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49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too Hot to Handle
Expert opinion says that since the advent of color film, a good contemporary noir film is an L.A. noir film; that seems to be largely so, except then you've got "Body Heat," set in Florida. Be that as it may, "Against All Odds" is an LA noir film: it profits from the unique atmosphere of Los Angeles, the sinister corruption behind the sunny smile; the reality of arid...
Published on November 7, 2006 by Stephanie De Pue

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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good, but not quite a classic.
This movie has developed a cult-like following usually only reserved for horror movies and obscure comedies. That's unusual because it was a pretty decent hit.
Ex-football star, Terry Brogan, is sent to Mexico to find the spoiled daughter of the owner of his former team. She also happens to be the girlfriend of Terry's gambling buddy Jake (James Woods). Of course,...
Published on April 9, 2002 by Dustin Dunaway


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49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too Hot to Handle, November 7, 2006
By 
Stephanie De Pue (Wilmington, NC USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Against All Odds (Special Edition) (DVD)
Expert opinion says that since the advent of color film, a good contemporary noir film is an L.A. noir film; that seems to be largely so, except then you've got "Body Heat," set in Florida. Be that as it may, "Against All Odds" is an LA noir film: it profits from the unique atmosphere of Los Angeles, the sinister corruption behind the sunny smile; the reality of arid desert behind the wastefully-watered green lawn. And most particularly, the parched, penned-up ill-respected Los Angeles River that features in Roman Polansky's mythic "Chinatown, and "in "The Narrows," one of Michael Connelly's recent books. The river also, of course, features in that well-known teenage film noir,"Grease," in which John Travolta and his all-singing, all-dancing fool friends stage their drag race in the river's concreted bed, graced by only the merest trickle of water. The Los Angeles River: Ignored until it rampages.

"Against All Odds" is a loose 1980's remake of Robert Mitchum's film noir, "Out of the Past." Jane Greer. femme fatale of the earlier film, plays mother to Rachel Ward, this film's femme fatale. Richard Widmark, important player in many earlier films noir, is on hand here too, in a small but critically important part. The plot is set in motion when Jake Wise,(James Woods), well-connected nightclub owner and man of many parts, sets his old friend, used-up former pro football player Terry Brogan (Jeff Bridges), to find and return his runaway girlfriend Jessie Wyler (Rachel Ward), hiding somewhere in Mexico.

For starters, Mexico, Bridges and Ward have never looked hotter, the Ward-Bridges sex scenes are too darn hot, and the seemingly mandatory confusing LA real estate corruption subplot doesn't stop the main story line cold too often. The film was ably directed by Taylor Hackford, and the three principals carry their roles. There's also a flavorful supporting cast: Swoosie Kurtz, Saul Rubinek, Alex Karras, Dorian Harewood. "Against All Odds" is a bit dated, stuck in the '80's, and it's not the greatest noir story ever told, but it offers a lot of visual heat. It also delivers on the emotional heat meter, at least to me: true to noir conventions, nobody gets what they want, surely not Terry Brogan, who realizes, belatedly, that Jessie Wyler is literally too hot for him to handle,and he's going to have to leave her to her rich, powerful mother. Yes, it's been done before, possibly better, but "Against All Odds" stands and delivers on its own, and is worth a look-see.
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46 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful scenery of Mayan ruins and a good story, December 27, 1999
By 
PatrickO "Patrick" (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Against All Odds (Special Edition) (DVD)
Director Taylor Hackford doesn't make a lot of mistakes. But he points out one in the deleted scenes area of this disc. When I saw it back in 1984, I didn't understand what the heck Jeff Bridges was doing flying around Mexico to throw James Woods off the train while Rachel Ward went to the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza (an awesome but hellishly hot spot I visited in 1995). The deleted scene helps make this clear and really enhanced my enjoyment of the film.

Whether you like the movie or not, the chance to see the seaside ruins of Tulum and the astronomical temple of Chichen Itza is worth it. No one apparently had been allowed to film there before. And Jane Greer is great as the chilly mother of Ms. Ward and real estate heiress. In a role that demonstrates the calm and quiet banality of evil, Ms. Greer is also a link back to the film's inspiration - the great "Out of the Past," which she did with Robert Mitchum in 1947.

It's true the film comes apart a little i the end with some obvious twists you'll see coming. But it doesn't matter. The whole effort is beautifully shot and assembled with a young Swoosie Kurtz thrown in for some comic relief.

Blu-Ray update:
I was ready to pick up the blu-ray of this title, which came out in Spring 2011. However, it's only a single layer BD disc. The studios should come up with a new rule that if in 2011 and beyond they're going to take a cheap approach to transfers of great films and only place them on 25GB discs instead of the normal 50GB, then they should charge half the price of a normal blu-ray. I'll unfortunately need to pass on what would have otherwise been an automatic upgrade.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great DVD transfer!!!!!!, April 6, 2002
This review is from: Against All Odds (Special Edition) (DVD)
I have always liked this film, but felt that it was poor quality on VHS, but now with DVD, it looks brand new, I hesitated, but bought it & it shines on DVD!!!!!, & is loaded with extras, the film stars Jeff Bridges as a down-on-his-luck football player who winds up being let go, like many, he is in over his head & needs money, James Woods is the answer to his problems so it seems, Woods hires his somewhat friend to find his girlfriend(Ward) who has fled to Mexico to escape his wrath, Bridges reluctantly agrees, & eventually finds her only to fall in love with her, the love scenes are steamy to say the least, but eventually she flees back to Woods after a mishap befalls her & Bridges, once back in L.A., Bridges is then hit with all kinds of mishaps involving blackmail that could destroy him & ultimately Woods, the movie then switches gears as Woods & Bridges try desperately to out do one another, it is clear that a love tri-angle is apparent in that Woods somehow senses Ward's desire for Bridges, this is the kind of movie that the viewer has to follow closely to understand what is going on, it is well-directed in that it keeps you guessing, with real-estate deals that may or may not be fraudelent, with Bridges, Woods, & Ward caught up in the mix, again, you really have to follow the story, with great sceneries in Mexico & L.A., this is truly a great film & probabaly one of Bridges & Woods best. Highly Recommended!!!!!!!!
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jeff Bridges at his best, September 11, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Against All Odds (Special Edition) (DVD)
No actor has ever looked more sexy on film than Jeff Bridges does here. His chiseled physique, his tousled hair, and all his graceful movements and facial expressions kept me riveted to his presence throughout like I've never been with any other actor in any other film.
Despite some flaws, Against All Odds is a good film and visually beautiful. Jeff Bridges and James Woods put in great performances, as usual, and Rachel Ward's performance was really not bad for a model-turned-actress. Having Jeff and James to play against helped elevate her performance, I'm sure.
Jeff Bridges has always been one of my favorite actors. He was especially stellar in Fearless and The Fabulous Baker Boys, and though I've always considered him to be a handsome man, I never realized just how beautiful and sexy he was capable of being until I rented Against All Odds. It's worth seeing for that reason alone.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long time favorite, July 3, 2001
This review is from: Against All Odds [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Back in 1985, it must've been when this film came out on video and I remember my mother buying a VCR (a Betamax) and us finallky going to the new neighborhood video store to see what wa sthere. One of the first videos we rented was thsi one and though I was a little young I watched it to the end, fascinated---the complexity even then floored me and I remember crying at the end. (My mother fell asleep halfway through.) Pulled out another videotape while on vacation and watched this movie again and it drew me in, I haven't watched it in years so there was a level of not quite remembering what occurred and why. What has always caught me in this movie was Rachel Ward as Jessie and how essentially flawed she is, she has enough of a cherubic face and a sensual appeal that it's never quite clear how much of her actions are genuine fear and genuine manipulation. I had forgotten the scene where she goes to her familyf or help and her descriptiopns of her relationships to them are belied by the way her mother shows genuine concern for her and the way she she cuddles up and into her godfather's arms---the exact same way she does with Jeff Bridges and James Woods (both who inhabit the roles, the dialogue with an ease and menace that is wonderful)! Her mom, Jane Greer stands behind them with a look on her face that suggests there is another layer of relationship going on between the two that crosses some line, it's a perfect moment to watch for. Swoosie Kurtz shows up in a pivotal role that got me to take notice of her and remember her and her name even way back then (much like Grace Zibrikie) and there is enough meat to her to show that Terry doesn't notice a good thing right unde rhis nose as she shows him a kindness and eventually an assistance that puts her in constant career and physical jeopardy. The plot is complicated and secondary to the point of the story which is Jessie getting people to love her and then it being a measuring game of who can take better care of her. At the end when she watches Terry and the crtedits role, as she still stands there, small motions occuring, it is a brilliant way to capture her many mercurial moods and to also heighten the thought of what will occur between these two later one, there is a playfulness to her, a lack of regret, that suggests that even with the risk they'll get back together but after watchign her in action---is that a good idea? The best, absolutely best part of this is the sweat house sex scene--I'm by no means a film voyeur but it rates as literally number one of number two on teh scale of movie erotica---there is a moment when Rachel Ward cries a single tear that to this day blows me away, lookign at acting and even the intimacy, it crosses that invisible line where I sometimes wonder if everyone is unattached in a scene in their personal lives, how real is a sex scene?
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good, but not quite a classic., April 9, 2002
This review is from: Against All Odds (Special Edition) (DVD)
This movie has developed a cult-like following usually only reserved for horror movies and obscure comedies. That's unusual because it was a pretty decent hit.
Ex-football star, Terry Brogan, is sent to Mexico to find the spoiled daughter of the owner of his former team. She also happens to be the girlfriend of Terry's gambling buddy Jake (James Woods). Of course, he does find her and they fall in love. Or is she just using him?
The acting is pretty good - Jeff Bridges was pretty sexy at this point (and I'm a straight GUY!), Woods is always good, and Rachel Ward always seems to play the same character so I can't fault anything here. The movie gets bogged down in the politics played between Terry, his agent, and a subplot involving some land-development. A streamlined script would have made this much better. Direction is good, though, especially in the car race.
If you're looking for steamy remakes of old movies try Body Heat instead. William Hurt plays virtually the same character as Bridges does here and the script is much tighter.
Mild recommendation.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly touching, March 2, 1999
By A Customer
The first thing that struck my mind when I first started watching this film was the strength of Jeff Bridges' performance. Right from the first scene he pulled me in. After the flashback scenes I really began to care about his character.
In this performance, Bridges does it all, he can appear world-weary in some scenes and completely innocent in other. He appears conservative in one scene, and then ripps his shirt off (revealing his well-built chest and perfect nipples) in the next.
The second thing I noticed was once again how wonderful the lean and angular Woods is as the villian. Next, I saw how fletching Rachel Ward is as the not-so-innocent heroine.
By the time the credits were rolling (with Ward looking as beautiful as ever and Phil Collins crooning on the soundtrack) I realized how much I had grown to love the characters and I was almost sad that the movie was over.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jeff Bridges and Rachel Ward make a good couple on-screen., April 2, 2003
By 
James McDonald (Lancaster, California) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Against All Odds (Special Edition) (DVD)
I highly recommend buying this "Special Edition" DVD of AGAINST ALL ODDS (1984). First of all, the screen size is widescreen, but not the squeezy frame. This is almost a full screen. There is so much more to the picture left, right, and up and down. Beautiful locations. This DVD also includes two music videos, Phil Collins, "Take A Look At Me Now" and Kid Creole & The Coconuts, "My Male Curiosity". Also in the Special Features section are 20 minutes of deleted scenes you will finally see here. Jeff Bridges and Rachel Ward really make a good couple on-screen. Good acting. Rachel Ward is excellent. I wish they could have made another film together.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Melodrama in Form, June 21, 2000
By 
charles pope (cpope2@prodigy.net) - See all my reviews
This is a loose remake of " Out of the Past" with Mitchum and Greer. In addition, Paul Valentine has a small part who was in the original .
Murky yet interesting. The car nonsense was just a zinger to get folks involved in a talky plot. However, its acted very well. with Woods and Widmark and Swoosie in support.
Look for Alex Karras the former NFL player in a small role.
Phil Collins , who can do anything with music sings the finale with just the right touch...
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must buy DVD!, February 26, 2000
By 
Mike D (edmond, ok United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Against All Odds (Special Edition) (DVD)
What a great DVD a must buy for anyone who like's great movies on DVD packed with tons of extra feature's along with one of the best audio commentaries on DVD. the film is a good love story/drama/action a little of everything the mexican location's are pretty, and James Woods & Jeff Bridge's acting is top notch. The extra's and deleted scenes and commentaries are the best parts and make this film even better. Director taylor Hackford & James Woods with Jeff Bridges make the track very interesting and very funny,get this DVD and treasure this gem!
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Against All Odds (Special Edition)
Against All Odds (Special Edition) by Taylor Hackford (DVD - 1999)
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