DVD Review HTF REVIEW: Wild Things - Unrated

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Michael Osadciw, Apr 22, 2004.

  1. Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw Screenwriter

    Jun 24, 2003
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    Real Name:
    Michael Osadciw


    Studio: Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment
    Film Year: 1998

    U.S. Rating: Unrated
    Canadian Rating: 14A

    Film Length: 115 minutes
    Genre: Suspense

    Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (anamorphic)
    Audio: English & Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
    Subtitles: English, French, Japanese
    Closed Captioned: Yes

    Release Date: April 20, 2004

    Film Rating: [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] / [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Starring: Kevin Bacon (Ray Duquette), Matt Dillon (Sam Lombardo), Denise Richards (Kelly Van Ryan), Neve Campbell (Suzie Tollen), Bill Murray (Ken Bowden)

    Also starring: Theresa Russell, Robert Wagner, Daphne Rubin-Vega

    Directed By: John McNaughton
    Writer: Stephen Peters

    They’re Dying To Play With You

    What a film this is. Adding to the list of sex-crime thrillers with plots overly twisted and surprising comes Wild Things in its unrated version. This release is 7 minutes longer than the first release. Hot off the Starship came along Denise Richards in her next roll playing the high school sweetie Kelly Van Ryan. She’s hot, she’s sexy, and she wants her guidance counselor Sam Lombardo. Then comes Canadian actress Neve Campbell (who once lived not too far from me) from her clean and proper character from television’s Party of Five to a trashy doped-up drunken highschool chick. Both of these characters will accuse Lombardo of rape. Both of these characters will get down and dirty too, with Richards showing a little more than Campbell (Campbell refused to do any nude scenes throughout her career – although something has changed her mind, look out for her newest film “When Will I Be Loved?”).

    Investigating the rape case is detective Ray Duquette who believes there is something more going on that what seems. Because of the elite families involved his superiors are preventing the investigation from moving forward even after the settlement. There is a scheme going on, but who’s scheme is it? It doesn’t matter, right? Between the plot, the film moves from leg shot to breast shot, moving the camera in on the girls up close during threesome and twosome scenes, that’s really what this movie is all about. I’m sure many of you are wondering what new footage is included in this release. I haven’t seen the original, but my research concludes that there is some new sexy footage of Richards and Campbell (duh!) as well as some “regular” scenes. And for you film/story preservationists, what is not included is the rumored scene of Bacon and Dillon in the shower together (?!). Known to have been shot, I’m not sure how this scene would have made it into this film…I’m guessing it was an ‘alternate scene’ that still didn’t make it to any final cut. Unrated or not, there is no doubt many people will love this sexually exploited film as much as the next. Is this a great film? No way! But I loved it anyways. There’s something yummy about seeing a film with ingredients of deceit, sex, and greed mixed up in Florida state bowl. Go ahead and take a bite out of it, I enjoyed taking this one in.

    Wild Things 2 is also released along side of this title. A review of this direct-to-video release is forthcoming.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] / [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The film is presented in its 2.39:1 aspect ratio. It’s not the best looking DVD transfer I’ve seen in a while because of the edge enhancement present in some scenes, and the fact that the film source doesn’t appear to be the greatest either. Dynamic range seems to be mildly limited by a higher black level giving the impression certain scenes are washed out. Not only is the apparent in a few night scenes, but there are quite a few daytime scenes that have the hazy appearance. Of course, there are also scenes with striking detail that will please picky viewers, but the lack of punch in other scenes will leave you wanting. Colours from rippling pool and ocean water looks great, and fleshtones are almost spot on. There are a few interior scenes that look a little too warm on the flesh (and there is a lot of it to go around in that scene), but the rest of it is pleasing. The only other complaint I have is the amount of noise that can be seen. While I don’t have references for it, those with bigger screens will see it. My best description of it is the analogue noise commonly seen on laserdisc video.

    AUDIO QUALITY [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] / [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Wow…how time flies…Wild Things is now six years old but its soundtrack still holds up well when comparing it to newer soundtracks. There is lots of deep bass in the LFE and main channels for you bottom feeders, and those of you looking for a lot of surround sound…well, the rear speakers are very active with ambience of insect noises in the outdoors or environmental reverberations. Add some clean, intelligible dialogue, and an excellent music soundtrack – we have ourselves a simple, yet very enjoyable soundtrack! Encoded in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, you’ll be pulled right into the back-stabbing action yourself!


    There are filmographies and previews of other films, and a theatrical trailer in 4:3 widescreen and DD5.1. There is also an insert featuring pictures of the film but not a list of chapter stops (c’mon Columbia – a list of chapter stops is expected!). What we don’t get with this release is the commentary by director John McNaughton and crew members that was present on the previous release. Three deleted scenes were also on the past release, but since I’ve never seen it I can’t tell you for sure if all of them have been inserted back into this unrated version (I know a scene with Murray has). I would think they are since this new release has a much longer running time.


    Wild Things is one of those twisted-plot films that still needs to explain itself as the movie closes during the end credits. It’s a cool film though, not the best around, but very cool indeed. That pretty much sums up the presentation of the DVD itself too. The film is slick and trashy, yet comical in many respects. You’ll either love this one or hate it, but I’ll let you decide as you take it all in. Be on your toes or you just might miss something.

    Michael Osadciw
  2. ChrisBEA

    ChrisBEA Screenwriter

    Jul 19, 2003
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    I liked the movie, but haven't seen any really compelling reason to upgrade. I'll stick with the original release.
    Thanks for the review!
  3. dannyB

    dannyB Stunt Coordinator

    Feb 18, 2004
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    They dropped the commentary?!? [​IMG]
  4. Benson R

    Benson R Supporting Actor

    Mar 24, 2000
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    I'm guessing the reason they dropped the commentary, is one the length wouldnt match and two the commentary specifically mentions that the scene with neve and denise in the pool was more explicit but he was glad he cut it. It would seem odd to be watching that scene while the director says it slows the movie down.
  5. WillG

    WillG Producer

    Jan 30, 2003
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    I don't see how those things would be much of an obstacle. They could insert silence in certain places to match the running time. They could edit out the remarks about the pool scene as well. On the Alien Quad, they managed to edit the commentary tracks around the different cuts of each film. Looks like Columbia just wants a cheap double dip. The real sad thing is that Columbia has discontinued the WS version of the original release.
  6. Scott Temple

    Scott Temple Supporting Actor

    Oct 31, 2001
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    I thought this new Unrated release was intended to compliment the original release, not replace it. I guess not. Anyway, I've got both releases so I'm happy.
  7. Daniel`D

    Daniel`D Stunt Coordinator

    Sep 8, 2003
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    Well I going to get both versions of this on DVD (rated and unrated). This is one of my favorite movies and by having both versions I can get rid of my VHS copy.
  8. Christian Preischl

    Christian Preischl Screenwriter

    Oct 11, 2001
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    Real Name:
    Christian Preischl
    The first one is back in the movie, the other two weren't really deleted scenes but actually outtakes and therefore haven't been reinserted.

  9. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?

    Dec 1, 1999
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    Disney World and Universal Florida
    Real Name:
    Tony D.
    The film is presented in its 2.39:1 aspect ratio?

    is that unusual?
  10. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

    Mar 5, 2002
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    Nope. The "2.35:1" ratio is actually 2.39 or 2.40 normally. Been that way for years.

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