Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...

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

Wellspring presents
Dark Habits (Entre tinieblas) (1983)

Mother Superior: Very soon, this place will be full of murderesses, drug addicts, prostitutes, just like before.
Sister Rat of the Sewers: Praised be to God!

- Julieta Serrano, Chus Lampreave

Review By: Robert Edwards  
Published: October 29, 2003

Stars: Cristina S. Pascual, Julieta Serrano, Marisa Paredes
Other Stars: Carmen Maura
Director: Pedro Almodóvar

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (implied drug use, a glimpse of breasts, and general decadence)
Run Time: 01h:40m:03s
Release Date: September 09, 2003
UPC: 720917538624
Genre: foreign

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar is surely one of the best-known foreign directors in the United States, if only for his appearances at the 2000 and 2003 Oscar© ceremonies, where his effusiveness was matched only by his limited command of the English language. Born in 1951 in a poverty-stricken region of Spain, he moved—on his own—to the bright lights and big city of Madrid at the tender age of sixteen. His early interest in writing and creating photo novels soon led to an interest in film, but due to the closure of the national film school by the dictator Franco's repressive government, he was unable to go, and took at job with a phone company instead. Having saved enough money to buy himself a Super-8 camera, he began filming shorts in the early 1970s, and quickly became associated with La Movida, an extraordinary pop-art movement that flourished in Madrid in the late '70s and early '80s with the relaxation of government censorship following the death of Franco in 1975.

Indeed, Almodóvar's first two features, Pepi, Luci, Bom and Other Girls on the Heap (1980) and Labyrinth of Passion (1982) are little more than exhaustive catalogs of all the taboos that were forbidden under Franco: drug use, so-called "deviant" sexuality, crude language, adultery, religious blasphemy, and satire of government officials. But with 1983's Dark Habits, Almodóvar took a giant step forward.

It's the story of Yolanda (Cristina Sánchez Pascual), whose boyfriend has just died of strychnine-laced heroin. The police are looking for her, because she herself has done a little dealing on the side. Recalling the nuns who came to visit her backstage at a singing gig and offered to help her whenever she needed it, she goes to the Community of Humble Redeemers, where she's welcomed with open arms. But there's something more than a little bit odd with this community of nuns—not only do they all have bizarre names like Sister Damned, Sister Snake, and Sister Rat of the Sewers, but there's also a tiger in the garden. And her situation just keeps getting odder, with drug use, homosexuality, and blackmail soon to be served up.

Perhaps the most striking feature of Dark Habits is its increased sophistication in consistency and narrative as compared to Almodóvar's first two films, but it's still a transitory film, and a brief comparison with his next film, What Have I Done to Deserve This? is instructive. Not only is the black humor funnier in the latter film, but also the characters' individual arcs are tied together into a much more satisfying whole. And one can also see the beginning of two of Almodóvar's other obsessions, both of which he would only master in later films, namely an emphasis on color, costume, and decor, and an increasing reliance on melodrama as an integral part of his work.

But the one thing missing in both films is a nuanced emotional impact. Yes, there is an impact—but it's generally one of either outrage or bemusement, depending on the sensibilities of the viewer. It's only later in his career, especially with his masterpieces All About My Mother and Talk to Her that Almodóvar would master the ability to both amuse and move his audience.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.66:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The image is rather disappointing, especially given that the packaging declares "New HD Transfer." Taken from a less-than-pristine source print, the image is incredibly grainy, especially in the first part of the film. Speckles abound, and indeed one scene is so riddled with flaws that it looks like it was taken from a different source print. Colors are reasonably good, but all in all this is not a pleasant transfer to look at.

Image Transfer Grade: C+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Spanishyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: While the image is acceptable, the sound is not. It's low-fidelity, incredibly muffled, and plagued by constant, annoying hiss. And the touted "5.1 Mix" is not even worth listening to—bizarrely, the only difference between the left and right channels (both in the fronts and surrounds) is that the left channel has more hiss.

Audio Transfer Grade: D


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
Weblink/DVD-ROM Material
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Pedro Almodóvar filmography
Extras Review: The subtitles are good, with only a few spelling mistakes, and a director filmography is included.

Extras Grade: D


Final Comments

Dark Habits is Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar's depiction of a convent where nothing is quite as it initially seems. The transfer is only so-so, but fans of other Almodóvar films, as well as anyone who enjoys the works of the likes of John Waters or Ken Russell, will enjoy its satire and dark humor.


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search


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


Microsoft Store


television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

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