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"Dream House" - {Blu-ray}
Reviewer:
Wayne Klein
Studio: Universal
Genre:
Drama
Release Date:
January 31, 2012
Special Features:

See Below

Review:

Sometimes your dream house can turn out to be a nightmare just ask director Jim Sheridan who helmed this thriller with supernatural overtones (it's NOT a horror movie despite how it's being marketed and avoid watching the trailer if you want to watch the movie as it gives the entire plot away in less than 3 minutes)and tried to have him name removed after butting heads with the producers, a disappointing preview and having the film taken away from him to be edited by the production company. Actor Daniel Craig summarized the film well by stating that things turned out great because he met his wife (Weisz)but the film, well, not so much.***

SPOILERS:***

"Dream House" has a promising premise and an interesting plot twist that just doesn't come off. Will Atenton (Daniel Craig) gives up his position as an editor for a publishing firm to finally write his novel and stay at home with his wife Libby (Rachel Weisz)and their two kids in their idyllic home. Their home is idyllic until they discover that a family was murdered there and they begin seeing figures outside their home. As Will investigates what occured he finds that the killer was never convicted and still lives in their community. Will begins to find out more and more disturbing facts about the killing as he tries to piece together what exactly happened and who is threatening his family.*** SPOILERS:***

"Dream House" suffers from a lethargic first half and the second part of the film suffers from chopy editing clearly indicating that the film went through signficiant re-editing. The troubled history of "Dream House" included reshooting, director Sheridan being excluded from the editing of the film and, ultimately, trying to have his name removed from the movie (as well as the fact that Craig nor Weisz wanted to do publicity for the film they were so disappointed with the result). There's the hint of a good movie buried in this mess and the differing tones of the film.***

The nice production design, photography and performances are in service of an overcooked turkey.***

Image & Sound:

BLU-RAY IMAGE QUALITY: "Dream House" arrives with a handsome looking transfer and blacks are pretty consistent and solid throughout with nice detail which is an important point since some important scenes DO occur in the dark. Colors are robust and flesh tones accurate although the film is a bit on the cool side (a stylistic choice I would assume) for the "reality".***

Special Features:

We get four featurettes which are, frankly, aren't long enough to give us a sense of the efforts that went into the film.***

First up is "Burning Down The House" and runs under five minutes focusing on the conclusion of the film and next we get the complimentary "Building The Dream House" focusing on the production design which is interesting but, again, too brief. "Dream Cast" focuses on casting while "A Look Inside" is little more than a promotional short running around 2 minutes. We get the spoiler filled trailer. When watching this I couldn't help but wonder why Morgan Creek AND Universal approved this trailer which is compressses the film down to a couple of minutes and gives us the major plot points of the movie. Seriously, what idiot approved THIS trailer and what editor in their right mind would assemble it THIS way? The good news is that if you don't want to watch the movie you can watch the trailer and get the basic plot of the film.***

Final Words:

"Dream House" turned into a nightmare for director and for viewers it's a jumbled mess clearly messed with in post-production. The film starts off with promise but by the second act the film becomes a disappointing thriller that misses its potential.***

Rent or avoid. ***

 

 
 
 
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