Death Becomes Her: Collector's Edition [Blu-ray]
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This 1992 black comedy by Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the Back to the Future trilogy) features some of the most eye-popping special effects of the '90s in its story of a narcissistic star (Meryl Streep) who steals the husband (Bruce Willis) of another woman (Goldie Hawn) and continues her rivalry with her even after death. A magic potion keeps both women going despite the punishment of murderous bullets and fatal plunges, and the joke is that even as they rot they remain vain about appearances. Though he's fashioned a one-note movie, Zemeckis gets a lot of mileage out of such impressive sights as Hawn walking around with a hole in her chest the size of a basketball, and Streep--her head and arms twisted 180 degrees--moving like a broken crab. It's weird, it's sick, it's hilarious, and the stars push the whole project to a classy entertainment. Isabella Rossellini is great as a scantily clad witch who sells the immortality brew. The DVD release has a full-screen presentation, optional French and Spanish soundtracks, optional Spanish subtitles, and Dolby sound. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Now the good news. With its first ever widescreen release, we can finally see everything theatre audience were privy to back in 1992. Both the VHS and DVD copies released in North America were horrible Pan & Scan copies. Although the quality of this Blu-ray's picture is far from perfect, it is 100% better than any other release currently available. I'd give it a 3.5 out of 5, vs the 2 out of 5 I'd give both the VHS and DVD. So it's a step up, for sure. The sound quality of the film is excellent. I'd easily say it's the biggest improvement of the film, but the picture is in widescreen, and for the most part, a joy to behold.
The bad news. The special features I had been hoping to see, like deleted scenes (Tracy Ullman had a whole subplot in the original film that was cut for timing), and a possible cast commentary were unattainable. Robert Zemekis and other production crew did do a 30 minute mini-documentary on the behind-the-scenes moments of the film. As a film enthusiast this impressed me, as a casual film watcher, I could see why it wouldn't impress some people.Read more ›
I think that it is fair to say that this is a strange movie. Helen (Goldie Hawn) is engaged to be married to Dr Ernest Menville (Bruce Willis), a famous plastic surgeon. They watch a rather awful show at the theatre and go backstage to meet the star, Madeline Ashton (Meryl Streep). Madeline and Helen knew each other in high school, and Helen believes that Madeline intentionally steals every boyfriend Helen has. This is the final test before the wedding. Naturally, Madeline, who is vain about her appearance and worried about aging, does steel Ernest away and ends up marrying him herself. This drives Helen crazy, literally. We flash forward seven years to get an update on the characters, then another seven years to bring us to the main section of our story. Madeline is aging and she hates it. She meets up with Helen again, and Helen looks fantastic, as if she hasn't aged a day in the past 14 years. Helen is all glammed up and looks like a star. Madeline is starting to look frumpy. It is all starting to come full circle and Madeline's jealousy is driving her to do something rash.
Rather than do something predictable (in the movies, anyway) like start killing people, Madeline goes to a strange woman named Lisle (Isabella Rossellini) and gets a potion that halts the aging process and returns the body to its youthful, more perfect image. It also bestows immortality. Now Madeline can compete with Helen again! This rivalry and this fight will continue on through life and even into death.
"Death Becomes Her" is a comedy. It is a very strange comedy, and has something of a dark humor, but it is without question an original movie. It is one of the more overlooked movies in Robert Zemeckis's filmography.Read more ›
Goldie Hawn, engaged at the beginning of the film to wimpy (yes, I said wimpy, an effective character part for the actor) Bruce Willis, is nervous when they meet old girlfriend-now-hot-show biz star Meryl Streep. That's because Streep always took her boyfriends away from her. Well, Bruce assures her that it's just not going to happen this time, and the next thing we hear are wedding bells, with Bruce and Meryl as the happy bride. Seven years pass, and Hawn is larger than a house as she devours anything with sugar in it while Bruce is paunchier than ever, unhappy in a marriage to a Streep who stares in the mirror at every line now appearing on her once flawless face.
That's just the film's first ten minutes or so, setting the story up for a bizarre tale of retribution combined with elements of the supernatural. And much of it is often quite hysterical. All three stars score well in their roles, but Streep deserves special mention, I feel, playing a supremely bitchy self absorbed movie star with a larger-than-life flair. And, for an actress known for her meaty dramatic roles, who would have known that she could be such a brilliant comedy player?
This film might not be to everyone's taste because the story defies logic (but not in a bad way, though, since the laws of science do not apply here, what with one character breaking her neck in a massive fall down a large flight of stairs yet still talking, but with her head now attached to her body backwards).Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Great movie, a classic in terms of early 90's special effects (Zemeckis) and over the top drama played to perfection by few pros in their prime.Published 5 months ago by Brittknee