War of the Roses: Filmmaker Signature Series [Blu-ray] (Bilingual)
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Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, and Danny DeVito reunited for a third time to fabulous effect in this dark, disturbing comedy of martial trauma and revenge, which couldn't be more different from their sunnier outings in Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile. Douglas and Turner, in career-best performances, are the materialistic, consumer-driven Roses of the title (Oliver and Barbara) whose seemingly perfect marriage has soured beyond repair; their only point of contact, aside from their two college-bound kids, is their meticulously maintained dream house, which Douglas bought and Turner decorated to perfection. When Turner gets a taste of financial independence, she asks Douglas for divorce--all she wants is the house and everything in it (aside from his clothes and shaving kit). He laughs at her and she punches him in the face. Things only get worse from there, as nasty divorce proceedings (with DeVito as Douglas's lawyer) give way to insults, threats, ruined dinner parties, and pet abuse. And through it all, the Roses begin destroying their beloved home and its contents, just to spite each other. DeVito, who also directed, takes Michael Leeson's blacker-than-black screenplay and gives it a hyperstylized spin, complete with skewed camera angles and wonderfully expressionistic cinematography (by Stephen Burum) as Douglas and Turner barricade themselves in their house, both refusing to give an inch. Shocking for a mainstream studio picture, with its unsympathetic protagonists, escalating bitterness, and disturbing finale, Roses is a poisonously funny valentine to both marriage and '80s materialism, tempered only by its framing device as a cautionary tale. Definitely not a date movie. --Mark Englehart --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Douglas plays his role of a rather self-important and arrogant know-it-all quite well, and Turner is equally convincing as she exhibits growing distaste for him.
The DVD has a very good video transfer. The sound is surprisingly good for a 2-channel source, with reasonably good directionality in the front speakers.
There's a montage of deleted scenes that are arranged in chronological order so that it's easy for the viewer to mentally insert them in their proper place in the film. Unlike some deleted scenes, these have the same video and audio quality as the film itself.
Overall, this is a nicely done DVD of an under-appreciated film.
War of the Roses arrives at blu ray with MPEG-4 AVC 1080p 1.85:1 encode. It is directed by Danny DeVito, who intentionally wants a softly photographed picture with a darker lean, thus retaining the cinematographic intent with a pleasing presence of grain, keeping the viewing experience filmic with little overt filtering. Details are there, from the tchotchkes that litter the Rose household to the thinness of fabrics, accentuating certain wardrobe naughtiness from DeVito. Facial response is excellent, with natural skin tones. (4/5)
The 5.1 DTS-HD MA sound mix is fairly modest for a manic creation as this, maintaining a primarily frontal presence that makes little time for surround play. Dialogue is crisp and tight, with accurate separation. In 1953, Alfred Newman composed and recorded the 20th Century Fox Fanfare "with Cinemascope extension". In 1989, his son, David Newman re-recorded the fanfare for "The War of the Roses" in order to have the last note of the fanfare segue seamlessly into the first note of the opening titles music. Very clever! But the overall soundtrack is not outstanding. (3/5)
Oliver Rose (Michael Douglas) cuts the heels off his wife's (Kathleen Turner) shoes. In Romancing the Stone, Jack Colton (Douglas) cut the heels off Joan Wilder's (Turner) shoes.
While shooting the scene where Michael Douglas (Oliver Rose) and Kathleen Turner (Barbara Rose) are sitting in the chandelier, director Danny DeVito pretended to break for lunch while the two actors were 30 feet above ground. I wonder who had the last laugh.
There is only one BD-50 disc.Read more ›
The entire film is about that terrible divorce. It's a bit of a downer for happily married couples but it's still an enjoyable film as far as social satire and dark comedy. It's not really possible for any couple to conduct their divorce in the spiteful, nasty way these two go at it. Michael Douglas ruins his wife's dinner party, runs over her cat, and later Douglas eats his own dog which she had made into dinner. Their fighting becomes an all-out war, enacted inside their million dollar estate. At one point, they are hanging for dear life on a chandelier. Danny DeVito plays the lawyer and he is delivering absolute comedy. Remember, DaVito was a great choice for comic roles. Does anyone remember his partnership with Arnold Schwartznegger in the movie Twins ??
All that may be, but what is so great about the movie is its unrelenting viciousness once the barbs start flying. When Turner tells Douglas she had to pull off to the side of the road when she thought he might be dieing from a heart attack because "she was happy" he might pass away...wow, if that ain't a slap in the face??
It's interesting that Turner is really the hard case in this. Douglas keeps saying that he's still in love with her. He keeps softening towards Turner, and she rebuffs him with her jaw set more and more firmly. Yet, is he really in love with her, or just feels he can "get her back" to put back on his trophy case. He probably doesn't know either...combination of the two, I'd say.
The movie is keenly observed, and the lead performances are flawless,really. Our sympathies bounce back and forth, back and forth all the time.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I am in the process of getting DVD's for all the VHS movies I have and this is one of them.Published 21 months ago by Aline M Carley
My husband had never seen this movie and I told him how good it was. I decided to buy it and we enjoyed it immensely.Published on Nov. 30 2013 by Roxanne Rowan
I loved this movie and wanted it for myself and to show a few friends.
I've just ended a 10 year relationship and I never played their roll but
I did get thoughts... Read more
This is such a funny movie. My boyfriend is slightly obsessed with Michael Douglas in Falling Down, which when we watched it together, honestly gave me a huge migraine. Read morePublished on April 10 2013 by HN
Came just as described. Love this movie! It's going to add to my 80's collection I started a while back. Thank you! :)Published on Jan. 26 2013 by Suze-Anne Bencharsky
omg, this is such a funny movie. Hard to believe it was based on a true story. Stars Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner. Read morePublished on Jan. 4 2013 by amazon lover