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Steve Shill
Idris Elba, Beyoncé Knowles, Ali Larter, Jerry O'Connell, Bonnie Perlman, Christine Lahti
Writing Credits:
David Loughery

All's fair when love is war.

When successful financial advisor Derek Charles (Idris Elba) settles into a new Los Angeles neighborhood with his loving wife Sharon (Beyonce Knowles) and young son Kyle, everything seems perfect. But when a beautiful temp, Lisa (Ali Larter), joins the firm, Derek's life takes a strange turn. After a misunderstood encounter at the company Holiday party, Lisa begins to spiral out of control - putting Derek's career in jeopardy and Sharon's marriage and life on the line.

Box Office:
$20 million.
Opening Weekend
$28.612 million on 2514 screens.
Domestic Gross
$68.032 million.

Rated PG-13

Widescreen 2.40:1
English Dolby Digital TrueHD 5.1
French Dolby Digital TrueHD 5.1
Portuguese Dolby Digital TrueHD 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 108 min.
Price: $39.95
Release Date: 8/4/2009

• “Girl Fight!” Featurette
• “Playing Together Nicely” Featurette
• “Dressed to Kill” Featurette
• Digital Copy
• Previews


Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Obsessed [Blu-Ray] (2009)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 4, 2009)

Apparently the only thing more furious than a woman scorned is a crazy women scorned. Such is the lesson we learn in 2009’s Obsessed. The film concentrates on a young married couple. Derek Charles (Idris Elba) does well as a financial advisor, so he takes his wife Sharon (Beyonce Knowles) and son Kyle (Nathan and Nicolas Myers) to live in a nice new house.

All seems well in Derek’s life, but matters start to unravel when he meets a temp named Lisa Sheridan (Ali Larter) at work. She quickly sets her sights on him and refuses to engage in the affair she desires. Unfortunately, Lisa refuses to take no for an answer; the more Derek resists, the greater her deluded attachment becomes. This launches Derek into the middle of her dangerous infatuation and threatens the structure of Derek’s charmed life.

Every film of this sort bears a serious debt to 1987’s Fatal Attraction, and virtually none of them live up to that model. Heck, that one actually earned an Oscar nomination for Best Picture, an honor that rarely greets genre films like that.

And that’s an honor Obsession clearly won’t earn, as it lacks any particularly special characteristics. At least Attraction involved some real moral murkiness since the Michael Douglas character had an actual affair. No such depth accompanies Derek. The film leaves no question in the viewer’s mind that Derek is an A-one good guy. It never even portrays Derek as remotely tempted Lisa; while others talk about how hot she is, she seems disinterested in her. His worst crime? He glances idly at her legs.

I suppose one could feel that the nature of the tale makes it effective in one way. The viewer – especially the male viewer – may become more creeped out by the film because of the helplessness Derek experiences. He does pretty much everything right but still gets his life thrown off-course due to the machinations of a nutbag.

I do like one plot choice: the fact that Derek and Sharon met at the office when she worked as a secretary. That helps excuse some plot points that otherwise might become illogical. For instance, without that twist, it would seem strange that Derek tries to keep Lisa’s aggressive pursuit of him under the table. However, because of his history, Derek thinks people will always suspect him of going after the new office babe, so it makes sense that he would want to hide a situation that could so easily be misunderstood.

Despite some good choices like this, the one-sided nature of the story makes it frustrating for the viewer and leaves Obsession without much depth. Elba tries hard to add personality to Derek, though, and he generally does a good job. Early on, he gives off the requisite “master of the universe” vibe but he manages to portray Derek’s growing unease and vulnerability well. His performance acts as the best part of the movie.

On the other hand, Beyonce provides a pretty flat take on Sharon, though it doesn’t help she gets stuck with an often unsympathetic character. Sharon is territorial from the second she meets Lisa, and she shows no willingness at all to consider Derek’s side of things. Sharon manages to redeem herself somewhat as the movie progresses, but she’s still a problematic character, and Beyonce’s unimpressive performance doesn’t help.

Larter does nothing to reinvent the stereotypical psycho chick here. Like most of the movie, her Lisa is paint by numbers. She hits the standard cues and does nothing to elevate them. Granted, I’m not sure how much she could do in such an ordinary, predictable flick, but I don’t think Larter brings anything much to the production.

Honestly, the only real twist here comes from the racial side of things. The choice of African-American protagonists gives things a moderately different spin, though – to its credit – the film never plays up the racial side of things. In truth, it doesn’t matter that the protagonists are black and the villain is white, but it does create a somewhat interesting subtext.

Alas, it’s not enough to make Obsessed anything more than a “C”-level potboiler. We’ve gotten many entries in the genre, and this one does nothing to stand out from the crowd. It’s a consistently ordinary movie at best.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B-/ Bonus C

Obsessed appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The transfer consistently appeared positive.

Sharpness displayed very few concerns. I thought a few wide shots looked just a little tentative, but those were minor issues at most. The majority of the movie offered solid clarity and delineation. No problems with jaggies or moiré effects manifested themselves, and edge enhancement failed to appear. In addition, the presentation lacked any source flaws.

Colors looked fine within stylistic parameters. For instance, office scenes went with a chilly blue tint, while Derek’s home took on a warm tone. The hues consistently appeared full and concise. Blacks were dark and dense, and shadows displayed pretty good definition. A few low-light shots were a little thick, but those scenes were usually positive. Overall, this was a very nice presentation.

Expect a low-key Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack from Obsessed. The soundfield didn’t offer a whole lot of activity. Music played the most important role, as the score and some songs provided good breadth across the front. Otherwise, matters remained subdued. Effects played a pretty minor part in the proceedings. The office party opened things up a little, and one segment in which Derek gets drugged put us in his groggy mind. Nothing too memorable occurred, though.

Audio quality was more than satisfactory, at least. Music sounded warm and full, as the score offered nice range. Speech came across as distinctive and concise, and effects worked fine. Those elements didn’t have a lot to do here, but they were perfectly acceptable. Despite the lack of sonic ambition, the track was good enough for a “B-“.

A few extras fill out the disc. Three featurettes appear. Girl Fight! runs 11 minutes, 13 seconds and includes comments from director Steve Shill, stunt coordinator/second unit director Lance Gilbert, and actors Beyonce Knowles and Ali Larter. The show looks at the climactic fight sequence and the work that went into its creation and filming. We learn quite a lot about the sequence and get good behind the scenes footage to flesh out the important issues. This becomes an unusually solid piece for a clip of this sort.

Playing Together Nicely lasts 15 minutes, 37 seconds and features Shill, Knowles, Larter, screenwriter David Loughery, producer William Packer, and actors Idris Elba and Jerry O’Connell. “Playing” looks at the project’s script and development, and cast and performances. After the informative “Fight”, “Playing” returns to the usual promotional featurette mediocrity. It includes a few decent notes but it doesn’t tell us much, so don’t expect anything memorable.

Finally, Dressed to Kill goes for nine minutes, 30 seconds and provides remarks from Knowles, Elba, Larter, costume designer Maya Lieberman, production designer Jon Gary Steele, and cinematographer Ken Seng. “Kill” looks at visual design, with an emphasis on clothes used in the flick. It packs a good amount of information into this short piece and becomes an enjoyable exploration of its topics.

A second disc provides a Digital Copy of Obsessed. It allows you to plop the movie onto your computer or portable viewing device. If that works for you, party down!

A few ads open the platter. We get clips for Blu-ray Disc, Not Easily Broken, and Cadillac Records. Theses also appear in the Previews area along with promos for The Da Vinci Code, Lakeview Terrace, The Pursuit of Happyness, Stomp the Yard, First Sunday and Seven Pounds. No trailer for Obsessed appears here.

From Fatal Attraction to Single White Female to The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, we’ve seen many films in the “psycho chick” genre. Does Obsessed add anything to the field? No, not really. It provides a few interesting twists but not enough to overcome its general mediocrity. The Blu-ray boasts very good picture, acceptable audio, and a few decent extras. The disc presents a forgettable movie in a positive manner.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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