25th February 2001
Elliot is a sweet natured guy who's eager to please, but lives a friendless and lonely life. He works as a technical advisor at a call-centre and has had a crush on another worker Alison Gardner for nearly four years. His co-workers hate him and, although he fails to see this, Elliot never gets invited to any of their parties or after work drinks.
One evening after work he meets some of his work colleagues, who being very eager to dump him, encourage him to go and talk to to her. He agrees and attempts to strike up a conversation with her but she flatly rejects him leaving him wishing for her to be in his life. His wish has been heard and the devil appears in the form of a beautiful woman and makes him an offer.
In turn for his soul the Devil offers Elliot seven wishes, and although suspicious at first, he is soon drawn under the devils spell when he sees himself with Alison. Naturally, when dealing with the devil, his wishes don't quite work out. When his wishes to be rich and powerful, sensitive, famous and then intelligent all fail to seduce Alison it starts to look like Elliot will have to use his own personality to attract Alison, trouble is, the devil is still after his soul.
For a THX certified disc the picture can be quite disappointing. With the devil being associated with red, Elizabeth Hurley spends most of her scenes wearing red (and at times not much of it!) which seemed to continuously produce outlining. Indeed, at times I though that Elizabeth and Brendan were superimposed onto a background. However, the picture is bright and sharp with a high bit-rate throughout with only the occasional picture imperfection.
The soundtrack is uninspiring with only the occasional use of the surround channels whenever Elliot starts and ends his wishes. However, the dialogue is crystal clear in the centre channel without any bleeding and there was no need to keep correcting the volume.
The menu, rather than being a grandly animated affair, has something better. There are a number of different animated and scored "skins" depending on which of the four wishes from the film you select. A novel idea to say the least, but it kind of flies in the face of the Fox trailer at the beginning of the disc which trumpets their 3D state of the art animated menus.
The extras are above par with the usual set of trailers and HBO making of. There's a couple of audio commentaries with Director Harold Ramis, which is an excellent insight into the film, along with one with Hurley, who hardly says anything, and Albert who keeps trying to egg Hurley into to saying something.
This disc is also the first one come with additional features for Nuon enhanced players which, as usual, are only available on a few American players. The Nuon feature on this disc will give compatible players additional features including character studies, close-up zooms of certain scenes and an enhanced gallery of concept art and set design stills. Whether this feature will gather in popularity and find its way across the Atlantic is a different matter.
All in all a rather good package which makes up for an average film. However, there's one disappointing thing about the DVD. During Harold Ramis' superb commentary he keeps mentioning about scenes being deleted, and in one case a complete wish scenario deleted. Why couldn't we have these deleted scenes as extras on the disc? Don't tell us about them, show them!
Finally, with Elizabeth Hurley appearing in enough nurse, policewoman and teacher costumes to match most men's fantasies you need to ask one simple question. "Hue, just what the hell were you thinking!?"
- Commentary by Director Harold Ramis
- Commentary by Elizabeth Hurley and Trevor Albert
- HBO Making of Featurette
- Theatrical Trailer and TV Spots
- Still Gallery
- Scoring Sessions
- Bedazzling Designs with Deena Appel
- THX Certified with Optimode