08/31/2015  
Good Kill on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 1The Goldbergs: The Complete Season Two on DVD Sep 8Catching Faith on DVD Aug 181931 The Front Page on Blu-ray & DVD Aug 11Madama Bovary on DVD & Blu-ray Aug 4Rookie Blue: Season Five, Volume One on DVD Aug 18The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein on Blu-ray & DVD Jul 28

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

You have to see BFFs JLaw and Amy Schumer dance on top ...
Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani Shine Together on Red Carpe...
VMAs producer: Miley Cyrus has 'free rein,' no rules fo...
Taylor Swift's 'musical crush' Justin Timberlake helps ...
Taylor Swift and Alanis Morissette slayed 'You Oughta K...
Amy Schumer's advice for the new 'Bachelor'...
Jared Fogle reaches plea agreement in porn case ...
Shannen Doherty reveals breast cancer diagnosis in laws...
Love me Tinder! Kelly Clarkson sings and saves these ho...
Good Kill on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 1...





Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Anchor Bay presents
Crimes of Passion (1984)

"Save your soul, whore!"
- Reverend Peter Shayne (Anthony Perkins)

Review By: Dale Dobson   
Published: July 19, 2000

Stars: Kathleen Turner, Anthony Perkins
Other Stars: John Laughlin, Annie Potts
Director: Ken Russell

Manufacturer: IBM Interactive Media
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (strong sexual situations, nudity, violence)
Run Time: 01h:46m:39s
Release Date: May 05, 1998
UPC: 013131033397
Genre: offbeat


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A A-D+C D-

DVD Review

Ken Russell's Crimes of Passion concerns the adventures of one Bobby Grady (John Laughlin), a 30-year-old man who believes himself happily married until he begins to examine his life in group therapy. Seeking part-time work, he is hired to investigate a bright young designer named Joanna Crane (Kathleen Turner) suspected of selling her employer's designs to his competitors. He soon discovers her after-hours identity as "China Blue," a blonde-wigged prostitute working the red-light district. Grady begins a tentative relationship with China/Joanna, first as a "trick" and then as a friend and lover. Meanwhile, an addled street preacher named Reverend Peter Shayne (Anthony Perkins) plots to "purify" Joanna's soul by murdering her.

While the plot is fairly standard potboiler melodrama, Crimes of Passion is carried by its strong cast, willing to "live" lives most people don't even care to think about. Kathleen Turner's performance is complex and thoroughly committed—"China" is so eager to please her customers that she adopts different accents and personae as required, and the character works on two different levels: she rolls her eyes knowingly when her "johns" aren't looking, but she also takes a certain pleasure in her role as a made-to-order sex object, talking dirty and indulging her patrons in surprisingly explicit fashion onscreen. In her "real" life as Joanna, she's emotionally distant and cold, unable to connect with a man until Bobby Grady enters her life, and Turner somehow communicates Joanna/China's entire sad sexual history with little direct help from the script. Anthony Perkins takes a matter-of-fact approach to Reverend Shayne's raving, apologetically profane monologues and distorted world-view, presenting him as a wily, half-reasonable madman armed with a lethal vibrator, though he occasionally comes off as Norman Bates in priest drag. The only disappointing lead performance is that of John Laughlin as Bobby Grady, ostensibly the story's central figure. The character supposedly matures during the course of the film, but his transformation isn't very evident, and it's not clear why Joanna falls for the athletic but uncharismatic Bobby. The script is partially to blame here—Bobby is much more attractive than her regular customers and apparently excellent in bed, but his ability to overcome her emotional barriers in a few days' time is never satisfactorily explained. Annie Potts appears in the thankless role of Bobby's wife Amy, whose only "sin" is a subdued libido.

The film benefits greatly from veteran director Ken Russell's strong visual style. The film is lit in stark reds and blues, intercut with erotic artwork and filled with beautiful, shocking images. This unrated cut gives free reign to Russell's explicit but oddly tasteful visions of twisted, sleazy, ultimately depressing sexuality. Echoes of Russell's Tommy are seen here and there, particularly in a TV music video sequence and a "red-light district" setting reminiscent of the Acid Queen's abode. The film's production design supports its themes admirably—Bobby and Joanna's "normal" world is subdued and naturalistic, full of white walls and stylish, safe designs, but the world of "China Blue" is vibrant, colorful and dangerous, simultaneously appealing and horrifying.

Crimes of Passion has its faults—the redemptive "happy ending" is abrupt and awkward, and the script hints at themes regrettably unexplored. But the film's power is undeniable—it raises fundamental, disturbing questions about who and what we are as human beings, frankly depicting the personality distortions that sexual dysfunction can inflict. It explores the animal side of human nature, portraying lust and naked selfishness without mitigating circumstance or moral platitudes, and the end result is visceral, disturbing and profound.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Anchor Bay presents Crimes of Passion in its original 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio with a non-anamorphic transfer. The DVD image quality is below average, exhibiting a veritable encyclopedia of compression flaws—moire patterns, blocking (even in the letterbox bars), motion artifacting and i-frame "pulsing" are all visible at various points. The source print is clean and solid, and it's a testament to the strength of Russell's visual style that the abundant MPEG-2 artifacts are more annoying than distracting. But this early Anchor Bay release isn't up to the publisher's current high standards, and the film deserves better.

Image Transfer Grade: D+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglishno


Audio Transfer Review: Crimes of Passion is presented with its original Hi-Fi monophonic soundtrack, in Dolby Digital 2.0 decoded to play through the center speaker. Frequency range is adequate and handles Rick Wakeman's Dvorak-inspired orchestral/synth score successfully, though it sounds harsh at times. There's no subwoofer-level bass at all and the soundtrack becomes a bit muddy in street scenes, but dialogue is generally comprehensible and this is a workable if undistinguished digital transfer.

Audio Transfer Grade: C

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 9 cues and remote access
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Anchor Bay provides no extras for Crimes of Passion, settling for a static title screen and a mere 9 chapter stops (albeit with nicely-executed full-motion chapter selection menus). A keepcase insert features a few publicity photos from the film, but there's no real information here, just the film itself. A disappointing showing for this unique film.

Extras Grade: D-

 

Final Comments

Crimes of Passion is a daring, thought-provoking exploration of the seedier side of human sexuality, a stylized melodrama with credible performances and striking visuals. Anchor Bay's DVD transfer is unfortunately rather poor—the film is still worth watching in its current form, but it's far from reference quality. The publisher is apparently aware of the issue—keep an eye out for announcements concerning the planned Crimes of Passion - Remastered edition (listed on Anchor Bay's website for March 2001 at this writing, though no official release date has been set.)

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

celebrity, jennifer lawrence, amy schumer, billy joel, uptown girls, chicago, television, gwen stefani, blake shelton, the voice, adam levine, pharrell williams, music, los angeles microsoft theater, vma awards, miley cyrus, garrit english, staples center, concert, taylor swift, 1989 tour, lisa kudrow, selena gomez, justin timberlake, alanis morissette, you oughta know, natalie maines, ellen degeneres, bachelor, jared fogle, subway pitchman, sex with minors, shannen doherty, beverly hills, 90210, breast cancer, law suit, tanner, mainstain, glynn & johnson, steven d. blatt, kelly clarkson, tinder, heartbeat song, jimmy kimmel, celine dion, drama, family, comedy, faith.drama, fresh prince of bel-air, will smith, fuller house, the x-files, twin peaks, gunsmoke, burt reynolds, bruce boxleitner, buck taylor, jess walton, lane bradbury, merry florene, the man from u.n.c.l.e., robert vaughn, david mccallum, guy ritchie, henry cavill, armie hammer, anna faris, mom, chris pratt, jurassic world, redbook, john landgraf, mr. robot, ray donovan, the strain, difficult people, news late night, jon stewart, peter jennings, the daily show, coco, ice t, conan, keith richards, beatles, rolling stones, crosseyed heart, norah jones, paris hilton, emily ratajkowski, stella maxwell, jada pinkett smith, jaden, willow, howard stern, classic, foo fighters, learn to fly, fabio zaffagnini, betty white, walt palmer, cecil the lion, mia farrow, valerie harper, nice work if you can get it, ogunquit playhouse, mary tyler moore show, movie, mission: impossible -- rogue nation, tom cruise, simon pegg, ving rhames, jeremy remmer, alec baldwin, late night, ted cruz, david mccullough, ant-man, disney, marvel, pixels, adam sandler, jurassic, inside out, minions, trainwreck, southpaw, jake gyllenhaal, october sky, donnie darko, bubbly boy, brokeback mountain, prisoners

On Facebook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store