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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL )
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • French: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  Subtitles
    English, French, Spanish, Hebrew, Czech, Greek, Polish, Hungarian, Dutch, Arabic, Portuguese, Turkish, Icelandic, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish
  Extras
  • 5 Deleted scenes
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Audio commentary - by director Roger Kumble and producer Neal H.Moritz
  • Cast/crew biographies
  • Featurette
  • Music video - by Placebo and Marcy Playground

Cruel Intentions

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 94 mins . MA15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

"Screwing with People" could have been an alternate title for Cruel Intentions. It's an updated 90's, slighty teensy, version of Dangerous Liaisons starring three of todays hottest teen stars. Sebastian (Ryan Phillippe) and his step-sister Kathryn (Sarah Michelle Gellar) have a weird fetish, tormenting with peoples minds for sexual pleasure. Maybe I'm not explaining it properly but I can't really use any 'descriptive' adjectives.

Sebastians latest attempt at seduction is the daughter of the new school principal, Annette (Reece Witherspoon). Annette is saving herself for marriage so it's an extra incentive for Sebastian to succeed. Kathryn doesn't think he can accomplish this so she makes it even more enticing by offering him a get whereby if he loses, she takes his 1956 jaguar, but if he wins, he gets to have the one thing he has wanted since their parents got together, Kathryn herself.

Along the way, Sebastian begins to fall in love with Annette whilst Kathryn is on her own quest to destroy her ex-boyfriends new girlfriend Cecile (Selma Blair). Selma provides some comic relief in the movie with one classic scene of herself being pushed off a bed where I couldn't stop laughing for minutes afterwards. It's not a complex plot trying to keep up with who's doing who but it tries to confuse you at times which deters from the movie, I felt.

It's geared for a teenage audience with some in your face dialogue that gives you a new perspective on Buffy the Vampie Slayer.

  Video
Contract

A great transfer once again from Columbia Tristar. The image is consistently clean and sharp and there is immense detail on the screen which does the set design justice within the huge home of our two main characters. I suppose a not-so wide 1.85 anamorphic transfer will produce an excellent image.

Black levels and shadow detail are great. In one of the final scenes where Kathryn walks into her darkened bedroom we see vibrant blues within all the darkness and it truly is very vibrant. I think we've been spoiled by dvd and it's nice to have different cinematography and lighting come up so beautifully on screen. No other format can give us this kind of imagery.

I didn't notice the layer change so I guess it wasn't distractive at all.

  Audio
Contract

This is a nice soundtrack. Dialogue is always clear even when Sebastian is whispering away which is always a good sign. Given all the dialogue in the movie, there was no sign of audio synch at all. Not that Columbia has audio synch problems but with all the latest reviews requiring "audio synch watch" on the reviewers behalf, I thought I'd make a mention of it.

Surround wise we are treated to ambience rather than directionality. There are alot of quiet scenes within the movie which restricts sound to the center channel only and the only times the sound stage opens up is when the music is cued.

Bass wise, you're not going to knock any pictures from hanging on your wall. A greatly suited soundtrack.

  Extras
Contract

Ok, a number of extras on this disc.

  • Theatrical Trailer
    "You know, you could be a model. It's too bad you're not sexy" - That's how it starts off and moves into the seduction theme.
  • Behind the Scenes Featurette
    A quick 5 minute look into the movie with minor narration. Pretty much an extended trailer/promo
  • Audio Commentary
    Hehehe, funny stuff here. You almost feel that it's a bunch of teenagers watching the movie and giggling at all the rudy bits. There's a whole swag of crew on this track ranging from the director, Roger Kumble, to the costume designer and the guy in charge of music. A great commentary, very entertaining.
  • Music Videos
    Every You, Every Me from Placebo and Coming Up From Behind from Marcys Playground.
  • Deleted scenes
    5 quick scenes that range from scene extensions to scene additions. Most are introduced from director Roger Kumble and he explains why he filmed the scene and why he ended up ditching them.
  • Cast/Crew Filmographies
    You usual pages of text about the main folk involved.

A great set of extras indeed based around some nicely layed out menus.

  Overall  
Contract

It's a good movie, given that I haven't seen Dangerous Liaisons or even read the original book. I felt it was a little teenagey in tone yet some of the language and the sexual connotations pushed a few boundaries.


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      And I quote...
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