Tag: Fatal Attraction

Old dogs, new tricks, and Matt!

Matt Damon in

You’re pre-weekend box-offfice preview will be up bright and early tomorrow morning, but first I have a couple of what Rachel Maddow calls “Holy Mackeral stories.” Both of them involve old movie reliables trying new stuff, and somehow Matt Damon is involved in both movies.

* Back in 1955, Clint Eastwood had uncredited bit parts in two sci-fi monster/horror flicks from director Jack Arnold, “Revenge of the Creature” (the sequel to the 3-D hit, “Creature from the Black Lagoon”) and “Tarantula.” Since then, he’s somehow managed to steer clear of anything remotely fantastical either as an actor or a director — until now. “Hereafter” is being kept under wraps but the story is said to be in the same general ballpark as “The Sixth Sense.” It’s being written by Peter Morgan, also a first-timer in tales of the supernatural, though the playwright/screenwriter of “Frost/Nixon” and “The Queen” is also branching out genre wise with the 23rd James Bond movie. As suggested above, the star will be Matt Damon, who has been around the supernatural before. However, I suspect this film won’t have a whole lot in common either with Terry Gilliam’s ill-fated “The Brothers Grimm” or Kevin Smith’s “Dogma.”

All of this is not to say that director Eastwood can’t do scary. His 1971 directorial debut, the witty and suspenseful “Play Misty for Me,” was pretty thoroughly grounded in our reality but had some definite terror elements.

* Now, Michael Douglas found himself in a pretty similar predicament to Eastwood’s “Misty,” character in the 1987 hit, “Fatal Attraction,” but there’s pretty much no similarities in anything he’s done before with his next project. I don’t know how I’ve missed it, but the actor commonly associated with such super-macho characters as Gordan Gekko (soon to be reprised in the upcoming “Wall Street” sequel) and ultra-horny cop Nick Curran of “Basic Instinct” will be playing Liberace, the glitzy pop-classical concert pianist for whom the word “flamboyant” might have been coined. Directing the film will be Steven Soderbergh, returning to his nonfiction well that earned him one of his biggest commercial successes with “Erin Brokovich” and, he hopes again, with this week’s wide release of the fact-based comedy, “The Informant.”

Just to tie things up in a nice ribbon, as reported by People — who somehow found a picture of Michael Douglas looking oddly like Liberace might have looked later in life — “Informant” star Matt Damon will play Liberace’s longtime partner who ultimately sued the Las Vegas star in a palimony suit. I’m not sure it’s fair to say he “outed” Liberace. This will not, of course, be the first time that Matt Damon has played a gay character. That would be “The Talented Mr. Ripley.”

And, now, a moment of vintage Liberace. Definitely not with Matt Damon.

Fatal Attraction

Despite a premise that reads like a sci-fi film – Michael Douglas steps outside his marriage to Anne Archer with Glenn Close? In the peak of her “George Washington with a perm” phase, no less? – “Fatal Attraction” is actually a tremendously effective sexual thriller, one that remains not only a high point of the genre, but the apex of director Adrian Lyne’s career. Lyne, who has a tendency to get lost in his own fog machines, puts his visual brilliance to good use here, mixing in the usual stuff (billowing curtains, colored lights, smoke) with a delicately crafted, steadily building tension and a trio of excellent performances from Douglas, Close, and Archer. Misogynistic? Perhaps. Deserving of a Best Picture nomination? Doubtful. Two hours of sleek, (mostly) believable thrills? Absolutely.

The new Blu-ray transfer gives the movie a gorgeous 1080p facelift and a 5.1 Dolby TrueHD audio mix, but not much else; though “Fatal Attraction” comes with a healthy selection of bonus materials, including a commentary track from Lyne, an alternate ending, screen test footage, and some featurettes discussing the making of the film and its social impact, they’re all holdovers from the last DVD reissue, which is going for under $10 new at Amazon. What it boils down to – as seems to be the case all too often with these catalog Blu-ray titles – is whether you think it’s worth an extra $10-$15 to watch the movie in high-def. Unless you’ve always wanted to count the hairs on a boiled rabbit, your money is probably better spent elsewhere.

Click to buy “Fatal Attraction”

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