Bewitched (2005)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Will Ferrell, Michael Caine, Shirley MacLaine, Jason Schwartzman
Extras: Commentary Track, Deleted Scenes, Featurettes, Trivia Track

I was looking forward to seeing "Bewitched" as it seemed to give life back to a show many of us loved and grew up with. Starring Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell, the cast also seemed capable, and yet, "Bewitched" turned out to be a big fat disappointment.

The story revolves around a network planning to do a remake of the original "Bewitched" TV show. Box office poison Jack Wyatt (Will Ferrell) is cast as Darrin and soon the search begins for the "perfect" Samantha. Perfect in this case means, as dictated by Jack Wyatt, a total unknown who can't act as never to steal the spotlight from himself. By accident he meets Isabel (Nicole Kidman) who, unbeknownst to him of course, is in fact a real witch, trying to lead a normal life, much like Samantha did on the TV show. Isabel is cast for the show but soon her admiration for Jack turns into revenge when she finds out about his dastardly plan to simply use her as a stepping stone to make himself look better.

Penned by romantic comedy specialist Nora Ephron, the premise has undoubtedly a lot of promise. Sadly the execution falls short of the material's potential. The problem is that the film is simply not funny and that there is no chemistry going on whatsoever between Will Ferrell and Nicole Kidman. We watch these character do their thing and we simply don't care. A few funny moments and the inclusion of Michael Caine in the cast sadly don't manage to salvage what's so badly broken.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is presenting "Bewitched" in its original theatrical widescreen aspect ratio on this DVD in a transfer that is absolutely free of defects and blemishes. Colors are rich and stand out without ever being over-saturated or bleeding. Skin tones are faithfully rendered and black levels are solid, giving the presentation a look with good visual depth and solid shadows. No edge-enhancement is evident and the compression is without flaws.

The audio on the release comes in the form of an active 5.1 channel Dolby Digital track that makes good use of the surround channels. A supplemental French track in Dolby Digital 5.1 is also included. With a wide frequency response the track sounds absolutely natural with good bass extension and clean high ends of the spectrum. While not overtly aggressive due to the subject matter of the film, the track constantly engages surrounds with ambient effects and noises for a subtle sound filed.

As extras, a commentary track by director Nora Ephron is included on the disc, though it has little real value, as the writer/director has clearly not had the time to reflect on the production and is simply reiterating on what's been going on. Also included is a trivia track ,relaying various facts regarding the movie as well as its relationship to the original TV series.

A selection of deleted scenes is also included as well as some promotional featurettes.

"Bewitched" is sadly a bit of a disappointment. The film doesn't live up to its potential with only a few funny moments and the story is plodding along without any real drama, tension or intrigue. The DVD is a regular off-the-mill Sony Pictures Home Entertainment release, offering a great feature film presentation and mostly shallow, exceedingly promotional extras. Rent thins one before you buy!