Warner Home Video
Cast: Dudley Moore, Julie Andrews, Bo Derek
Extras: Featurette, Theatrical Trailer
There is much speculation about the perfect woman. From Walter Gibson's pursuit of "The Sure Thing" in 1985 to the ultimate onscreen persona in "S1m0ne, " filmmakers have all sorts of ideas of what type of woman would catch every man's eye. Writer/Director Blake Edwards (probably best known for "The Pink Panther" series) decided to take a stab at the subject with the 1979 comedy "10." Taking Bo Derek from the killer whale world of "Orca," Edwards managed to introduce the world to its newest sex symbol. The next thirty plus years were certainly good to Derek, as she went on to make many more movies and has aged well. Warner Bros. is ready to see how her breakout film "10" has done over the years, debuting the title on Blu-ray to a new generation of fourty-something voyeurs.
George Webber (Dudley Moore) has it all. Money, a Rolls Royce convertible that sports an 8-Track player (c'mon, it is 1979), and a lovely companion in Samantha Taylor (Julie Andrews) are just a few luxuries that George has been graced with. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be enough for this 42 year old composer and playwright. Struggling with a mid-life crisis, George becomes punch drunk after noticing Jenny Hanley (Bo Derek) on her way to be married. This moment is the beginning of a spiral into booze and lust where George is forced to decide what is most important in his life.
As unbalanced as it is, "10" is the mid-life crisis version of a teen sex comedy. Instead of focusing on a bunch of sorority girls like "H.O.T.S." or following Bobby in "The Van," Blake Edwards fast forwards a couple of decades to balding, gray haired men with the same sexual appetite. The 'perks' of the younger generation sex comedy are still available, but the story is quite different. Rather than produce a coming of age story, George Webber is just an older man with a wondering eye. He seems to feel that the grass is always greener on the other side. Ignoring the fact that Samantha is all but begging him to make love to her, George continues to peer into his neighbor's window longing for what he sees. As his lust drifts over to the bronze beauty Jenny, the antics get even more extreme. At its heart, "10" tells a good story. The problem is Blake Edwards is catering to two totally different audiences. Conservative viewers may be put off by the wealth of nudity and drug use in "10," while others may not enjoy the film as it hits more serious moments. All in all, I felt the film held up well over time. Though it is tough to decide who the film is best suited for.
Warner Bros has been one of the few studios to truly welcome catalogue titles. From their extensive online only selections to classics like "10" getting a high definition upgrade, they should be applauded for the efforts. While this is great and all, sometimes these films don't get the attention they may deserve. "10" hit Blu-ray with a 1080p/AVC encoded 2.40:1 transfer. The title looks decent in high definition, but certainly could have used a restoration. Colors aren't entirely defined and fleshtones are inconsistent. The film is an upgrade over DVD, but mainly due to the technological advances rather than working with a restored transfer.
With average video comes average audio. The lossless DTS-HD Mono track is efficient, but underwhelming. Dialogue levels are balanced well, but Henry Mancini's score sounds restrained in the front field. Yes, I am aware that Mono is how the film was originally scored, but thirty-two years later one would hope that a film filled with music would have a little more room to breathe. The average mix will please some and irritate others.
"A Dream…A Fantasy…A Ten!" (4:27) is a clever behind the scenes/promotional featurette. Blending scenes from the film, interviews and a narrative, this extra feature is inspired by an educational video. While this may be the same type of feature found on most discs, the approach is fresh enough to make the additional material worthwhile. The Theatrical Trailer for "10" is also on the disc.
Chances are "10" will be sought out by longtime fans of the film and fairly forgotten by others. Open minded film fans may find the film offers more than just Bo Derek running on the beach. In an era when remakes are a dime a dozen, Blake Edwards tale may be a prime candidate for a reboot. A little tinkering and some fresh faces could be just what the doctor ordered for this middle aged sex comedy. As for the Blu-ray? Given the fact that it can be found for less than $15, "10" is worth a purchase for longtime fans of the film. Others may want to stick with a rental and see how it will suit your tastes.