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DVD Review: BEWITCHED

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BEWITCHED

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 102 minutes, director audio commentary, deleted scenes. three featurettes, witch vision trivia track, and Bewitched trivia game

STUDIO: Columbia/ SPHE

RELEASE DATE: 10-25-2005

BEWITCHED didn't leave me bewitched. The remake is a frustrating failure you can lay all the blame at Nora Ephron and whomever let her do it in the first place. They decided to reinvent BEWITCHED, but unfortunately you get the sappy baggage that Nora brings to it. Why does she think that making everyone an emotional mess or a jerk will make good storytelling? It just doesn't in my book. I loved the original BEWITCHED TV series. I remember watching it when I got up at 6:30 am about 15 years ago. I have watched several episodes over the years.

The BEWITCHED movie revolves around Isabel (Nicole Kidman), a witch looking for love with a mortal, and Jack Wyatt (Will Ferrell), a jerk actor who is an emotional wreck looking for one last shot at being somebody before his career tanks for good after two box office bombs in a row. Jack decides to play Darrin in a TV remake of Bewitched and he casts Isabel as Samantha thinking the attention will all focus on him. Isabel thinks he is the guy who will be the one and he is smitten with her. She finds out he is a self-centered jerk and she decides to let loose the magic she wants to quit using. Her father, Nigel (Michael Caine in another good role), wants her to see the error of her ways and forget trying to be normal. The show's reality starts to bleed into the movie's world as two characters from the show insert themselves and Samantha pushes Isabel through inanimate objects. The movie is fun in spades for a while, but the writing Nora and Delia Ephron brings the movie crashing down and wrecks what promise a few clever ideas show throughout. If they make a sequel, I hope Nora stays far away and they give the reins to someone who can take hold of the uneven potential in the first film and cast a spell on everyone.

VIDEO: 1.85:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

Transfer's not bad. Colors and shadow values are OK. Image detail is good.

AUDIO: English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 DD

Subtitles: English, French

I wasn't overwhelmed by the sound. The audio mostly focuses on dialogue and music.

SPECIAL FEATURES: The only extra I really enjoyed (besides some previews for other movies) was six minutes of deleted scenes (the writer's conference scene is a hoot). The rest of the extras are downright bad. CASTING A SPELL: THE MAKING OF BEWITCHED is a very wasted 23 minutes of promo fluff explaining why they had to change everything and still think the show's fans will be happy if they leave certain things in. Next we have cast and crew gab about the eight main actors in eight short star featurettes which you can play as one or each as their own featurette. Then we are treated to another boring featurette on why the cast and crew loved the BEWITCHED TV series. Nora Ephron has plenty to talk about on the director's audio commentary for the film on why she made the decisions she did. I heard why the film went so wrong because Nora doesn't have a clue why the TV series was so good when she decided to make her little movie. Also you can choose a Witch Vision Trivia Track which will display facts and trivia while you watch the movie. The BEWITCHED Trivia game is pointless if your memories of the show aren't top notch. Sadly the theatrical trailer wasn't included on the DVD.

FINAL ANALYSIS: The BEWITCHED movie had so many wonderful ideas, but Nora's style just ruins it in the end. if you loved the original TV series, skip this one or tread at your own risk when renting the DVD.

this DVD Review is (c)10-18-2005 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com and look for additional content (and news/updates) at http://www.livejournal.com/users/enterlinemedia