Body Heat [Blu-ray] [Blu-ray] (2008)
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William Hurt and Kathleen Turner strike sparks in Lawrence Kasdan's BODY HEAT, a sexy, haunting tale of desire and skullduggery that echoes 1940s film noirs but is charged with an energy and passion that could only blaze in in the '80s. Aided by a sultry John Barry score, Kasdan's assured directorial debut foreshadowed the emotional texture he would bring to later films -- THE BIG CHILL, THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST AND GRAND CANYON.
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I will not give away too much of this movie's plot. However, I will say that Lawrence Kasdan is a genius! Not only was he instrumental in creating Star Wars and Indiana Jones (He Also Reimagined Star Wars 30 Years Later), but he created his own genre piece with the film noir! I was amazed and loved the film. Every character had their place and they more than held their own! Seeing a young Ted Danson and Mickey Rourke only enthralled me more into the story. The Hall of Famer Richard Crenna only solidified the greatness of the story. J.A. Preston's solid supporting role was one of the best written in the film. Kasdan said in the Body Heat Documentary: "He's the one character in the movie who has a code that he absolutely lives by." The waitress who manages the diner was a scene stealer. The performances in this film rocked all around! Five Stars way high for this film. Buy it and you won't be disappointed. I'm the 477th person to review this fine film.
By the way, I don't want to leave out William Hurt and Kathleen Turner. They had such an incredible chemistry together. Turner shines in this film and as a man I can only wonder what would happen to me if I encountered so sexy and sultry a woman. I too would become weak. Men are helpless when a beautiful woman walks into the room.
A. Nathaniel Wallace, Jr.
This is a long, languid, film about a man who meets a woman, who has a husband, a rich old husband who's always out of town, so they decide they'll kill him and live happily ever after on his money, except that the woman was actually thinking she'd keep it all for herself... "Double Indemnity" all over again, and just as good as the first time around, only steamier. And with none of the irritating mannerisms of Fred MacMurray.
This is not a movie to put in if you're going to be distracted, have other things on your mind, or have only budgeted a little movie time. Like "Chinatown" (whose soundtrack this film seems to channel) this story is tightly wound and takes some unravelling, so you have to be ready to sit it out, let it all develop, like waiting for a heat wave to pass.
When the film gets around to introducing the two main characters, William Hurt is standing near a bandshell, listening to a swing band play to a packed crowd, out to escape their sweltering houses. Kathleen Turner's Maddy gets up and walks away, to the boardwalk, and Hurt is struck dead by her beauty. Of course he should have kept his pants shut and everything would have worked out, but then we'd have had to find something else to do for two hours. It's this early part of the film that most evokes the noir classics, the taut dialogue between Bogie and Bacall, and others. To that end, while Hurt plays his role admirably, the real applause goes to Ms. Turner. Hurd is just another guy; Kathleen Turner acts the part of a movie star. Her every move is fluidly calculated, complete, a rare act in those days, save for a talented few, like Turner, and of course, Faye Dunaway. LIke the Movie Goddesses of yore, who could make the grabbing, and opening, of a cigarette box, and the extraction of a cigarette from it, a moment of high drama; Ms. Turner's every move flows to the climax of the final gesture, nothing is left for chance, not a bone in her body is out of place---watch some other piece from the early '80's and how some pretty big names act as if they have claws for hands and hoofs for feet...
I should hasten to add though, this is not a period piece, it is a contemporary telling, set in the period it was filmed, the early 1980's. That said, it is most certainly paying homage to the noir films of the forties. And, from our perspective, where the eighties are almost as far back to us as the forties were to them, it works on both levels. The Florida town had seen better days, and even the mansion seems a bit seedy, weedy, and faded; the bars don't look like that any more, and of course today, if Main Street is still in business at all, it's either purely ethnic, or gone shiny Corporate, with national chains. So we're looking at a lost world that was fading when the camera focused on it, and today the effect is even more evocative than it was then.
Overly excitable folks, for whom nudity and sex is to be avoided will, unfortunately, have to avoid at least the first half of this film, as most of the early encounters rarely evoke the dialogue of the classics as much as they go after the flesh the censors wouldn't have allowed, and there is quite a bit of it, although not so much as we'd take for granted today. The camera doesn't go below a certain line no matter which way the person is standing, and while facial expressions may convey the heat of the moment, you never see them actually getting it on, the film reverts to period modesty, which actually adds a bit of class, given what we've seen since.
If you have the time for a long but well paced movie, and are ready to turn off the phone and commit, I think you'll find yourself rewarded for the effort; otherwise I'd suggest you make the time later, as you really do want to sit back and let yourself be drawn into this very well done work of film.