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The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )



Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )


Studio and Year: Anchor Bay Entertainment - 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 93 minutes
Genre: Thriller/Drama/Mystery

Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English PCM 5.1, English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Brittany Murphy, Dean Cain, Mimi Rogers, Peter Bogdsnovich
Directed by: Micheal Fiefer
Music by: Andres Boulton
Written by: Peter Sullivan
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 24, 2010

"No Clues. No Evidence. No Answers. No Trace."

Film Synopsis:

Mary, a high-powered crime career woman who brings her new boyfriend to the hospital for minor outpatient surgery. But when she returns later to pick him up, he has mysteriously vanished. Is it possible her boyfriend doesn't exist at all? Now Mary is about to discover the shocking truth... and her nightmare has only just begun.

My Take:

We are all too familiar of the sad and untimely passing of 'Abandoned' star Brittany Murphy last year. This is a film, no, a movie, that she would not want to be remembered for. Not only only does it have some terrible acting (note Scott Anthony Leet as the head of security was just terrible), and some of the worst dialogue I have heard in a while. The make-up department gave an emaciated and sickly looking Murphy an appearance that was downright distracting. Her hair was slicked back looking greasy for most of the movie, her make-up looked like a Kabuki doll and her eyebrows were terrible. At least she got to show off some acting chops here as her character needed to convey every emotion from confusion, desperation, anger, grief and a too happy and sticky sweet love. She did all of these well, delivering a pretty convincing performance, but she could not save this sinking ship.

Brittany Murphy stars as Mary Walsh. Mary has not had much luck with men, picking loser after loser...until now. Kevin (Dean Cain), is "the one". It's only been a few months but she just knows he is. When Kevin is going in for a routine outpatient surgery for his leg, Mary accompanies him. The pre-op nurse prepares Kevin and tells Mary to go to the waiting area and that Kevin will be in and out of the surgery within an hour. When an hour comes and goes and Mary doesn't hear a page, so she goes to see Kevin only to find that no one has heard of him, he is not in the hospitals computer, no one knows this supposed nurse and the surgeon he was scheduled with is on vacation. After pleading with authorities and hospital administration that she did indeed come with Kevin and this is all real, not in her mind, Mary is sent on a head trip of truth, lies and sanity.

Sounds like a decent premise right??

It really did have a lot of opportunity to become an above average thriller. Too bad it failed to capitalize on what was built up and even though the twists were rewarding, the film just fell flat. This was more a product of some silly acting, uninspired direction, editing and cinematography. It looked like it was filmed on video for TBS. There was one shot of a tree with purple flowers outside of the hospital that was used as a lead-in/transition a few too many times. That really irritated me. 'Abandoned' was ruined by the people behind the scenes. With a bit more attention to detail it could have been so much more. There were some moments where I was getting sucked into it, especially the first half, and had genuine hope that it was on the right track. It just never delivered. There were some ludicrous scenes and plot-points that killed the experience for me. I will keep this light as I don't want to spoil anything for anyone interested.

It is hard to posthumously review an actors last work, especailly when you didn't like the film or the actors look in it. I will remember Brittany Murphy for "rolling with the hommies" in 'Clueless', of for her great performances in 'Girl, Interrupted' or '8 Mile'...not for this.

Parental Guide:

Rated PG-13 for some violence.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 82

  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:

Video: 80

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:

'Abandoned' comes to Blu-ray Disc from Anchor Bay Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 21.4 mbps and PCM 5.1 Surround Sound that has an Constant bitrate of 4.6 mbps.

Anchor Bay's release of 'Abandoned' looks good enough, but it source is where the faults lie. It really looks like it was filmed on in HD video and for some reason that killed any punch it could have had. A slight wax to faces and flesh-tones mingle with vivid but weird colors that seemed to get whacked out due to the lighting. The benefit to the HD video source was a very high level of fine details that was visible in facial features, clothing as well the walls and other interior's of the hospital. I did notice some minor macro-blocking and a bit of noise that was comparable to film grain, yet I assuming this was filmed on video I can only attribute it to some compression related issue. The lossless PCM audio track was in similar spirit to the video presentation. It had some nice attributes but never could seem to take it sonically to that next level. A front heavy mix, surrounds had limited activity and were mostly assigned an delayed version of the front stereo mix to add a bit of atmosphere. Dialogue was paramount, never having an issue making out a word. The LFE had a few moments where it supported the mix, used with taste and never being overused. The mix never offended but never wowed me. All-in-all a fine HD presentation, just not note-worthy either.

Bonus Features:

  • (HD) Previews: Growth, Spartacus: Blood and Sand, The Disappearance of Alice Creed

  • (HD) Theatrical trailer

Final Thoughts:

Anchor Bay Entertainment's Blu-ray release of 'Abandoned' does the source justice, it just didn't have great production values. After seeing the beauty of Skelig , a filmed in HD TV movie, I cannot fathom why a movie filmed like this just doesn't look amazing...it must be sub-par direction and cinematography. Brittany Murphy does a nice job showing she was a real actress and it is a shame to have lost her; I have a feeing her best was ahead of her. Give 'Abandoned' a rental if you want to see it for her, but don't expect to find a gem as this movie misses the mark.

Lee Weber
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS35 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)

Custom 1.3 Gain 128" 2.37:1 CinemaScope Screen

Pioneer SC27 Receiver (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)

Pioneer Elite BDP-23FD Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Triangle Zerius Speakers (7.1)

SVS PC13-Ultra Subwoofer

268 Posts
Nice review! May I suggest "The Dead Girl" for Brittany Murphy fans?

7,586 Posts

Originally Posted by EAGLEFAN67 /forum/post/19116027

And the Turds just keep on rolling ! Jeez Lee... ask King P to divert

something hot your way....

Sadly, it's the time of year when a lot of turds are released. Things start getting better in September. I just had to sit through MacGruber and it's one of the worst films I've seen this year. What passes as a comedy these days is pretty pathetic.

1,190 Posts
Interesting. This was on my list to buy but after reading this review think i'll just rent it. Tough watching movies like this because of Brits passing away.

93 Posts
Really agree with your comments on the make-up dept. I couldn't get over Brittany's lips - they looked bloated and red. Almost disturbing to see at times.

Overall - this would have been a decent Lifetime movie. It did keep my attention, which isn't bad compared to some of the flicks which recently came out.
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