Bewitched

January 28, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

As I sat down to watch “Bewitched” a funny thought came over me…most financially successful films in the last few years have involved one of three things: a) A remake of an older motion picture (“The Longest Yard”, “War of the Worlds”) b) An adaptation from a comic book (“Fantastic Four”, “X-Men”, “Spider-Man” or “Batman Begins”) or c) An adaptation from a 60’s/70’s/80’s TV show (“The Dukes of Hazzard”, “Bewitched”). Ok, that’s not to say that there aren’t original movies out there, but Hollywood seems to be in the trend of dusting off pre-existing material and updating it for the big screen. Ironically, that’s the storyline in “Bewitched”. Readers of the site will sense that I have quite the attraction for Nicole Kidman, I mean…look at her! Ok, that aside I was curious to see how she’d handle the role of Samantha, the role that Elizabeth Montgomery made famous in the TV show. I will say that I’ve admired Kidman’s choices like “The Hours”, “Moulin Rouge”, “Cold Mountain” and “The Interpreter” but this is also the second campy movie she’s been in (counting last years “The Stepford Wives”). Could she pull it off?

We meet Isabel Bigelow (Nicole Kidman) as she’s looking towards buying a house and getting set for a “normal” life. You see, she’s a witch and has become tired of casting spells to get what she wants. Her father (Michael Caine) is quite hesitant about her decision and tries to sway her back to his side (the trip through the supermarket is quite clever, I might add). Meanwhile we meet Jack Wyatt, a has been movie star on his way down who is relegated to doing a TV show to get back in the limelight. Jack will be playing Darrin in the show “Bewitched” and wants a cast of unknowns so that he will be the center of attention. Jack spots Isabel at a bookstore and wouldn’t you know it – she has that perfect little twitch of her nose that he’s looking for. She’s cast as Samantha, only to have her lines stripped once his test scores come in. The rest of the movie involves a would be love affair between Jack and Isabel. A hex is put on him and he falls for her, but Isabel rewinds time to remove the hex to see if his love is real. A good supporting cast including David Allen Grier and Jason Swartzman make for a few laughs.

“Bewitched” is certainly not a bad movie, it’s entertaining and has all the right elements. I suppose I had the same complaint of this movie that I did with one of Nora Ephron’s (the director) other films: “You’ve Got Mail”. It’s just too cutesy and after a while, it tends to grate. Ephron and her sister, Deila wrote the screenplay as well, so her signature is certainly all over the film. I, however, preferred movies like “Sleepless in Seattle”. And if you’re looking for Nicole Kidman as a witch, you might want to check out “Practical Magic” with her and Sandra Bullock. Nevertheless, “Bewitched” is a good movie and delivers what it’s supposed to. I don’t think we’ll be seeing a sequel anytime soon, though. Ferrell has some pretty good scenes and if you’re interested in just looking at Nicole Kidman (like I am), well a rental will more than suffice.

Video: How does it look?

There is really nothing wrong with the 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer that has been supplied. I found the outside images to be stunning with just a bit of softness to them. As is consistent with most day and date DVD releases, Sony has done a fine job of presenting this. Flesh tones seemed warm and natural (as we might expect for a glossy romantic comedy) and the overall tone of the transfer was without error. There’s not a lot else to say aside that this transfer will not disappoint.

Audio: How does it sound?

Audio-wise, the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack isn’t too active but there are times when the surrounds kick in. Again, the genre mainly dictates the type of sound and “Bewitched” has a good, robust soundtrack that’s never overly ambitious. Dialogue is clean and natural and though most of the effects take place in the front stage, there are a few instances in which the ambiance kicks in. Much like the video, the audio won’t disappoint.

Supplements: What are the extras?

The supplements on “Bewitched” are just enough to validate a purchase (if you’re a fan of the movie, that is). First up is the feature commentary with Director Nora Ephron. Ephron gives a pretty good track here, much like the one on “Sleepless in Seattle”. She’s full of information about the original show, etc. When your Director is also the co-screenwriter, it’s bound to be an informative track – which this is. There are some deleted scenes, presented in non-anamorphic widescreen as well as “Witch Vision”, that pops up facts when you watch the movie. A trivia game is also included as is a trio of featurettes. All in all “Bewitched” was entertaining, but I was expecting a little more. Ferrell has most of the good lines and if you’re looking for some Nicole Kidman eye candy, you’ve come to the right spot.

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