stand, becomes obsessed and ends up doing the unthinkable.  “OBSESSED” is a film that is much harder to accept.  We don’t know why Lisa is so obsessed over Derek.  Before they started working together, she’s already has some attraction to him.  I thought that there would be groundwork of why this woman is sick and obsessed but we never find out.  It’s just a woman obsessed with a man and doing whatever it takes to be with him.

The other problem is that the film focuses on Derek for the majority of the film.  Derek working with Lisa and having to deal with the situations that arise from Lisa’s lies.  But during final half of the film, it seems that Derek becomes less important and a switch is made from being a main character and all of a sudden a supportive role, giving Beyonce the main lead to showcase her acting through action and becomes more of a film about a wife who will not stand for this psychopath to disrupt her family.  Because of this, the pacing of the film suffers and although it does work, it’s not as effective.   But despite the plot falling short, for the most part, Idris Elba, Ali Larter and Beyonce Knowles do a fine job.

In the end, “OBSESSED” is a slick film that will unfortunately be compared to “FATAL ATTRACTION” but it’s best to move far from the comparisons and enjoy the film for what it is.






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