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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Perfect Host

August 29th, 2011

The Perfect Host - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray

The Perfect Host opened in limited release with better buzz than most films, but rather weak reviews. It debuted with a soft per theater average and wasn't able to recover. Was the film's hype just hot air? Or did the hype hurt the film?

The Movie

Clayne Crawford plays John Taylor and David Hyde Pierce plays Warwick Wilson, two men who meet under unusual circumstances. John has just finished robbing a bank taking $300,000 with him, but cut up his foot while getting away. While trying to buy disinfectant and gauze, he finds himself in the middle of a convenience store robbery. If that's not enough, his face flashes on TV during this latter robbery. He does manage to escape, but he is barely blocks away when he hears his name and his car's make and license plate number on the radio. In desperate need of a place to hide out, he makes his way to Warwick's house, checks his mailbox and sees a postcard from Australia sent to him by a woman named Julia. Perfect. He uses this knowledge to bluff his way into Warwick's house.

At first, John and Warwick have a cordial conversation and they get along so great that Warwick invites John for dinner. But it isn't long until the truth about John comes out and then the situation turns from a lot of small talk to a hostage situation. And then John starts to feel really sleepy. No, it's not narcolepsy; Warwick has drugged his wine. And that's when John's day really takes a turn for the worse and he quickly learns Warwick is anything but the perfect host.

Critics were split on this film with most praising the performances by Clayne Crawford and David Hyde Pierce, especially the latter, but complaining about the overly complicated plot that made suspension of disbelief impossible to maintain. I 100% agree with the first part. The performances of the two leads are amazing and their cat and mouse game is worth watching the movie for. I also partially agree with the latter part. Some of the twists and turns are a little too much and there are one or two major coincidences that do strain credibility. That said, I was really into it and I loved the twists. Like I've said in the past, a good surprise twist makes you want to watch the movie again. A bad surprise twist makes you want to walk away in disgust. This was the former, at least for me.

On a side note, it is very easy to fake a Polaroid picture. You simply take a picture, Photoshop it, print it out with a high quality printer, and then take a Polaroid picture of the doctored photo. It does take a few more steps, but none of them are that difficult. Additionally, because there's no negative to compare or no digital profile to check, it's harder to prove it's a fake or confirm its real.

The Extras

The only extras on the DVD are an 11-minute making of featurette with interviews with the writer / director, who talks about the original short film the movie is based on and how he expanded it into a feature-length film, the casting for this film, shooting, etc. HDNET: A Look At... is a five-minute interview featurette with David Hyde Pierce.

I don't have the Blu-ray to compare technical presentation and there are no exclusive extras on the disc. However, the Blu-ray is only $2 more than the DVD, at least on It's hard to complain about that price.

The Verdict

The Perfect Host didn't earn good reviews from most critics and there are a few times suspension of disbelief of pushed to the extreme, but I loved it. I think it is worth owning, but I do like this genre, so keep that in mind. The DVD and the Blu-ray don't have a lot of extras, but the latter is likely the better deal based on price alone.

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Filed under: Video Review, The Perfect Host