Classic movie, not so classy presentation weak DVD needs to
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 02/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"John Dahl's "The Last Seduction" captures the flavor of film noir perfectly. Bridgett (Linda Fiorentino)seems to have it all; she's beautiful, bright but married to a dead end job and a dead beat wannabe doctor Clay (Bill Pullman). Clay's pulled the ultimate drug deal; he's illegally purchased medications with cocaine in them and sold them to drug dealers on the street. To do this he borrowed $100,000 from a loan shark. With the profits, he plans on living in high style with his wife. Bridget has other plans. After a fight, she steals the money with the intention of keeping it all for herself. She disappears in a small town hoping to hold on to the money until her attorney (J. T. Walsh)can complete her divorce. Changing her name, she takes a job at an insurance company. She meets Mike Swale (Peter Berg)in a local bar. He's infatuated with her from the moment he meets her. "Wendy" as she's now called has plans for him and her ex that will allow her to keep all the money for herself.
A direct descendant of "Double Indemnity" (Bridget gives her name as "Mrs. Neff" at one point a tip of the hat to the classic movie and book)and other noir thrillers, "The Last Seduction" got dumped on cable but when the distributor realized it had such a great movie they released it to theaters. Widely lauded for her role, Linda Fiorentino could have scored an Oscar nomination--if not for the fact that HBO showed this before it was released to theaters. Bill Pullman turns in a twisted performance as Clay playing with the audience expectations created by his appearence in other movies as the good guy. He gives a great performance. There's hardly a weak performance in the film and Dahl's direction is so sure handed you'd imagine this was his tenth or twentieth film not one of his first. The late great J.T. Walsh brings the oily lawyer Frank Griffith to life in a great supporting turn.
That was the good news. The bad is that this great movie has been given a basic DVD presentation and, what's worse, it doesn't look all that great. There's a number of compression artifacts. While this states that it's in the original format, it looks to me like the image was blown up from a widescreen presentation as the image looks lousy. There's no extras at all. That's too bad as this film (like "Red Rock West") deserves a commentary track from Dahl as its one of his most accomplished films. At the very least, we should have gotten a documentary on the film and why it got dumped on cable and how the film was discovered by filmgoers.
5 Stars for the movie, 2 stars for the lousy presentation by Artisan (and the lousy transfer). It's unfortunate that Lion's Gate (which distributes this) chose not to provide the package and picture quality this film deserved."
Where is the DVD???
LGwriter | Astoria, N.Y. United States | 08/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the all-time GREAT '90s neo-noir films, I completely agree with all the other folks here. It is absolutely unbelievable that this title is not available on DVD, especially considering the fact that John Dahl's (the director) other two neo-noirs ARE on DVD--Kill Me Again and Red Rock West, both of which are also excellent.Unlike Body Heat, in which Lawrence Kasdan (director) formulaically uses film noir elements to tell a tale that grows increasingly more boring and tiresome, Dahl here does a brilliant job of weaving together elements of film noir in a completely fresh, intriguing, and powerful way. Yes, the femme fatale is here, but she's REALLY sexy and REALLY dangerous. And this HAS to be Linda Fiorentino's best performance ever. She is perfect for the part of Wendy, right on target.Bill Pullman strikes the perfect note as the sleazy, half-whiny, conniving husband and Peter Berg is also perfect as the seemingly not-so-dumb hick from upstate New York--who's ultimately shown to be, in fact, astoundingly dumb in a revelatory scene. The characters, plot, and pacing all contribute to make this a truly great thriller. It's a shame this is not on DVD, truly."
A smart thriller in the tradition of "Double Indemnity"
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 06/22/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you are looking for a smart thriller, where you go along for the ride because you are never going to be able to catch up with what is going on, then "The Last Seduction" is a prime choice for your late night enjoyment. Directed by John Dahl and written by Steve Baranci, this 1994 film begins with Bridget Gregory (Linda Fiorentino) lording it over an office of telemarketers trying to sell collectible coins. Meanwhile, her husband Clay (Bill Pullman) has pulled his first drug deal and netted $700,000. However, as they talk about celebrating he makes the mistake of slapping her and by the time he gets out of the shower she has disappeared with the money. Of course, by the end of the movie when he are thinking that Clay made a mistake marrying Bridget in the first place. Bridget calls up her lawyer (J.T. Walsh) to find out what her options are preserving stolen money as a marital asset when she gets a divorce while Clay hires a private eye (Bill Nunn) to find her and get his money back because he has a loan shark who is not happy with him.The obvious historical antecedent for "The Last Seduction" is "Double Indemnity," and when Bridget takes the name Wendy Kroy (look at it backwards) and starts working for an insurance company it is hard not to notice the similarities (that and she calls herself Mrs. Neff at one point). However, before that happens she hooks up with Mike Swale (Peter Berg) at a bar and is less than thrilled to see that he works there two. They continue to meet at the bar for sex and he keeps trying to get closer, but she is still on the run and needs to come up with a way of saving her life and the keeping the money (not necessarily in that order). "The Last Seduction" begins trying to lull you into thinking this is a romantic comedy (my wife kept saying "You said this was a thriller, this is not the music of a thriller"), but then things take a more serious turn. Once that happens the twists and turns just keep coming as Linda Fiorentino makes Barbara Stanwyck's Phyllis Dietrichson look like a prim and proper little schoolgirl. Unfortunately, "The Last Seduction" was shown on television before its theatrical release, which put the kibosh on any hopes of Fiorentino getting an Oscar nomination. Yes, the character is that memorable, as good at being bad as anyone you can recall and she never, ever lets the mask slip away as this mistress of improvisation takes care of everyone and everything in her own sweet way. There are no extras of any kind on this DVD, which actually is a good thing. That is because this is the sort of film that should really stand on its own without a look behind the curtain and it makes perfect sense that there are not any deleted scenes. Even a trailer might give away too much of the game. This might not be a great film, but it is very, very good and worth a late night viewing."
Mr Chris Thompson | United Kingdom | 08/04/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Linda Fiorentino is amazing in this great movie, she brings you to the edge of your seat and I am sure makes men everywhere, think twice! She is bad, but you can't help but like her. Please, please, please bring out the DVD."