05/24/2016  
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

Pink's Hairstylist on Her Billboard Music Awards Look...
Adele's Send My Love to Your New Lover video: Director ...
Bryan Cranston Mesmerizes as LBJ in HBO's 'All the Way'...
Kristin Chenoweth takes on a different kind of role ...
Survivor: Kaoh Rong: And the winner is... ...
Ghostbusters Are Desperately Trying to Save New York Ci...
The Beach Boys' 'Pet Sounds' Turns 50: How Brian Wilson...
Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom Pack on the PDA at Cannes ...
On 'Formation' World Tour, Beyonce Through 'Lemonade'-...
Nyle DiMarco's attitude on DWTS is annoying everyone ex...





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

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment presents
Pretty Persuasion (2005)

"The devil wears a grey skirt, my friend, and her name is Kimberly Joyce."
- Roger Nicholl (Danny Comden)

Review By: Joel Cunningham   
Published: November 30, 2005

Stars: Evan Rachel Wood, Ron Livingston, James Woods
Other Stars: Jane Krakowski, Elisabeth Harnois, Danny Comden, Michael Hitchcock, Adi Schnall, Selma Blair, Jamie King, Josh Zuckerman
Director: Marcos Siega

MPAA Rating: R for strong sexual content and graphic dialogue involving teens, and language
Run Time: 01h:49m:41s
Release Date: December 13, 2005
UPC: 043396128781
Genre: black comedy


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

DVD Review

If you're going to make a comedy about a bunch of idiots, bigots, racists, and stone cold sociopaths, you better make damn sure what comes out of their mouths is funny enough to justify spending time with them. Pretty Persuasion, a downright nasty independent effort from director Marcos Siega, is notable in that it is a dark satire with perhaps the most offensive, unpleasant cast of characters in recent memory, and there's not a single laugh in the entire picture.

Here is yet another story about a ruthless mean girl, Kimberly Joyce (the lovely Evan Rachel Wood), who attends an exclusive Beverly Hills prep school and schemes to become rich and famous. An aspiring actress and a certified genius (she "broke the computer" while taking an IQ test), Kimberly has figured out how to manipulate the system—mass media, the courts, her friends—into giving her exactly what she wants (though I would hope someone so smart would aim higher than a recurring role on an O.C.-style teen soap). With the help of dim-witted, good-hearted pal Brittany (Elisabeth Harnois) and Randa (Adi Schnall), a Muslim girl ignorant of the ways of the Western world (she's equally puzzled by a porno movie and a Twinkie), she figures out a plan to accuse a bumbling English teacher (Ron Livingston) of sexual assault and reap the rewards as a victim in the national news.

There are many targets in Skander Halim's screenplay—indifferent parents, lascivious school teachers, exploitative mass media—but none of his jabs hit the mark. The story is unfocused, trying at first to shock, then to offer insight, and accomplishing neither, frankly. Kimberly's anti-Semitic father (a seemingly shameless James Woods) can spew all the stereotyped Nazi-speak he wants, but it's nothing I haven't heard before. And while I suppose having Kimberly repeatedly ask her stepmother if she, ahem, has carnal knowledge of the canine variety might raise some eyebrows, it isn't going to make anyone laugh. Basically, the script is South Park, minus the ruthless, straightedge satire and any and all actual humor.

Director Marcos Siega can't quite get a handle on the material, and the film veers from absurdity (a teacher allowing a student to fake masturbation onstage during a high school play rehearsal) to pathos (a suicide late in the film that I think is supposed to be tragic) without doing either particularly well. He paints a pretty picture, and there are plenty of nicely composed images, but they feel like pretentious posing and serve only to slow an already leaden pace (the plot doesn't really kick in until the 30-minute mark). A fractured timeline should inject some suspense, but while the effort is appreciated, there's no there, there.

Evan Rachel Wood, who was achingly real in Thirteen, seems lost as Kimberly. She's fine in any given scene, but doesn't seem to get a handle on the character, though that's probably not really her fault. Ron Livingston plays the dirty old man role well enough, but it's a thankless part (Selma Blair plays his wife, but it's more a cameo than anything else).

After laughing at Mean Girls and Saved!, maybe I was expecting too much from Pretty Persuasion, but there's a fine line between comedic satire and outright racism, and, well, I don't exactly remember laughing.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: C-

 

Image Transfer

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


Image Transfer Review: Pretty Persuasion is colorful and nicely composed, and looks crisp and clean on DVD. This anamorphic transfer shows great detail and features deep blacks, minus obtrusive grain or edge enhancement.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: There isn't much more to Pretty Persuasion than dialogue, and the included DD 5.1 mix presents it well enough, anchored in the center channel. That said, the track's volume level is a little low, and even with the sound turned up, I had some trouble understanding some of Evan Rachel Wood's dialogue, especially early on. Whether her speech was muffled by background noise or she was just trying some kind of accent, I honestly don't know, but I had to strain to hear it, and that's never good. Otherwise, the mix is filled out a bit by the score, but that's about it.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 28 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French with remote access
6 Other Trailer(s) featuring The Gospel, Oliver Twist, Into the Blue, Sueńo, Saved!, The Exorcism of Emily Rose
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL

Extras Review: Pretty Persuasion doesn't make much of a case for itself on DVD—the disc is devoid of extras, save for trailers for The Gospel, Oliver Twist, Into the Blue, Sueńo, Saved!, and The Exorcism of Emily Rose .

I may as well harp on the packaging people for flat-out giving away what is supposed to be a "twist" in the latter part of the film in a neat, two-sentence plot summary.

Extras Grade: D-

 

Final Comments

A satirical misfire that tries to be profane and profound in equal measure, Pretty Persuasion winds up a dull, muddled mess, with characters too grotesque to care about when the time comes. I never thought I'd say this about a Lindsay Lohan vehicle, but there's more intelligence in Mean Girls than in this mean-spirited, self-satisfied indie effort.

 


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, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, music, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, hbo, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, movie, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked, survivor: kaoh-rong, reality, michelle fitzgerald, aubry, tai, jeff probst, comedy remake, ghostbusters, melissa mccarthy, kristen wiig, kate mckinnon, leslie jones, beach boys, pet sounds, brian wilson, bob dylan, blonde on blonde, cannes film festival, selena gomez, beyonce, crazy in love, lemonade, sorry, donÕt hurt yourself, daddy lessons, dancing with the stars, nyle dimarco, bruno tonioli, carrie ann inaba, len goodman, live! with kelly and michael, kelly ripa michael strahan, beyoncˇ, jay z, rachel roy, cheating, prince, little red corvette, purple rain, linus and lucy, the bourne supremacy, the bourne ultimatum, matt damon, alicia vikander, vincent cassel, tommy lee jones, julia stiles, paul greengrass, game of thrones, sansa, ramsay bolton, theron greyjoy, reek, petyr baelish, cersei, jaime, stephen colbert, hillary clinton, carnegie deli, the late show with stepen colbert, jungle book, disney, neel sethi, bill murray, rudyard kipling, captain america: civil war, captain america, iron man, black panther, scarlet witch, the jungle book, virtual productions, avatar, gravity, jon favreau, fantasy, james cameron, avatar sequels, avatar 2, christmas 2018, movies, tribeca film festival, the first monday in may, andrew rossi, justin bieber, anna wintour, met gala, 38 interactive and virtual-reality exhibits, the bomb, the meddler, j.j. abrams, chris rock, tom hanks, john oliver, elvis & nixon, mtv movie awards, dwayne johnson, kevin hart, warner bros. studios, will smith, suicide squad, jared leto, margot robbie, cara delevingne, kiss, freedom to rock, 35 date tour, july 7, caleb johnson, dead daisies, kiss online, merle haggard, died, okie from muskogee, sing me back, mama tried, the bakersfield sound, country music. willie nelson, waylon jennings, gram parsons, eric church, hungry eyes, jimmy fallon, the boss, brand new key, x gonna give it to ya, miles ahead, don cheadle, miles davis, rock and roll hall of fame, ewan mcgregor, michael stuhbarg, lakeith lee stanfield, house of lies, finding dory, ellen degeneres, finding nemo, albert brooks, hayden rolence, animation, celebrity, robert de niro, vaxxed, dr. william schaffner, vanderbilt university medical school, autism, woody allen, cafe society, kristen stewart, blake lively

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