07/28/2015  
Madama 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 28The Blacklist: The Complete Second Season on Blu-ray & DVD Aug. 18What We Do in the Shadows on Blu-ray & DVD Jul 21Goodbye to All That on DVD Jul 14My Little Pony - Friendship Is Magic: Cutie Mark Quests on DVD Jun 30

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

'Ant-Man' inches past 'Pixels' to take No. 1 spot at bo...
Jake Gyllenhaal's Evolution of Hotness, From Bubble Boy...
Judd Apatow: Bill Cosby "One of the Most Awful People t...
Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert Split 10 Years After ...
Madama Bovary on DVD & Blu-ray Aug 4...
Rookie Blue: Season Five, Volume One on DVD Aug 18...
Marvel reverses scale, elevates comedy with compact her...
The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein on Blu-ray & DVD Jul 2...
California water district OKs Tom Selleck's settlement ...
Comic-Con: The Winners and Losers In San Diego...



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

MGM Studios DVD presents
Spetters (1980)

"If you're so good at business, how come you're still working with your dumb brother in that French fry stand?"
- Rien Hartman (Hans van Tongeren)

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: November 05, 2002

Stars: Hans van Tongeren, Renée Soutendijk, Toon Agterberg, Maarten Spanjer, Marianne Boyer
Other Stars: Jeroen Krabbé, Rutger Hauer
Director: Paul Verhoeven

Manufacturer: WAMO
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nudity, graphic sexuality, violence, gay-bashing, language, rape)
Run Time: 02h:02m:31s
Release Date: November 05, 2002
UPC: 027616880666
Genre: foreign


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A- A-B-B B-

DVD Review

Director Paul Verhoeven was no stranger to controversy over cinematic sexuality when he made Basic Instinct and Showgirls. He had already gained global notoriety with the graphic sexuality in his 1980 Spetters, with its concomitant sexual frankness in its tale of the life of young people in Rotterdam. Unlike those later Hollywod pictures, however, Spetters (a slang term for sexually attractive people, according to my Dutch friend) crackles with a realistic slice of life view of the troubled lives of these people, without the salacious attitudes seen in Verhoeven's later work.

The story centers on the dreams of three young working-class men who are involved in motocross racing, the hot prospect Rien Hartman (Hans van Tongeren), his mechanic Eef Dewitt (Toon Agterberg) and the hapless and clueless Hans Black (Maarten Spanjer). As Rien tries to emulate the champion racer Gerrit Witkamp (Rutger Hauer), the group is split apart by the machinations of the manipulative blonde sexpot Fientje (Renée Soutendijk). As things disintegrate, we see that the trio's seemingly innocent escapades have a dark undercurrent, reflected in Eef's penchant for gay-bashing and Rien's despair after an accident cuts short his racing career.

The youthful cast turns in a group of quite remarkable performances. While Maarten Spanjer's Hans is played a bit broadly as a comic character, he also has a depth and presence that makes him far more than a cardboard relief character. Particularly notable is van Tongeren, who sadly committed suicide about 18 months after filming. Marianne Boyer as Maja, Rien's rejected girl, is charming and affecting, with some good scenes later on when she gets involved with a Christian evangelical tent show. Soutendijk is sassy and entertaining as the blonde, and effectively shows us several chinks in her armor of manipulation.

The picture is beautifully shot by Jost Vacano, with numerous highly effective sequences, such as the brutally shocking segment of Rien's accident (unknowingly and indirectly caused by Eef) that has a hugely visceral impact. The later segments of the film are almost completely shrouded in darkness, emphasizing the black mood of the picture in its later stages, but it's all carefully calibrated to allow the action to be legible, even though 90 percent of the screen is black. The motocross segments play well and are fairly easy to follow even for one (like me) with zero background in the sport. The camera work effectively conveys a sense of the chaotic nature of the course.

Whereas much of Verhoeven's work that deals with sex has been purely exploitative, the sex here seems natural and quite appropriate to the story. The sexuality of Eef, in particular, is given a background of a Calvinist upbringing that compounds the difficulty of the issues that surround him as he clumsily comes to terms with his own sexual orientation. Surprisingly, MGM has offered the film completely uncut, with the graphic sexuality completely intact. The studio is to be commended for its courage in releasing the film uncut; it would certainly never be allowed to play in US theaters today. Nonetheless, it is worth seeking out for anyone looking for a serious drama. Even after two decades it still has an impact that is not lightly shaken off.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: A-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.66:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Although the film is presented in its original 1.66:1 aspect ratio, MGM did not see fit to enhance it anamorphically. Thus, while it looks good, it clearly could have been better. There is quite a lot of aliasing throughout. The titles, in red, display a tremendous amount of video noise. These two defects aside, however, the film looks very good. The source print is attractive, with almost no visible damage. Plenty of fine detail is evident, and colors are vivid throughout. While the Rotterdam backgrounds seem rather hazy, that's how I recall the picture looking in 1981.

Image Transfer Grade: B-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoDutchyes


Audio Transfer Review: The 2.0 mono sound is quite good. There's no hiss or noise notable, and the dialogue has a clear sound to it. The New Wave soundtrack prominently featuring Blondie and Iggy Pop sounds fine, without a big presence, but it doesn't sound bad either. A very serviceable mono track.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 16 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
1 Feature/Episode commentary by director Paul Verhoeven
Packaging: generic plastic keepcase
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL
Layers Switch: 00h:59m:19s

Extras Review: The principal extra is a commentary (in English) from the articulate Verhoeven. Although he has an unfortunate tendency to lapse into narration, he provides enough background detail about the making of the film, its historical context and the reaction in both Europe and the US to the film makes it well worth listening to. The US theatrical trailer is included, though it too is nonanamorphic. Chaptering is a bit on the thin side for a film of this length.

Extras Grade: B-

 

Final Comments

A brutally honest picture of the dreams of three young men and the woman who shatters them, with an okay transfer and an acceptable commentary. But at least it's uncut, with all of the graphic sexuality that is important to its impact, intact.

 


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

movie, ant-man, disney, marvel, pixels, adam sandler, jurassic, inside out, minions, trainwreck, southpaw, jake gyllenhaal, october sky, donnie darko, bubbly boy, brokeback mountain, prisoners, celebrity, jeff apatow, cnn, new day, bill cosby, music, blake shelton miranda lambert, you are the reason god make oklahoma, gunpowder and lead, drama, payton reed, paul rudd, michael douglas, corey stoll, evangeline lily, horror, tom selleck, calleguas municipal water district, movies, star wars, harrison ford, dead pool, ryan reynolds, muppets, batman v superman, ben affleck, westworld, hbo, j.j. abrams, the gallows, cassidy gifford, kathie lee gifford, frank gifford, amy schumer, judd apatow, bill hader, comedy, inside amy schumer, ariana grande, dough-nut licking video, wolfee donuts, television, netflix, wet hot american summer: first day of camp, michael showalter, david wain, elizabeth banks, michael ian black, bradley cooper, judah friedlander, janeane garofalo, joe lo truglio, ken marino, christopher meloni, marguerite moreau, zak orth, amy poehler, david hyde pierce, molly shannon, sci-fy, star trek, justin lin, star trek beyond, zoe soldana, chris pine, donald trump, republican presidential candidate, nbc, televisa, ora tv, lupita jones, carlos slim, larry king, sex-assault lawsuit, associated press, george m. gowen iii, disneyland, disney california adventure, selfie sticks banned, california screaming, coachella, lollapalooza, jimmy fallon, tonight show, hand injury, x files, david duchovny, gillian anderson, fox, january 24, 2016, apple music, allen kovac, motley crue, taylor swift, elvis costello, calvin harris, animation, kids, the tonight show, colin ferrell, vince vaughn, true detective, nbc nightly news, brian williams, anchor, matt lauer, today, msnbc, lester holt, mark feldstein, pixar, mindy-disgust, amy poehler-joy, phyllis smith-sadness, fear-bill hader, anger-lewis black., nbc evening news, robert barnett, daytime soap oprah, general hospital, genie francis, anthony geary

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
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