‘Wild Things: Limited Edition’ 4K Ultra HD movie review

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Director John McNaughton’s 1998 erotic crime thriller launches on ultra-high definition disc in a bundle packed with extras and goodies. Wild Things: Limited Edition (Arrow Video, unrated, 2.39:1 aspect ratio, 115 minutes, $39.99).

Set in an affluent suburb of Miami, the story begins like a “90210” TV episode where gorgeous teenagers enjoy life and quickly transforms into a high school student who falsely accuses a guidance counselor of rape and then falls down a dirty rabbit hole into a bad situation. and sexually explicit film noir conspiracy.

A collection of teenage stars of the day led the cast, which included troublemaker and hypersexual teens, starring Neve Campbell and Denise Richards; Matt Dillon as consultant; and Kevin Bacon as an obsessive police detective.

Pop connoisseurs should also pay attention to the appearances of legends Robert Wagner as a rich and jealous father and Bill Murray (yes, Bill Murray) as an ambulance-chasing lawyer.

Definitely relegated to the “cult classic” home theater shelf, “Wild Things” is a B-movie exploit at its best, a little thrill ride packed with twists and a great cast.

Viewers also get two cuts of the movie: a theatrical release and an unrated release that adds nearly seven minutes of extra sleaze.

4K in action: Sony Pictures meticulously remastered the film from the original 35mm negative camera, and even director-approved, it offers the cleanest, liveliest and most respectful upgrade to date.

Viewers seeking some of the digitally enhanced payoffs should focus on the scenes of the counselor buzzing around the Florida Everglades by airboat at sunset, as well as their encounters with a variety of gracefully shadowed alligators.

Quality moments for the remaster come when the consultant drives a Jeep at night on a shimmering road with purplish blue highlights, or sails on a bright sunny day on his expensive high-sea yacht.

Both of these extreme contrasting lighting examples retain saturated colors and are never washed out by just a grain of film.

The best extras: For such a low-impact film in the history of cinema, I was amazed by the ample supply of bonus material and print material in the package.

Start with the 4K disc, which includes a new commentary piece from Mr McNaughton and producer Steven A. Jones, the director handling the loose and messy discussion.

They focused on the production details, the locations, the casting, and many memories, such as paying a prestigious high school nearly $200,000 to shoot on campus and when Mr. Murray called and asked to be in the movie.

A second old commentary piece from the 1998 DVD release has much more production information and has a fun, almost uninterrupted discussion with Mr. McNaughton, while adding editor Elena Maganini, producers Steven Jones and Rodney Liber, composer George Clinton and key members of the team. cinematographer Jeffrey Kimball.

Also new is a 26-minute interview with the director covering his first career, shooting in a steamy Florida, adding elements of eroticism to the film, character motivations, issues with casting directors, casting, rehearsal process, script editing process, and working with alligators.

And a new 14-minute interview with Ms. Richards focused on discussing some of the actress’ nude scenes, her appreciation of working with Mr. Murray, and how “Wild Things” helped her have a film career.

The plastic case that holds the disc (with a reversible art-covered sleeve) also contains six full-color, double-sided postcards (4.25 inches x 6 inches) highlighting key members of the lineup.

The cardboard box also contains a double-sided poster (16″ x 20″) featuring newly commissioned artwork by Sam Hadley; a 60-page full-color booklet with stills from the movie; and new essays on film by critics and film historians Anne Billson and Sean Hogan.

Let’s just say, fans of this movie will never get a better looking gift bag than this loaded version of “Wild Things.”



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