Review Date: December 6, 2000
Released by: MGM
Release date: 11/21/2000
Region 1, NTSC
Widescreen 1.85:1 | 16x9: Yes | P&S: Yes (Side B)
Andy Safian (Bill Pullman) and his wife Tracy (Nicole Kidman) are happily married. Andy, a dean at a nearby college, and Tracy, a kindergarten teacher, both love kids. They just bought a new house and desperately want kids of their own. Unfortunately, it's not as easy for them as it is for everybody else. Tracy has a problem with her ovaries, often resulting in random bursts of uncontrollable stomach pains. She's on medication but it's a mystery as to whether they'll ever actually be able to have kids or not.
Andy has been dealing with a serial rapist roaming about on the college campus. The latest rape brings him to the hospital to see how the victim is doing. While there he meets up with the hospital's newest doctor, Dr. Jed. Hill (Alec Baldwin). Turns out that Andy and Jed went to High School together. Jed doesn't remember Andy, but Andy sure does remember Jed-the-jock. They get together, have a few drinks and once Andy learns of Jed needing a place to stay he offers to rent him the 3rd floor in his new house. Andy and Tracy need the extra money, and Tracy herself even made a suggestion about renting out the 3rd floor. When Andy mentions this to Tracy she isn't too thrilled about having the hotshot doctor staying there. She doesn't like Jed, partly because when they first met Jed couldn't even remember Andy's name, but also because it's obvious that Jed is very conceded.
When Tracy's ovary pains bring her to the emergency room, Jed is the doctor who operates on her. Andy, left with the decision to either remove Tracy's ovaries or chance the possibility of her dying, gives Jed the go ahead to remove them. Later on the testing of her ovaries shows that they were healthy and didn't need to be removed. Tracy is furious - she leaves Andy and decides to sue the hospital. Ultimately the hospital settles for $20 million dollars. When police detective Dana approached Andy (Bebe Neuwirth) and gives her thoughts on the incident, Andy realizes all may not be what it seems. This leads him down a path of lies, deceit, betrayal and murder as he slowly puts the puzzle pieces together.
Malice is a nice thriller/mystery movie. The acting is top notch, which is only expected when such actors as Nicole Kidman, Bill Pullman and Alec Baldwin are starring. The story is good overall, though I felt a few of the side plots were a waste of time and only caused the movie to drag a bit. Specifically the plot about the campus rapist that begins and ends all to quickly. It really has no point in the movie except to introduce some of the characters to one another. The movie doesn't get all that tense or thrilling, but there's a few moments where you get a touch of each. What's really nice is the mystery feel it has, along with some good twists and surprises. This is one I think most will moderately enjoy, just doesn't expect hard core horror here with lots of gore and killings.
1.85:1 aspect ratio. Not the greatest transfer in the world but kudos to MGM for presenting it in anamorphic. There's light grain visible throughout much of the movie, along with some occasional blemishes such as scratches and dirt. Overall a clear image though several scenes appear a bit soft. Colors are nice and solid, fleshtones appear to be accurate. As a side note there's a Pan & Scan transfer on the side B of the DVD, but we all know most DVD fans want widescreen! Transfer definitely could've been better, but what MGM has given us easily falls into the acceptable category. I'm rating it a C+.
Malice is presented in Dolby Stereo Surround sound. Sound is very crisp and clear. Stereo track is well balanced overall and no distortion was heard.
"Original theatrical trailer" - not exactly. It's a promo trailer of sorts that was sent out to video stores back in 1993-1994 when the movie was first released to VHS. Interesting to watch, however.
Audio/video quality are decent but the video certainly could've been better, though the low price tag of $19.98 makes it an easy buy for many. Only supplement is a promo trailer. Movie itself is a nice mystery with many plot twists, but it doesn't have as many thrills as one might hope. Best to rent it to see if it suits your tastes.
Movie - C+
Image Quality - C+
Sound - B+
Supplements - C
- Running Time - 1 hour 47 minutes
- Rated R
- 1 Disc
- Chapter stops
- English Stereo Surround
- Fresh, Spanish subtitles