Media

Movie Renter's Guide Number 154 - January, 2008 - Part II

ARTICLE INDEX

"Cat People" (HD DVD)

movie-cat-people.jpgSynopsis

Irena, a beautiful young woman on the bridge of sexuality, discovers love for the first time only to find that the explosive experience brings with it tragic consequences. The tremendous passion of this girl's first romantic love is so strong, however, it bypasses the chaos around her - including her brother's extraordinary demands - as it pushes her on to her own bizarre destiny. With a style as timeless as myth, Cat People is an erotic fantasy of the passion and terror that surround a girl's first love. Desire... passion... blood, her lust transforms her into one of the "Cat People."

 

Specifications

  • Universal
    1982, Color, Rated R, 1 hr 59 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • 1080p
  • English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
  • English DD+ 5.1
  • Directed by Paul Schrader
  • Starring Starring Nastassia Kinski, Malcolm McDowell, John Heard, Annette O’Toole
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: Yes
  • Language: Yes

Commentary

I always confuse this film with another 80’s sensual thriller, The Hunger. I don’t know why though. Both have completely different themes. I guess it is the similarities in production style. Both have that 80’s sex thriller feel. Plenty of synth based mood music, lots of naked girls and thin plotlines. Not to say this film is horrible or anything, but it doesn’t tread new ground and seems a bit too cookie cutter. If you’re a fan of the sexy horror films of that decade though, this is one not to miss.

Technical

Universal has been really hit or miss when it comes to their catalog releases. We’ve seen some horrible noise reduction and edge enhancement from some of their titles, so I was a bit reluctant going into this one. Thankfully, it isn’t too bad. The print has definitely been cleaned up a bit, and noise reduction is obvious during some parts, but edge enhancement isn’t nearly as intrusive as some of their other titles. Some of the effects shots don’t hold up real well, but most of the film looks better than I would expect from a production like this. Detail is generally good, with only a small amount of fine detail missing from longer shots. Colors are natural and well balanced, and I was impressed with the dimension of the image. Contrast is good and shadow detail is preserved well. Overall this is quite a good transfer for a film of this age.

The 5.1 soundtrack is presented in Dolby TrueHD, but even the lossless encoding can’t overcome the limitations of the production. The soundtrack is on the thin side. Bass response is weak, and dialogue always sounds a bit too forward. The soundtrack does try to take advantage of the surround soundstage, but most of the surround activity comes off a bit forced. Atmosphere isn’t too bad though. There is generally good imaging across the main channels.

Extras

Universal has included most of the supplements found on the DVD release. There’s a feature commentary, some production features, a retrospective on the film with the director, and a photo gallery.