Seasoned cop Mike Keegan (Berenger) and his wife, Ellie (Bracco), enjoy a typical domestic married existence in Queens. When Mike is called in to protect a Manhattan socialite, Claire (Rogers), who witnessed the knifing death of an acquaintance at a party, he finds his time and attention with his family severely strained. Claire is called in to identify the murderer, whom she recognizes, and Mike finds himself irresistibly attracted to the glamorous beauty. The two helplessly begin an affair, and as Mike's home life begins to fall apart, the killer decides to pay Claire a visit...
Scott's first non-scope film in over a decade (and still one of the rare ones in his career) has proven to be a tough one to crack on home video thanks to its unusual visual approach combining dark rooms and a reliance on reflective surfaces and soft luminous sources to create a dense, painterly look. Early laserdisc and VHS editions were mostly a murky mess, and the subsequent Columbia DVD did a somewhat better job at the time handling the complex look reasonably well. The only extra on that release is the mediocre U.S. trailer, which kicks off with Bracco talking about her sagging derrière (which may have something to do with the film's muted box office reception).
Incredibly, this turned out to be the very last Scott film to hit the Blu-ray format with Shout Select issuing it in 2019 in a much-needed HD upgrade. Sony's track record with catalog titles is nearly unimpeachable and that continues here with a striking presentation that adheres closely to the original dark, glowing aesthetic as seen in theaters with far more detail in the apartment scenes than you could ever make out in standard def. The DTS-HD MA English 2.0 surround is also a faithful replication of the theatrical mix, including a soundtrack that's about as 1987 as you can possibly get. (After all, you get Sting's rendition of the title song and the Fine Young Cannibals cover of "Suspicious Minds" in the first five minutes alone!) The trailer is MIA here but you do get two new featurettes that shed some more light on the film's creation. "Someone... To Write a Script" (10m41s) with writer Howard Franklin covers the film's unexpected genesis via Cruising, the path through Hollywood's studio system to Ridley Scott, the '40s conventions he wanted to mix with '70s grittiness (with Scott going for a glossy '80s vibe), the misfortune of opening right after Fatal Attraction, and the surprisingly easy process of clearing the title song. Then "Someone... To Shoot a Movie" (14m4s) with cinematographer Stephen Poster covers the film's visual approach including the emphasis on reflections and Scott's ability to "sparkle stuff" with the sets as well as the tricks to using his beloved smoke in several key scenes. Oh, and all that amazing marble in Rogers' apartment? It was just paper.
In 2021, Indicator brought the film to U.K. Blu-ray featuring the same excellent Sony scan and an expanded slate of extras that should make it a worthy choice for either a first-time purchase or a double dip. The video presentation is virtually identical with just slightly deeper blacks, and the LPCM English 2.0 stereo track (with improved English SDH subtitles) is in great shape. Both of the featurettes from the Shout Select release are ported over here, but you get some new material here as well including the trailer, back in action at last (albeit in SD, but still) and very welcome here. Filmmaker and film historian Jim Hemphill contributes a new audio commentary that does a deft job of analyzing the film within Scott's overall body of work including his studies of class while sprinkling in lots of production detail about the cast, shooting locations (including the Queen Mary), and important players behind the scenes. Also included is an image gallery with a variety of promotional photos and international poster art (including one of those great Polish designs), while the insert booklet features a new essay by Jamie Graham, archival interviews with director of photography Steven Poster and Rogers, and sample critical reactions from the original release.
Shout! Factory (Blu-ray)