12/20/2014  
Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Season 2 on DVD Dec 16Lord Of Illusions (Collector's Edition) 2-Disc Blu-ray Director's Cut Dec 16Kelly & Cal on DVD Dec 30The Facts Of Life: The Complete Series on DVD Jan 13Keep on Keepin' On on DVD Jan 13Stonehearst Asylum on DVD & Blu-ray Dec 16Moveable Feast With Fine Cooking - Season 1 on DVD Dec 30

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Stephen Colbert sings with every celebrity you can thin...
The Colbert Report Is Dead. Long Live Stephen Colbert!...
Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Season 2...
Lord Of Illusions (Collector's Edition) 2-Disc Blu-ray ...
A Salute to 'The Colbert Report' ...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
JACK REACHER...
LIZ & DICK...
CHINA BEACH: THE COMPLETE SERIES...

CA Chuck Aliaga

THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
THE LADY (BLU-RAY)...
SWAMP THING (BLU-RAY)...
AROUSED...
THE SWEENEY (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

Take Part in a Film Restoration...
STORAGE WARS: SEASON ONE...
LOST KEATON...
BLACK NARCISSUS (BLU-RAY)...
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE MOTION PICTURE TRILOGY (BLU-...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...
BASEBALL'S GREATEST GAMES: 1986 WORLD SERIES GAME 6...

JS Jesse Shanks

KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...
NORMAN MAILER: THE AMERICAN...
I Don't Know How She Does It on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 3...
The Liam Neeson Film Collection on DVD Nov 1...
Box Office Charts From Box Office Mojo Nov 12-14...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...
THE TROUBLE WITH TOLSTOY...
HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN TWO HOURS...
ANATOMY OF A MURDER...
BASIL DEARDEN'S LONDON UNDERGROUND (ECLIPSE SERIES 25)...

JC Joel Cunningham

WINGS OF DESIRE...
A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS...
MONSOON WEDDING...
PIERROT LE FOU...
SMALLVILLE: THE COMPLETE EIGHTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...
STEPFATHER II...

DH Dan Heaton

NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RR Rich Rosell

WE FEED THE WORLD...
THE BUCKET LIST...
CRUDE IMPACT...
THE MAGIC OF FLIGHT (BLU-RAY)...
JOURNEY INTO AMAZING CAVES (BLU-RAY)...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

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

Universal Studios Home Video presents
The Door in the Floor (2004)

"You've arrived here during a sad time in an otherwise happy marriage."
- Ted Cole (Jeff Bridges)

Review By: Rich Rosell   
Published: January 04, 2005

Stars: Jeff Bridges, Kim Basinger, Jon Foster
Other Stars: Mimi Rogers, Elle Fanning, Bijou Phillips, Louis Arcella
Director: Tod Williams

MPAA Rating: R for strong sexuality and graphic images, and language
Run Time: 01h:50m:50s
Release Date: December 14, 2004
UPC: 025192500022
Genre: drama


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

DVD Review

Film versions of John Irving novels are often exasperating, and if you've read any of his intricately woven books you would probably agree. Some writers lose something in the translation—Stephen King is another—though Irving's The Cider House Rules, The Hotel New Hampshire and The World According to Garp were still turned into enjoyable films in their own right, and all fairly well received, but they lacked so much of the original that they seemed like fragments of a bigger whole. The sweetly simplistic Simon Birch (based on A Prayer for Owen Meany) was maybe not as well-received as those, but is probably the one that touched me the most, and came closest to making me forget the depth of the novel.

For his second film, director Tod Williams got adventurous and chose to lift and rework a segment from Irving's A Widow for One Year, with the author's blessing and involvement. This slightly condensed version (though it runs a drawn-out two hours) follows the disintegrating marriage of Ted (Jeff Bridges) and Marion (Kim Basinger) Cole, a couple whose personal tragedies have formed a fatal wedge between them, and each seems to rotate in their own isolated orbits, crossing paths only when the needs of their four-year-old daughter Ruthie (Elle Fanning) connects them.

Ted, a loutish sort who spends an inordinate amount of time "drawing" neighborhood women, is a successful children's author (the film's title comes from one of his books), and when he hires 16-year-old Eddie (Jon Foster) as his personal assistant the fragmentation of the already fragile family dynamic accelerates. The crux of the emotional problems arise as a sexual affair develops between teenage Eddie and Marion, a relationship that ramps up when she catches him masturbating to one of her sweaters.

The interplay between the three lead characters is, for the first hour or so, where Williams attempts to drive the story, though it is a really slow go, built more around small moments than an overall story. This is the kind of film in which individual scenes are loaded with interesting blocks of dialogue, giving the actors (Bridges and Basinger especially) room to flex and shine, but where the storytelling speed itself is positively glacial. Bridges, who is one of those unsung actors that doesn't seem to get the kudos he deserves, holds The Door in the Floor together with another of his casually dangerous performances that allows him to take an often unlikable character and reveal a range of unseen layers, all with the slightest expression change. Basinger plays weary well here, and her seduction of Eddie would almost be sweet if it were not for a late plot reveal that manages to take her portrayal and transform it into something dangerously sad.

But it is the pacing that drags this one down, a downright lethargic narrative, as well as some character actions that seem mind-bogglingly unexplainable, that makes The Door in the Floor such a wobbly project. There is the weakly developed subplot about Ted's artistic dalliance with Mrs. Vaughn (Mimi Rogers, who takes on an eye-popping bit of nudity here) tries to pay off with a bit of near-slapstick comedy that seems strangely out of place within the context of the rest of the story.

This is odd, emotional high drama, from one of the great American authors, and though there are pockets of strong material, the film drags rather than flows.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: The Door in the Floor has been issued in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, and it is pleasing, but not perfect. This is an intentionally soft-looking film, and as a result colors often have a vaguely hazy appearance to them, though fleshtones come across exceptionally well here. Some edge enhancement issues are evident, and the print contains a few instances of distracting specking, as well, which for such a new film knocks it down in the grade category.

Image Transfer Grade: B-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
5.1
English, Frenchyes


Audio Transfer Review: This is a very tight Dolby Digital 5.1 surround track, one that keeps the dialogue locked firmly in the center channel. There isn't a lot of spatial movement in this mix, and there were times when utilizing the left and right fronts a bit more might have opened things up slightly. The good news is that composer Marcello Garvos' beautiful score is allowed to spread out periodically, and that is when the audio sells the drama the best.

A French language 5.1 track is also included.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 20 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
2 Other Trailer(s) featuring Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Wimbledon
3 Documentaries
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Tod Williams, Terry Stacey, Affonso Gonzales, Marcello Garvos, Eric Daman
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: Writer/director Tod Williams, cinematographer Terry Stacey, editor Affonso Goncalves, composer Marco Zarvos and costume designer Eric Daman contribute a "creative team" commentary track, and it understandably focuses on the rich physical textures of the film, as opposed to being simply a reiteration of what's happening onscreen. There is some of that, to a degree, but most of it falls back on techniques of composition, etc. I found it interesting to note that Jeff Bridges did the drawings for the fictitious The Door in the Floor book, and the images are used as part of the title sequence.

There are also a trio of fine inside looks at the production, though they all tend to cover a lot of the same ground. Frame on the Wall: The Making of The Door in the Floor (25m:43s) is the most completely comprehensive—from casting, writing, etc—while Novel to Screen: Author John Irving (15m:49s) centers primarily on the great author's impressions of the film versions of his books, and how this particular one was whittled down. Anatomy of a Scene (25m:49s) is lifted from The Sundance Channel and focuses on some pivotal moments late in the film.

The disc is cut into 20 chapters, and features optional subtitles in English, French or Spanish.

Extras Grade: B

 

Final Comments

A little too slow for its own good, The Door in the Floor is most definitely an actor's film, one that is more memorable for the delivery of certain scenes than it is as an overall experience.

Credit writer/director Tod Williams for having the guts to tackle a film adaptation of a huge John Irving novel, and the foresight to draft Jeff Bridges as the often unlikable lead, who once again shows some mighty fine acting chops.

 


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

television, stephen colbert, final show, kareem abdul-jabar, jj abrams, alan alda, christiane amanpour, many more, the colbert report, last show, santa, unicorn, abraham lincoln, alex trebek, documentary, horror, comedy channel, stephen t. colbert, colbert report, movie, the interview, united states, north korea, soney, hector monsegur, china, sony pictures entertainment, cyber attack, kim jong-un, seth rogen, james franco, drama, the hobbit: the baattle of the five armies, peter jackson, j.r.r. tolkien marathon, comedy, barbara walters, 10 most fascinating people of 2014, amal clooney, taylor swift, george clooney, thriller, chris rock, top five, the late show, david letterman, movies, golden globes 2015, reality, romantic comedy, western, music, 57th grammy awards, iggy azalea, beck, pharrell williams, miranda lambert, sia, cooking, spectre, daniel craig, sam mendes, christoph waltz, lea seydoux, naomie harris, ben whishaw, ralph fiennes, celebrity, loni anderson, burt reynolds, pearl earrings, necklace, nude portrait, lady gaga, howard sten, south by southwest, millie brown, swine, mark geragos, kesha, lukasz sebastian gottwald, world aids day, bono, bruce springsteen, chris martin, espn, monday night football

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

earth mosaics

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

DVD Marketplace

Snappy Planet

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