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Jonathan Baker
Gina Gershon, Nicolas Cage, Faye Dunaway, Nicky Whelan
Writing Credits:
Chloe King

A mother looks to escape her abusive past by moving to a new town where she befriends another mother, who grows suspicious of her.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 106 min.
Price: $24.99
Release Date: 8/29/2017

• Audio Commentary with Actor/Director Jonathan Baker
• “Behind the Scenes” Featurette
• Cast/Crew Interviews
• Deleted Scene
• Previews


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Inconceivable [Blu-Ray] (2017)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 16, 2017)

Does 2017’s Inconceivable finally bring us the Princess Bride spinoff we’ve awaited for 30 years? No – it’s just another direct-to-video thriller. C’mon people – Wallace Shawn isn’t getting any younger!

Along with her daughter Maddie (Sienna Soho Baker), young mother Katie Wells (Nicky Whelan) moves to a new area, and she quickly befriends Angela Morgan (Gina Gershon). A stay at home mom married to Brian (Nicolas Cage), Angela craves to return to her work as a physician, so she hires Katie to nanny for her daughter Cora (Harlow Bottarini).

Now infertile, Angela wants to have more kids, so she asks Katie to become a surrogate mother. This doesn’t go well, as Katie’s murky past comes back to haunt Angela and her family.

No one will call that plot especially original, as it fits the theme of the “other woman” who infiltrates a family unit seen in prior flicks like Hand That Rocks the Cradle. Inconceivable comes with the occasional twist, but it mostly follow well-worn narrative paths.

I might not mind that so much if Inconceivable managed any form of drama or tension with its less than creative story. Instead, it plods, meanders and crawls as it subjects us to nearly two hours of cinematic tedium.

Inconceivable messes up right at the start, as a prologue lets us see Katie’s problematic past. A better movie would leave her nature vague for a while so the audience would need to guess if she’s nuts/a threat or if she’s simply misunderstood – due to the overt nature of the opening, we never encounter any uncertainty about Katie’s inherent mental instability.

Granted, the movie could still work despite the absence of doubt, as it could follow the Hitchcock notion where the audience knows a bomb will soon explode but the movie’s characters don’t. Sometimes viewer awareness sets up tension because the story’s participants remain clueless.

That doesn’t occur here, mainly because the film barely allows Katie to ever seem “normal” to the other characters. She briefly musters a minor sense of sanity but she soon seems kooky, and it feels perplexing that Angela and the others appear oblivious to these traits.

Inconceivable comes with a pretty good cast but gives them little to do – especially Cage. He feels overqualified for the underwritten role as the husband and plays a surprisingly minor role in the proceedings given his status as a movie star.

Gershon acquits herself reasonably well but as implied earlier, Whelan overplays her role as Katie. She lacks much believability and telegraphs the character’s nuttiness in an unproductive manner.

Though I’m not sure a better performance from Whelan would’ve done much to rescue Inconceivable. The movie lacks much creativity and becomes a dreary exploration of tired themes and ideas.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B-/ Bonus B-

Inconceivable appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie boasted a largely strong image.

Overall sharpness worked well. A few interiors looked a smidgen on the soft side, but those remained in the minority, so most of the flick appeared tight and well-defined. I saw no shimmering or jaggies, and both edge haloes and print flaws remained absent.

Even by modern standards, Inconceivable went crazy with its use of orange and teal, as those tones overwhelmed the presentation. Predictable as the colors tended to be, the Blu-ray rendered them in an appropriate manner.

Blacks looked dark and deep, while shadows seemed smooth and concise. I felt pleased with this high-quality presentation.

Despite its status as a thriller, Inconceivable came with a low-key DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack. Most of the mix concentrated on subdued environmental information, so even a Fourth of July sequence kept fireworks in the background. The track added a little involvement but failed to use the speakers in a particularly involving manner.

Audio quality worked well. Speech seemed concise and distinctive, while effects appeared accurate and natural. Music was warm and full. The lack of sonic ambition left this as a “B-“ mix.

As we move to extras, we launch with an audio commentary from actor/director Jonathan Baker. He offers a running, screen-specific look at story/characters, cast and performances, music, sets and locations, budget/production challenges and related domains.

Baker delivers a fairly mediocre commentary. While he proves candid about some areas, he also ladles out a lot of praise for the project and its participants. In addition, he tends to offer “annotated narration” of the film much of the time. Those factors make this an occasionally useful but often tedious track.

A Deleted Scene runs 37 seconds. It offers a comment from Brian’s mother about “catching ignorance”. It seems utterly superfluous.

Next comes a Behind the Scenes featurette. It goes for 11 minutes, 41 seconds and includes notes from Baker, cinematographer Brandon Cox, and actors Gina Gershon, Nicolas Cage, Nicky Whelan and Natalie Eva Marie.

“Scenes” looks at story/characters, Baker’s approach to the material, cast and performances. A few decent insights emerge but this usually remains a fluffy puff piece.

Under Cast/Crew Interviews, we hear from Cage (11:01), Gershon (5:06), Whelon (9:09), Marie (5:08), Baker (15:22), and Cox (6:50). Across these clips, they chat about story and characters, cast and performances, Baker’s work as director, and cinematography.

These offer extended versions of the snippets found in “Behind the Scenes”, and those involved manage to expand into more engaging areas. The interviews still lack great depth, but they give us some decent thoughts.

The disc opens with ads for Black Butterfly, Aftermath, Isolation and Urge. We also get a trailer for Inconceivable.

A new entry in an old genre, Inconceivable becomes a dull stab at a thriller. The movie fails to develop any form of tension or drama, factors that leave it as a slow slog. The Blu-ray brings us solid picture along with acceptable audio and a moderate roster of supplements. Inconceivable wastes some talented actors and never becomes even vaguely intriguing.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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