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Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> September 2000 >> Body Heat

Body Heat

Movie Commentary by Scott Ventura


Scott's Rating:
4 / 5
Times Seen:
Viewing Date:
September 2000
IMDB Name:
Body Heat (1981)
Lawrence Kasdan
crime, suspense
MPAA Rating:

Is it hot in here...

Body Heat is one of those movies that might leave you a little sweaty. Set in a particularly muggy Florida summer, it oozes heat, and the characters are almost always sweating. Early in the movie, a character describes the change of attitudes that comes with a heat wave. The rest of the movie shows a lawyer, and not the most trustworthy lawyer, finding out how bad it can be to succomb to the heat's suggestions. Writer/director Lawrence Kasdan has crafted an excellent film noir script packed with eroticism and mystery that keeps things very interesting right to the end. When my DVD player choked with twelve minutes left to go, I was quite happy to discover that the flipside was willing to play. I don't think pan'n'scan ever looked quite so good.

or is it just them?

Body Heat made Kathleen Turner a star. Her performance pays homage to the genre by holding back the littlest bit of believability. The distance imposed by seeing her on film is just enough to keep the audience from falling for her in quite the same way that Ned does. Speaking of Ned, William Hurt finds the right tone all the way through the movie. He keeps his cards close to his chest, especially in tense scenes with his colleagues. Ted Danson looks a little goofy with that hair and those glasses, but his character is more interesting than almost anything he'd do in eleven years of "Cheers".

DVD Comments

The DVD for Body Heat shows an incredible number of amateur mistakes. Navigation is disappointingly convoluted, and the left and right arrows rarely meant what I expected them to mean. The selector is usually easy to identify but is unattractive. The disc contains biographies and filmographies for six cast members, the composer, and the director. There are also a few screens of "behind the scenes" that talk mostly about Lawrence Kasdan getting the film made on the strength of previous screenwriting accomplishments. All of this text is made difficult to read by a lack of contrast with the photographs used as backdrops. I would guess that somebody with a print background was chiefly responsible for overestimating the legibility of text on a television. The "recommendations" section is particularly poorly done, mentioning a raft of movies that are nowhere near to the level of Body Heat, and then organizing them poorly. The highlight of the disc is the theatrical trailer, which is among the best trailers I've ever seen. The movie is available with English and French audio with choice of English, French, and Spanish subtitles.

See the IMDB information on Body Heat's DVD or compare prices at DVD Price Search.

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Copyright 2000-2001 by Scott Ventura. All rights reserved.