Although Nights of the Rodanthe may be the most recent pairing of Richard Gere and Diana Lane, the pair were together in another romantic film in 2002, although in this one Gere saw a lot less affection from Diane Lane. Unfaithful opened to fair critical acclaim and a surprising box office intake that more than covered its budget. The film saw a second life on the home video format and now fans can witness all of the passion in full 1080p high definition, courtesy of this brand new Blu-ray release from Fox Home Entertainment.
Richard Gere and Diana Lane get caught in a web of passion and pain in the steamy erotic thriller from Adrian Lyne (Flashdance, Fatal Attraction), UNFAITHFUL. Edward (Richard Gere; Pretty Woman, Primal Fear) and Connie Sumner (Diane Lane; A Walk On The Moon, Nights In Rodanthe) have the perfect life: a happy marriage, an eight-year-old son and a beautiful house in the suburbs. But when Connie’s chance encounter with a handsome stranger (Olivier Martinez; Blood and Chocolate) erupts into a full-blown affair, desire becomes obsession, and the true price of betrayal takes a shattering toll.
This is a far cry from the usual type of film I watch, but there’s still some definite appeal that this film has to this day. I’m sure it’s exponentially more provocative and devious if you’re actually married, but being single and watching this really just paints this movie more as a passionate affair than anything for me; it’s certainly a well-acted and brilliantly cast piece of film, but the majority of the sequences in the film all follow the same pattern and when the film runs over two hours long with a similar setup for its runtime, it can get a bit boring, but the film lets up right when you’re about to say “Ok, enough already” and takes a bit of a turn down another route.
Strictly speaking the appeal of this film is just how graphic and devious it is. Body Heat may have set the standard for steamy sex scenes, but Unfaithful takes them a step further and throws in a bit of dirty scenarios and setups into it as well. Undoubtedly this isn’t the type of film you’d recommend to your mother, as it’s so unbelievable in how far the film goes at times; I was genuinely surprised by how graphic some of the sequences were, not so much in actual visuals of naked bodies, so much as the motions and…well, I’ll let you imagine the rest.
Having said all of that, the sequences with Diane Lane are absolutely fantastic, but whenever the film deviates to focus on Gere or some other element of the “boring” home life, the film screeches to a halt. Soon the film becomes a “well when are they going to hook up next?” type affair, and as they continue to do that then you grow tired of that; thankfully once Gere begins to suspect something is amiss, the film takes a bit of a turn, although it’s a bit of an unsatisfying one.
I will say it is kind of a unique and frustrating ending, however, as it wasn’t exactly what I’d expected from a film about an affair. It’s certainly more of a thought provoking film than one would have expected, although there are holes all over the place with the final theory (unless you can accept that cops are idiots and can’t see these kinds of details for themselves). Still, it’s a moderately entertaining film and the aforementioned passionate sequences are certainly something to take in, but the resulting sequences that occur because of it are less than thrilling.
Overall, Unfaithful is definitely a sultry and sordid love affair film, but the twist ending is a bit too smart and ridiculous for a film of this type. Still, those who haven’t checked it out may find it worth a Rental at least.
Fox has released Unfaithful in a single disc release with the usual inserts (advertisements, firmware notices, security label, etc) and disc art the mimics the cover. No slipcover is included and the menus for the film are simple and easy to navigate.
The AVC (@34mbps) encoded transfer for the film really is quite brilliant. Six years old and this film manages to back in copious amounts of detail into the scenes; lots of depth in the frames and the predominantly black color palette of the film comes through deep and rich. Definitely a fantastic looking film, Unfaithful is something that you’ll be wrapped up in both because of the story (first half anyway) and also because of the visuals. The Included DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix is a bit overkill for this release, as the amount of front-channel focused dialogue kind of ignores the rest of the surrounds for the majority of the film, although the films score certainly engulfs the room when it kicks in. Also included are Spanish and French DD5.1 mixes, as well as English SDH, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Thai subtitles.
So what about the extras? Well they’ve all been ported over verbatim from the previous DVD release and include:
•Commentary by Adrian Lyne
•Actor’s Commentary by Diane Lane & Oliver Martinez (scene specific)
•Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary and Introduction by Adrian Lyne
•An Affair To Remember: On the Set of Unfaithful
•Anne Coates on Editing
•Charlie Rose Interview with Richard Gere, Diane Lane and Adrian Lyne
•Conversation With Richard Gere, Diane Lane, Oliver Martinez
•Director’s Script Notes
These extras are all the same as the previous release and cover the spectrum well. Of course since nothing is new, one has to ask themselves just how badly they need to upgrade to this disc to have the film in 1080p with DTS-HD audio. Yes, the film looks fantastic and sounds wonderful (almost all Fox titles do), but other than that there is nothing new here. Still worth a Rental for those who haven’t seen it, but previous owners can Skip this release unless they have lots of money to burn.
Unfaithful is now available on Blu-ray.