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A Perfect Murder (Special Widescreen & Full Screen Edition)

 R (Restricted)   DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 11.81
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Product Description

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The husband (Michael Douglas) is a currency trader whose portfolio value is going right down the drain. The wife (Gwyneth Paltrow) is the heiress to a $100 million fortune. The marriage is not a happy one, but the promise of long-term affluence keeps them together. The wife pursues an affair with an artist (Viggo Mortenson) who gives her all the passion she doesn't get at home, and when the husband finds out, well ... someone's going to pay with their life. Who will the unlucky one be? We wouldn't dare spoil the elegant plot twists of this devious thriller, but it's well known that Douglas excels at portraying greedy characters with ice in their veins. Here, it's easy to assume that Douglas has pulled off, as the title implies, a killing that nobody will ever pin on him. But this is the kind of glossy thriller (loosely inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder) that delights in disrupting your expectations, so it grabs your attention right up to the final scene. It's a bit too cold to really draw you in (hey, these are not very nice people we're dealing with here!), but with its able cast and stylish direction by Andrew Davis, this less-than-perfect murder thriller is still definitely worth a look. The widescreen Special Edition DVD includes audio commentary by Michael Douglas, Andrew Davis, and producer Peter McGregor Scott, an alternate ending deleted from the finished film, and sketches by the film's costume designer. --Jeff Shannon

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A Perfect Murder (Special Edition)

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Remake of a Hitchcock favourite Nov. 25 2011
By Samantha TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
When I first watched this movie, I was transfixed by an actor I'd never seen before--Viggo Mortensen. He plays the cuckolding lover with such gentleness, such sensuous passion, I found myself thinking about him and his performance weeks after I saw the movie at the theatre. With Michael Douglas and Gwyneth Paltrow starring, this remake of "Dial M for Murder" is absolutely fabulous. In fact, I like this movie better than the original because Ray Milland was too easy to hate as the greedy jealous husband while Michael Douglas is still charming as hell, even when we know he's a controlling, arrogant, self-serving villain. Also, Grace Kelly was much blander than Gwyneth as the victim. Gwyneth shows spunk, justified suspicion and intelligence. I'm sure that's partly due to the 48 years of cultural changes that separate these films, but I remember wishing that Grace was a bit brighter when I first watched it in the early 1960's--and I was just a child. In Perfect Murder, there was one glaringly outdated scene--Gwyneth gets out of the tub to answer a phone ringing in the kitchen; in 1998, when this was made, every New York yuppie would have an answering machine, and probably a phone in the bathroom as well. Although I wince a bit when I watch this scene, I overlook it because I assume the writer/director wanted to keep the film as close to the original as possible, and the scene following it is so well done that it is just a blip. I only mention it because it seems to stand out (then I've watched it dozens of times) and I want to give a complete review. Still, it is a masterpiece, in my opinion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Perfect Murder July 5 2004
Format:DVD
A Perfect Murder is a re-make of the Hitchcock film, "Dial M for Murder." Steven Taylor, played by Michael Douglas, pays David, an artist played by Viggo Montenson, to kill his wife Emily, played by Gwyneth Paltrow. Emily and David are having a affair. The plan seems perfect, but is it? The murder is thwarted and the rules change. There is much suspense, and the plot contains several twists that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Douglas, Paltrow, and Mortenson do excellent jobs with their roles. The DVD contains commentary by the director and Michael Douglas. It also has an alternate ending that I don't think works as well as the one in the theatrical release. "A Perfect Murder" is a very good movie.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Perfect Murder March 10 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I have always loved this movie and had to replace my VHS. It has suspense and intrigue and great characters!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Murder March 10 2014
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
One of my favourite movies. I loved it. It had so many twists and turns it kept me guessing right to the end.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Almost "perfect" murder Feb. 23 2014
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Stephen and Emily Taylor seem to have the perfect life of wealth, elegance and privilege -- until Stephen hires his wife's lover to murder her.

If that sounds slightly familiar, that's because it's similar to the plot of Alfred Hitchcock's "Dial M For Murder," which "A Perfect Murder" is a loose rewritten adaptation of. Andrew Davis is no Alfred Hitchcock, but he does fill the polished movie with a sense of tense, unnerving fear, and he gets some amazing performances out of a strong quartet of actors.

Wealthy New York socialite Emily Taylor (Gwyneth Paltrow) is having a torrid fling with a handsome young artist, David (Viggo Mortensen). At the same time, her husband Stephen (Michael Douglas) is seeing his business investments collapse. Emily and David believe their affair is a secret, until Stephen contacts David and reveals that he know all about their affair, AND about David's secret past as a thief and conman.

He offers David $500,000 to murder Emily and make it look like a random robbery, and arranges an elaborate ploy involving the house-key. It seems like the perfect murder. But not only does Emily manage to stab her attacker to death, but he isn't David. It seems like a random break-in, but Detective Karaman (David Suchet) seems to be suspicious -- and Emily begins to suspect that her husband arranged the murder attempt.

Most of the plot is lifted (and then rewritten) from "Dial M For Murder," so sadly I cannot credit Andrew Davis with the tightly-wound mystery plot, and the subsequent tangle of suspicions, blackmail and evidence that Stephen can't explain away. The strong point of "A Perfect Murder" is the acting, which is pretty brilliant all across the board.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Murder Mystery March 1 2004
Format:DVD
To make a long story short, if you only ever own one Michael Douglas movie on dvd, it should be this one! Great story, great movie!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Boasts a first-rate cast and not much else Feb. 21 2004
Format:DVD
"A Perfect Murder", inspired by the great Alfred Hitchcock's "Dial M for Murder", boasts a first-rate cast and not much else. Directed by Andrew Davis ("The Fugitive", "Collateral Damage", "Holes"), based on the "Dial M for Murder" script by Frederick Knott, written by Patrick Smith Kelly ("Don't Say a Word"), and starring Michael Douglas, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Viggo Mortensen, one just has to wonder how such talented people could churn out such a mess of a film.
I had no empathy for any of the characters in this film. I felt very detached from all the characters in this film and thus didn't really care what happened to any of them. This eventually leads to boredom, as it did in my case.
Boredom: another thing that plagues this film. In a desperate attempt to make things more interesting, the writer throws in a bunch of twists and turns that failed to shock or interest me in the least. Frankly, this film got downright tedious. During some of the more "suspenseful" sequences, I often found myself checking my watch. No good.
The sole redeeming factor of this film is the trio of A-list actors we get to watch. Michael Douglas is pitch-perfect as a scheming, greedy businessman. The eternally elegant and ethereal Gwyneth Paltrow is mesmerizing to watch and brings a little bit of light into this otherwise dark film. And then we have VIGGO (Mortensen, that is). Incase you've been living under a rock for the past few years; we all know and love Mortensen as Aragorn in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Though Viggo had been in many films prior, this is probably the biggest role he'd ever had in a mainstream film at the time. It's fascinating to watch the man who, in probably only a few months, would be on his way to New Zealand for the role of his career.
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