In the Cut on DVD
When one sees the phrases Uncut Directors Edition and Unrated
Version, one thinks theyre going to get some gratuitous titillation.
What one may not be aware of is the fact that the entire movie appears to have
been written around the idea of gratuitous T & A. Kind of like a porno.
Except without the perpetual T & A to keep you interested.
Meg Ryan plays Frannie Avery, an English professor who happens to stumble on
a man being Lewinskied in a dark corner of a bar. After the girl performing
the deed turns up dead, Frannie is questioned by Detective Malloy (Mark Ruffalo),
who may or may not have had something to do with the whole thing. He pulls Frannie
into a liberating but disturbing erotic encounter that could take
her life away just as its giving her a chance to start over.
In the Cut is a vehicle for Meg Ryan to show off some full frontal nudity.
Thats it. Not that theres anything wrong with that, generally, except
that you have to sit through nearly two hours of crap in order to get the good
stuff. Kind of like a porno. Except theres much, much less good stuff
- and a porno doesn't pretend to be art (or not usually, with a straight face,
The movie is not well written, and even though the performances are pretty
good, they cant save an otherwise bad, bad movie. In fact, its a
really bad movie even by really bad movie standards.
The fact that everything is completely clichéd is bad enough. You can
tell exactly whos going to die (and probably when); you can tell whos
going to blame whom (and when); every character is straight out of a better
film in the genre; and theres a subplot involving Kevin Bacon that has
to be one of the most superfluous in Hollywood history.
Even the most intricate, important details dont make sense. When Frannie
witnesses the Lewinsky, its so dark and shes so far away that she
cant make out the mans face. Yet for some reason, she has no trouble
making out a tiny black tattoo on the mans wrist, even though its
facing away from her the whole time. But maybe were just not supposed
to ask questions.
If youve always wanted to see Meg Ryan naked, this is your chance. If
you want to see it badly enough to sit through this utter waste of time, feel
free. But youll probably be able to catch it on late night cable TV soon
Whether or not the unrated, uncut version is the one that was shown in theatres,
were not sure (possibly because the movie came and went before we even
had a chance to realize it was there). Nonetheless, it is the version on the
DVD, which is about as formulaic as the movie itself.
The picture is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and is average all
the way. Its a very dark movie with minimal color, but overall detail
is pretty good. There are a few shots in which you can see quite a bit of grain,
although it looks like they tried to pick some darker scenes in hopes that we
wouldnt notice. Skin tones are good, fortunately, but there is a bit of
halo effect present in several scenes as well.
Audio is, apparently, Dolby Digital 5.1, but its pretty poor quality.
Its completely restricted to the front channels (we didnt notice
a single ounce of surround use), and quite often the dialogue is muffled badly
enough that you have to rewind the movie and listen again, more closely (and
trust us, this isnt the kind of movie you want to have to go back and
watch again). Sound effects are a bit better, using all three front speakers,
while the score is more in the background and seems to use the center channel
Director Jane Campion and producer Laurie Parker provide an audio commentary
for the film (and Ill be honest: I skipped it because I didnt want
to waste two more hours of my life on this tripe), and there are two short featurettes,
one a making-of and the other a Slang Dictionary, which makes more
sense once youve seen the film.
In the Cut, from Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment
119 minutes that youll never get back, anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1)
16x9 enhanced, Dolby Digital 5.1
Starring Meg Ryan, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Nick Damici, Sharrieff
Produced by Laurie Parker, Nicole Kidman
Screenplay by Jane Campion and Susanna Moore, Directed by Jane Campion
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