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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Bound
Bound
Other // R // June 19, 2001
List Price: $14.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Heather Picker | posted January 4, 2000 | E-mail the Author
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One of the best films of 1996, and the feature film debut of writer-director brothers Andy and Larry Wachowski (The Matrix), Bound is a neo-noir thriller about gangster's moll Violet (Jennifer Tilly), her new lover, ex-con neighbor Corky (Gina Gershon), and their plain to steal $2,000,000 from the mob. As you watch it, you'll recognize its many film noir influences (Billy Wilder's Double Indemnity among them) and, indeed, the film's story is traditional, with the exception of the inspired Violet/Corky pairing. Production design, cinematography, and sly performances make Bound a must-see.

Picture: Unfortunately, this Republic Pictures DVD doesn't fully showcase the film's carefully put-together look. Non-anamorphic and presenting the film in it's original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, the transfer isn't bad, but leaves something to be desired. Bound has many dark settings, but shadow detail is at times difficult to discern. Also disappointing is noticeable grain. When the lighting is better, image quality does improve.

Audio: The Dolby Digital soundtrack is also moderately disappointing. Bound, while largely dialogue-driven, has several action scenes with important noises such as gunshots. Everything is audible, but the volume requires occasional adjustment.

Extras: To get standard supplements out of the way, the disc features English captioning and Spanish subtitles. There is also a French-dubbed language track that is 2-channel. The original theatrical trailer is included, but the standout feature is undoubtedly the running audio commentary. The Brothers Wachowski, editor Zach Staenberg, actors Gershon, Tilly, and Joe Pantoliano all contribute, as does, for lack of a better term, sexpert Susie Bright. (Bright, author of lesbian erotica, served as a technical advisor for the film's sex scene.) This is one of the greatest commentaries I've heard on a DVD; everyone involved has something useful to contribute, and both Bright and Tilly liven things up considerably. Unfortunately, Gershon and Tilly don't arrive until late in the film.

Conclusion: Bound is an instant cult-classic that fans will watch multiple times; the DVD, though disappointing in the audio/visual departments, is worth buying for the commentary alone. [Please note that the DVD contains the unrated version of the film that is mere seconds longer than the theatrically released R-rated cut.]
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