Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Enemy Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by Allie Schembra
Academy Award nominee Jake Gyllenhaal (Best Supporting Actor, Brokeback Mountain, 2005) reteams with his Prisoners director, Denis Villeneuve, in Enemy, a sexy and mind-bending thriller that breathes new life into the doppelganger tradition. Adam Bell (Gyllenhaal) is a glum professor who has grown disinterested by his ordinary life. When Adam discovers a man who appears to be his double, the identical men meet and their lives become bizarrely and hauntingly intertwined. Gyllenhaal is transfixing playing both roles, journeying through a world both familiar and strange. The film’s final and unnerving image will not be soon forgotten by audiences. In the end, only one man can survive.
Film (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
Adam Scott, a lonely history professor, hates his humdrum life. He goes through is days lecturing, coming home to his drab apartment and being with his girlfriend. In another part of town, Anthony Claire attends an underground fetish club. One night, Adam, on the advice of a coworker, rents a movie and sees an actor who looks exactly like him in a bit part. He researches and finds that the man, actor Daniel St. Claire – Anthony’s stage name, had made a couple other films. Adam rents them and watches them looking for more similarities.

After viewing the films, Adam becomes obsessed with finding Anthony. He Googles him and finds out where his manager’s office is and stakes it out. Waiting for the right moment, he enters the building and is recognized as the actor Daniel St. Claire by the security guard. He’s handed an envelope and he leaves. Knowing that the guard thought he was Daniel, he calls Anthony’s home and speaks with his wife who thinks Anthony is playing a joke on her. Adam continues calling Anthony’s home trying to get him on the line and when he finally does, Anthony agrees to meet. They meet in a hotel room and Anthony is shocked that they look so much alike. So much alike in fact, that they even have the same scar on their chest. 

Shortly after, Anthony breaks into Adam’s apartment and demands his clothes and keys. He takes Adam’s girlfriend, Mary, to a hotel and Adam returns to Anthony’s home, where he waits for Helen, Anthony’s wife. Though Helen figures out she is not with Anthony, she still asks Adam to stay. Mary, realizing Anthony is not Adam, demands he take her home. At Anthony’s, Adam is preparing to take on Anthony’s life, and even dresses in his clothes. Without spoiling the movie, it's safe to say that there's a lot more going on that it seems and that even with the clues given to us by Villeneuve, it's hard to know what is real and what is not.

I really enjoy Jake Gyllenhaal’s films. Even when they are strange and weird, like Enemy is. Enemy is a psychological thriller that you really have to pay attention to and follow along. The cast was really good and I enjoyed the story. It’s a thinking movie, and I’m not sure if it’s all a dream, or if Adam has another personality, or if he really has a double. The film is based on the novel The Double, by Jose Saramago, and I kind of want to read it to see what more there is to the story than what was shown in the film.
Video (3 out of 5 stars)
The 16x9 widescreen, 2.40:1 aspect ratio presentation of Enemy was good. The colors are very muted and there are a lot of yellow undertones. The yellow added to the film and was a good choice for color. The picture was clear and dark scenes were still viewable and clear. It was an interesting film to watch.
Audio (3 1/2 out of 5)
Enemy’s English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio sound was pretty good. There were a couple parts that were a little difficult to hear – like phone calls – but most of film was easily heard and clear. Subtitles in English SDH and Spanish are also available.
Extras (1 1/2 out of 5 stars)
There is only one real special feature for Enemy. While interesting, I wish there had been more.

  • Lucid Dreams: The Making of EnemyThis is a 17-minute behind the scenes look at the filming of the movie. Cast and crew discuss the story, the filming and how is all came together. Theories are thrown out by cast and crew about the meaning and whose story it actually is. This was an interesting look at the film and what it’s really about.
Summary (3 out of 5 stars)
I really enjoyed watching Enemy. It was an interesting film to watch, and as a fan of Jake Gyllenhaal, I’m always up for watching one of his films. The story is different and I know that with multiple viewings, I’ll probably pick up more details missed previously. If you want a strange, but interesting “thinking movie,” you just might enjoy Enemy.

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