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The Temp

review by Zach B.



Rating: R (For Language and Scenes Of Violence )

Running Time: 96 minutes

Starring: Timothy Hutton, Lara Flynn Boyle, Dwight Schultz, Oliver Platt and Faye Dunaway

Screenplay by: Kevin Falls
Story by: Kevin Falls & Tom Engelman

Directed by: Tom Holland


Studio: Paramount

Retail Price: $24.95

Features: None

Specs: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Surround, French Stereo, English Subtitles, English Closed Captions, Scene Selection (13 Scenes)

Released: April 16th, 2002



In this "Fatal Attraction"-ish like tale (somewhat I'd say), we have Timothy Hutton (supposedly an Oscar® wasn't good enough for him 12 years later) as Peter Derns, an executive at a cookie company by the name of Mrs. Appleby's (HOW CREEPY!) preparing for some kind of takeover. He's going up that "corporate ladder" (as they say), but things go into thriller mode when Derns' assistant's wife goes into labor (oh... no!). Enter Kris Bolin, his new temp (Lara Flynn Boyle). She seems to be perfect... or is she behind something more when - yep, you guessed it - two of Derns' co-workers are found dead. Is Kris behind the murders? Is Peter next to die? OH WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN THIS INSANE MADNESS.

I've actually never heard of this movie, and I found it to be quite laughable. It seriously plays out like made for television, guilty pleasure film you watch by yourself one lonely night. You'd think with the talent involved it'd be better and more classy, but let me tell you one thing: actors need to pay the bills too. It's a profession, and somehow top notch talent (a lot of it) got involved in this. Perhaps what's so funny is that a standard, B-movie like thriller plot is taken so seriously by the actors. If they walked through this one, they must have done a great job because I couldn't tell. Oliver Platt (one of my favorite actors), Faye Dunaway, Timothy Hutton, Lara Flynn Boyle, Steven Weber (okay, maybe not him... DISS!) are all talented actors. This being 1993, who knows if they hit bumps in their careers or whatnot (Boyle was still making a name for herself, Dunaway has been established, I'm assuming Hutton was looking for a jump start)... but the point is, the actors take all of this quite seriously, make it realistic somewhat. And they're good actors, and how the cheesy dialogue is (oh wow, it sounds so businesslike!), not to mention Holland's clunky directorial style makes it just laughable. It's all so ridiculous. Holland tries to make it like a first rate and classy thriller, but he should have taken a closer look at the script, because this is not that kind of movie. His directorial style gives that impression that it can be a good thriller, but perhaps that's what makes it worse. He overdoes it and takes it too seriously.

I don't know who to reccomend this movie to, personally. If you're looking for a laugh that's not a comedy, this would be your ticket to see these actors put themselves in something so ludicrous as this. This is the type of movie you mock. You invite a few friends over, pop it in and just laugh. Make stupid comments. Enjoy the actors in this time period. And then rush out and get yourself a bag of Mrs. Appleby's cookies. You earned it!


If the movie wasn't bad enough, the transfer is pretty disappointing as well. For one thing, it's incredibly grainy which I found distracting. The print used for this transfer, presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, is pretty flawed. Scratches, blemishes, marks and pieces of dirt are over it. There's also a decent deal of shimmering, while the colors are less than flattering. There's a subdued and ugly look to this movie, which certainly doesn't help it. The colors are not well saturated at all, and lack a certain shine. Fleshtones aren't spectacular either. So, uh, enjoy.


Also weak is the 5.1 Dolby Digital track, presented in the English language. This is probably a remix, and it really didn't feel like a 5.1 Dolby Digital mix to me. Dialogue is clear and easy to hear, and sound effects and music don't overpower it. That's probably because there isn't any other effects to really overpower it. Sure, you have some violent scenes which give off surrounds, or people talking in the background, but that's it. Small little noises like footsteps help too, but not much. Basically, there's not much activity or much dynamic range to speak of here. It's a bit flat and really nothing special since it's mostly kept to the front. Also included is an English Dolby Surround mix, a French stereo track, English subtitles and English closed captions.




"The Temp" is an interesting film... it's kinda like one of those movies you find on television one day randomly while channel surfing, and somehow you're just drawn in. Personally, I didn't find this to be such a great film. It can be a bit tedious and you've probably seen similar movies before. It just seemed like the actors needed a quick pay check. The transfer isn't great and the sound mix is a bit lackluster, while you won't find any supplements. Only die hard fans of the movie need to apply here, otherwise, if you're slightly interested, rent it... but there's a good chance you may not enjoy it.