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Warner Home Video presents
Obsessed (2004)

"I would prefer to be Mirandized while clothed, please. If you don't mind."
- Ellena Roberts (Jenna Elfman)

Review By: Jeff Rosado   
Published: October 14, 2004

Stars: Jenna Elfman, Sam Robards, Kate Burton
Other Stars: Lisa Edelstein, Mark Camacho, Jane Wheeler, Charles Powell, Vlasta Vrana
Director: John Badham

Manufacturer: WAMO
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (sexuality)
Run Time: 01h:30m:05s
Release Date: September 07, 2004
UPC: 012569447523
Genre: suspense thriller

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B- C-B-B- C-

DVD Review

Early on, Obsessed hints at being a cut above the usual Lifetime cable network made-for-TV movie or numerous vault offerings pitting a Helpless Woman Facing Insurmountable Odds with Oscar-nominated director John Badham behind the lens and an attractive, talented cast headed by the always entertaining Jenna Elfman, a juicy, guilty pleasure seemed ready to evolve.

The Dharma and Greg cutie goes dramatic as Ellena Roberts, a flirty, chatty sophisticated medical writer who hits it off with handsome neurological surgeon David Stillman (Sam Robards) when the two meet prior to his keynote speaking duties in Massachusetts. Despite the golden band on his left hand, a dalliance leads to a torrid, illicit romance that goes full bloom once the new twosome set foot in their mutual hometown of Chicago (what a convenient plot device!).

After a husband-gets-mistress, husband-loses-mistress, husband leaves-wifey-for-new-lover interlude, all seems peachy keen. That is, until a fresh-from-the-shower Roberts finds herself arrested on harassment charges.


High heeling to Ellena's potential rescue in her neatly pressed courtroom attire and nicely coiffed flip is sympathetic lawyer Sara Miller (Kate Burton), who assures her new client that case #51458 is of the open and shut variety; she can go back to being a slut in no time (well, she doesn't actually utter those exact words, but let's have some fun, kids). But coming in from the district attorney's bullpen is Sam Cavallo (Mark Camacho), who lives to throw curveballs and this one is the judicial equivalent of a strike just inside the corner: David claims Ellena's nothing but a pathological stalker who's been hounding him and his wife. All he did was offer his business card for a potential platonic collaboration and that's all. Honest!

Regretfully at this juncture of the film, Elfman's character takes a 360 in terms of believability, highlighted by a horrifically unbelievable scene sitting face to face with Robards as she brags about her way with veal that plays like a bad parody of that infamous scene in Of Human Bondage as Bette Davis taunts Leslie Howard in multiple close-ups: " Veal's usually overcooked, and frequently saturated in an overbearing cream sauce. I studied at the Cordon Bleu in Paris, so I think I'm allowed a modicum of immodesty, I make an extraordinary coq au vin... Maybe I can cook for you one night."

From here, the 2002 movie becomes merely another routine psychological puzzle piece that Jessica from Murder She Wrote would have put together in half this film's running time. Criticisms aside, Elfman has the stuff for non-comical roles and her captivating presence—with good contributions from Burton, Robards, and Lisa Edelstein (as Ellena's sole supporter during her jail time)—keeps Obsessed from catapulting into unwatchable status.

Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: C-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Although the versatile cinematography by Ron Stannett is notable, it's very problematic. There is grain in many of the brightly lit scenes and the black levels in the darker moments are slightly off. It's not ugly enough to crack your picture screen, but this transfer is one of the weakest in recent memory. I'm tempted to rank it in the "C" level, but I'm gonna go easy here and plant an extremely low "B".

Image Transfer Grade: B-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English, Spanishyes

Audio Transfer Review: This is a rather undistinguished, basically bland made-for-TV Dolby Surround job; routine for a mostly-talky film, but no complaints.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 21 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. A Look Behind The Scenes
Extras Review: Behind the Scenes is seven minutes of predictable press-interview filler featuring Elfman, Burton, Robards, and Badham with their takes on the project complete with a lot of: You were great, No, you were great, No, no, no, you were greater...

Extras Grade: C-


Final Comments

Despite a talented cast and Badham's above-average direction, Obsessed doesn't even compel.


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