Fatal Attraction

Fatal Attraction (1987)
Paramount Home Video
Cast: Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, Anne Archer
Extras: Commentary Track, Featurettes, Rehearsal Footage, Alternate Ending, Theatrical Trailer

Adrian Lyne’s jarring thriller "Fatal Attraction" has been one of the most stirring movie experiences of 1987, that seemed to come out of nowhere, really, and made an enormous impact on the movie-going audience. Quickly it became a cornerstone of the thriller genre with its unpredictable plot twists and the superb acting. Obviously it is a DVD I wanted to check out when I heard that Paramount Home Entertainment is finally readying it for release. Here it is now, ready for all of us to behold.

"Fatal Attraction" throws Michael Douglas into the part of Dan Gallagher, a husband who has a one-night fling with Alex Forrest (Glenn Close) while his wife is away. From that point onwards, his life turns into a nightmare, as it turns out that Alex is completely delusional and a stalker. She tries to break up Gallagher’s marriage and becomes increasingly aggressive when Dan shrugs off the affair as irrelevant. But when she feel ignored, Alex turns into a ferocious beast who stops at nothing to get the man she wants… nothing!

"Fatal Attraction" is one of those rare movies where everything works and fits together like pieces in a puzzle. The acting is nothing short of mesmerizing as Glenn Close made her big impact on mainstream Hollywood with this role. She is sensual, seductive at one time and ferocious and frightening at others, climaxing in a horrifying display of all-out madness that is nothing short of staggering. "Fatal Attraction" is probably the only movie where another actor is seriously eclipsing Michael Douglas’ performance despite the fact that Douglas puts in his usual top-notch acting.
The key to the film’s incredible impact lies within Adrian Lyne’s stylish direction however. He always knows where to place the camera for maximum impact. He always find the right framing to put us in the right mindset – often to lure is into perceived safety, only to shock the wits out of the viewer – and he has created a pacing for the film that is continuously relentless despite the movie’s 2 hour running length.
To top it all off, the film sports a storyline that is as macabre as it is surprising. If you ever thought about cheating, this is the remedy to get your mind off it… The plot is twisting and wiggling in all directions other than the ones you’d expect. There’s not a moment where things turn out the way you’d expect and even after watching this film for the umpteenth time, I am still on the edge of my seat, every time I watch it.

Paramount Home Entertainment presents "Fatal Attraction" in an <$16x9,anamorphic> <$PS,widescreen> transfer that restores the movie’s original theatrical 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The transfer is meticulously clean and not a speckle is evident anywhere in the presentation. The film also shows no signs of grain and the level of detail exhibited by this transfer is marvelous, creating a rich and intricate image. Colors are naturally rendered, creating faithful fleshtones and bold color highlights that are vibrant, yet never oversaturated. The transfer’s black level is also very good creating strong contrasts that never appear overexposed, and a general shadow fall-off that is very good. Shadows are deep and never break up. The transfer shows now notable signs of edge-enhancement, creating a very film-like presentation, and the compression, also, is without flaws.

The DVD features a <$5.1,5.1 channel> <$DD,Dolby Digital> mix, as well as an English <$DS,Dolby surround> mix and a French Dolby Stereo audio track. All of them are faithfully reproduced and especially the <$5.1,5.1 channel> mix creates an experience that is very active and bustling from all directions with a wide frequency response that goes surprisingly low in the frequency spectrum. The dynamic range is also very good, making for a powerful presentation, especially of some of the film’s intense moments where sonic cues and percussive sounds make the music. Dialogues are well integrated and always understandable.

The DVD also contains a <$commentary,commentary track> by director Adrian Lyne in which he exposes many details about the story, the characters and the movie’s production. It is a new <$commentary,commentary track> that gives the director the chance the discuss the film with quite a bit of distance, which ultimately benefits the track quite a bit. There are occasional pauses and breaks in the commentary but as a whole it is a highly informative track that offers good insight into the making of the film.

Paramount has filled this release up with a number of great bonus materials, such as "Forever Fatal: Remembering Fatal Attraction" a new 28-minute featurette that reminisces about the movie, giving the cast and crew a chance to look back and talk about their experience in retrospect. "Social Attraction" is another new, 10-minute featurette that discusses the characters and the cultural impact of the story in a little more detail. "Visual Attraction" takes another retrospect look at the actual shooting process of the film with behind-the-scenes footage and crew interviews.
The DVD also contains rehearsal footage that shows how the actors prepared for their parts in the movie, and even an alternate ending to the film is presented here with an introduction by director Adrian Lyne. I have to admit that this is a very powerful ending that climaxes in an extreme syncope – very good!

"Fatal Attraction" is a must-have movie for an thriller fan and with this retrospective Special Edition, Paramount has gone all out to include some great bonus materials with the release. The film looks and sounds spectacularly on this DVD and if nothing else, the alternate ending will make you sit up! Grab this DVD and give it a spin. You owe it to yourself!