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Sex, Lies, And Videotape Criterion Blu-ray Review


“Sex, Lies, And Videotape” is an indie film classic.

Written and directed by Steven Soderbergh, “Sex, Lies, And Videotape” revolves around the interconnected lives of 4 people in Baton Rouge. There’s the eccentric drifter Graham who is staying as a houseguest at his friend John’s home. He’s a lonely, impotent man who videotapes women talking about sexuality to arouse himself. There’s the aforementioned John who is a lawyer and husband to Ann. He cheats on his wife with Ann’s sister Cynthia. Ann is a bored, unhappy and somewhat prudish housewife who finds sex to be overrated. She finds herself becoming intrigued and infatuated by Graham. Cynthia is an artist and bartender who is a very sexual person. Over the course of the film, we find these characters at a crossroads in their lives. Clearly, they have big decisions to make in order to move on to the next chapter of their lives.

When it comes to directorial debuts, Steven Soderbergh’s “Sex, Lies, And Videotape” is one for the ages. Not only did the prolific director come out of the gate strong with this deep character study about sexuality, relationships, marriage, insecurities, truth, secrets, and, yes, lies, but his first film was also an instrumental part of the growing indie film movement at the time (1989). Truthfully, it’s not hard to see why this film struck a chord with film lovers and goers. It’s a mature film that tackles taboo subject matters and it’s also a probing character study about flawed human beings. There’s something very raw and down to earth about this movie. It also helps that it has stood the test of time. 80’s fashion aside, the movie still resonates just like it did so many years ago.

As striking as Soderbergh’s work is, the cast deserves a lot of praise here. The 4 main players (James Spader, Andie MacDowell, Peter Gallagher and Laura San Giacomo) are at the top of their game here. Everyone is fully committed to their roles here and the chemistry between the 4 characters is first rate.


Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? The new 4K digital transfer is easily the best version of the film I have seen to be sure.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? Unfortunately, I was a bit letdown by this audio track. I found it to be far too soft and quiet for my taste.

Extras: * A booklet featuring credits, an essay by writer Amy Taubin and an excerpt/diary by Steven Soderbergh * Trailers for the Soderbergh and Miramax cuts of the film * A note on the picture and sound restorations * 1 deleted scene * A new 6 minute intro by Soderbergh in which he talks about the themes and characters of the film and more. * A 1990 interview and a 1992 interview from “The Dick Cavett Show” with Soderbergh * “Something In The Air: Making Sex, Lies And Videotape”- A new documentary that contains interviews with the cast (sans James Spader) who talk about their memories in filming the project, their careers and Steven Soderbergh. * A clip from “NBC’s Today” with James Spader from 1989 * “Larry Blake And Cliff Martinez”- Newly recorded interviews with sound editor/mixer Larry Blake and composer Cliff Martinez * “Generators, Noise Reduction And Multitrack Audiotape”- A visual essay with Larry Blake talking about post-production sound * A 1998 commentary with Steven Soderbergh talking to director Neil LaBute

July 14, 2018 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , ,

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