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Misery - Blu-Ray - MGM/Fox Print E-mail
User Rating: / 2
Written by Chris Mayo   
Wednesday, 30 September 2009
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Directed by: Rob Reiner
Written by: William Goldman
Produced by: Rob Reiner, Andrew Scheinman
Cinematography by: Barry Sonnenfeld
Editing by: Robert Leighton
Music by: Marc Shaiman
Special Effects: Phil Cory
Cast: James Caan, Kathy Bates, Richard Farnsworth, Lauren Bacall
Year: 1990
Country: USA
Language: English
Color: Color
Runtime: 107 Minutes

Over the years since its initial 1990 release Misery is still among one of the best adaptations of Stephen King’s work.  This chilling vision made into a reality by director Rob Reiner, has had a run on both VHS and DVD.  Now the inevitable high-definition experience is upon us with a brand-spankin’-new Blu-Ray release.

Acclaimed novelist Paul Sheldon (James Caan) has recently finished his latest novel where he kills off his most popular character, Misery, in his series of novels.  Ready to return home from his writing retreat at a Colorado cottage with his latest accomplishment, he hits the road.  However he finds himself trapped in an unsuspecting blizzard which sends him careening off over the edge of a mountainous embankment.

Basically left for dead, Sheldon is rescued by Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates), a nurse who removes him from the wreck and takes him to her farmhouse to nurse him back to health.  Not only is Annie a nurse, she is also his “number-one fan” as she so proudly purports.  Naturally Sheldon lets his caregiver read his latest opus, which sends her in a rage when she finds out her beloved Misery has been killed off.  Unacceptable to Annie, she holds him captive and forces him to write a novel bringing Misery back to life.

Since nobody has heard from Sheldon, his literary agent (Lauren Bacall) decides to call the local authorities, a lone Sheriff named Buster (Richard Farnsworth).  Once his car turns up with no sign of Shelden, he is presumed dead, but Buster continues the case on his own.  His fate continues to rest in the hands of a crazed fan, unless he can escape or unless Buster can muster a lead on his whereabouts.

Misery is an exquisitely orchestrated, frightening story about the length in which a stalker will go to be with the object of their infatuation.  Kathy Bates is easily the best thing in Misery.  She executes a powerful performance as Annie Wilkes and adds complete authenticity to the role.  You can’t help but believe that one day she’s going to enter the room that Caan is held captive in and do away with his “cock-a-doodie” life for good.  Especially after that infamous foot flogging scene in which fans have grown to adore/abhor.

Misery is inflicted for the first time on Blu-Ray from MGM Fox.  The aspect ratio is 1.85:1, 1080p AVC @ 31 MBPS and looks stunning.  Never has this film looked sharper and clearer.  This release is pristine.  The audio is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD master audio and is stellar.  Other language options are Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 DTS, Portuguese 5.1 DTS, German 5.1 DTS, Italian 5.1 DTS, Russian 5.1 DTS, Castilian Spanish 5.1 DTS, Hungarian, Thai, and Turkish.  This Blu-Ray release contains only the film on the actual Blu-Ray disc itself, which allows for the best audio and video presentation.  However, included in this release is the DVD as well where you can view the supplemental material.  This is a great idea from MGM Fox because if you don’t own a Blu-Ray player yet, you can still pick up this release and enjoy the film on DVD until you inevitably purchase a Blu-Ray player.  More companies should follow this lead.  The special features contain a commentary by director Rob Reiner as well as a commentary by screenwriter William Goldman.  ‘Misery Loves Company’ is a 30-minute featurette about the process of going about filming this Stephen King adaptation.  ‘Mark Shaiman’s Musical Misery Tour’ is a 15-minute featurette which follows the process of scoring Misery.  Next are a series of featurettes surrounding the actions of a stalker.  ‘Diagnosing Annie Wilkes’ is 8-minutes and compares the Kathy Bates character to real life stalkers.  Continuing in this theme are ‘Advise for the Stalked’ (5-minutes), ‘Profile of a Stalker’ (6-minutes), ‘Celebrity Stalkers’ (5-minutes), and ‘Anti-Stalking Law (2-minutes).  Rounding out these extras is an original theatrical trailer for Misery and an awesome ‘Season’s Greetings’ Christmas trailer.

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Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 16x9 1080p AVC @ 31 MBPS
Audio: English 5.1, DTS-HD Master Audio

- Director Commentary
- Screenwriter Commentary
- Misery Loves Company
- Mark Shaiman’s Musical Misery Tour
- Diagnosing Annie Wilkes
- Advise for the Stalked
- Profile of a Stalker
- Celebrity Stalkers
- Anti-Stalking Law
- Trailers



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