Baby (2014 TV Mini-Series remake/Lionsgate Blu-ray)
B Sound: B Extras: C Episodes: C
goes without saying that Roman Polanksi's 1968 adaptation of the Ira
Levin novel Rosemary's Baby (issued in a loaded Blu-ray
edition by Criterion we recommend) is an undisputed classic not only
a technical level but an emotional one. Upon first hearing about
this remake mini-series, I immediately asked why? And after
watching it I have to ask myself the same question again. Had that
original film not existed, then this would be hailed something more
of an accomplishment instead of simply mediocre fare.
Zoe Saldana (who has become one of my favorite actresses as of late
for her role as Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy) as the
titular character of Rosemary, it is her alone that keeps you
watching. Her husband played by Patrick J. Adams is less than
stunning - I feel like they should have gotten someone higher on the
totem pole to play Rosemary's husband when they went as far to get an
actress of Saldana's caliber. Though aside from the entrancing
beauty of Zoe Saldana in most of the film, the rest of it is darkly
lit and kind of boring. The only other acting highlight being Jason
Isaacs - to whom is always on hand to be a great villain. Changing
the location from New York to Paris, the producers here have strung
out the story to make it as long as possible to fill two two hour
timeslots when it should have only taken up one.
suffering a miscarriage, Rosemary (Zoe Saldana) and Guy (Patrick J.
Adams) Woodhouse leave New York City for Paris, hoping to make a
fresh start. A series of serendipitous events lead them to befriend
affluent couple Margaux (Carole Bouquet, a Luis Bunuel favorite known
best for playing Melina in the 1981 James Bond classic For Your
Eyes Only) and Roman Castevet (Jason Isaacs), who invite them to
live in their prestigious apartment building. While Guy appreciates
Roman's taking him under his wing, Rosemary is overwhelmed by the
Castevets' interest in their lives. She finds evidence of the
previous couple that lived in their apartment, and after going to
Commissioner Fontaine (Olivier Rabourdin) with her suspicions, learns
that the woman, Nena (Victoire Bélézy) committed suicide.
Following a lead, Rosemary finds Nena's priest, who claims that the
apartment building has a dark past, and one of its tennants is a
Satanist billionaire named Steven Marcato who eats women's hearts.
The priest hangs himself soon after, which prompts Fontaine to
Guy's career flourishes, he suggests to Rosemary that they try to get
pregnant again. On the night they plan to conceive, Rosemary drinks
Margaux's herbal brew and passes out. In a dream-like state Rosemary
sees herself having sex with a strange man, while being watched by
Guy, Margaux, Roman, and the Castevets' friends. Weeks later
Rosemary learns she's pregnant, but her health deteriorates and she's
neglected by Guy, who is reluctant to touch Rosemary and has been
spending more time with Roman. Guy is angered when he learns
Rosemary went visit another doctor, as encouraged by her friend Julie
(Christina Cole). Guy visits Julie and secretly takes her crucifix
necklace; not long afterward Julie dies in kitchen accident.
Rosemary's pains suddenly disappear, and the rest of the pregnancy
proceeds well... and I think you know where the story is going.
in sharp 1080p high definition in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, the
transfer on the disc is better than the original broadcast quality
and even boasts a lossless DTS-HD 5.1 MA (Master Audio) track. The
show is presented in two parts that are separated on the disc with an
optional play all function.
on the disc include Fear is Born: The Making of Rosemary's Baby
Featurette, and Grand Guignol: Parisian Production Design Featurette.
in all, the miniseries isn't terrible but just feels unnecessary.
What the original Polanski film brought to the story was innovative
filmmaking where here it feels kind of like you are watching an
episode of Hannibal. The shock and raw nature of the original
is missing and edited for TV, and really without Zoe Saldana this
series would probably be a complete throwaway attempt at a reboot.
James Harland Lockhart V