In the Cut -
Uncut Director's Edition
Meg Ryan, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Jason Leigh
Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment
Date: February 10, 2004
Review posted: March 7, 2004
(Ryan), a New York writing professor, has an erotic affair with a
police detective (Ruffalo) investigating a murder of a beautiful
young woman in her neighborhood.
Yeah, Meg Ryan bares
it all in this film by Jane Campion (The Piano). Well, she
bares almost all of her body. That is probably the film's only
interesting aspect in my opinion as the plot is pretty much
off-balance. The synopsis above is quite vague, so here is a
little more about the film. Ruffalo's Malloy comes on to Frannie
as he solves the murder. Rather sooner than later they have sex,
creating a tension that builds as time goes on. It turns out he
sports the same tattoo Franny saw on a man getting a blowjob by a
girl at a bar. It turns out that girl is dead and Malloy is
investigating. Coincidence? Maybe. In any case, the script
attempts to build suspense around this fact. Meanwhile, Franny
looks to get on with her job teaching at the university. One of
her students is more than friendly to her, and when she's not
teaching Frannie spends time with her sister (Leigh).
Really, a lot of
time passes where nothing really happens. The film moves slow at
times, some scenes should've been cut or shortened. Character
interactions between Franny and Malloy are sometimes a bit
awkward, especially when he takes her out to the woods to learn
how to shoot a gun. Foreshadowing? Yeah, too easy. Some of their
discussions are well written, but the other parts of the script
are just not interesting. As a character, Frannie seems frail even
though the script appears to make her strong-willed and
independent. I don't know, I'm a bit conflicted about that. It
seems Jane Campion casts an unlikely and unfair dark shadow on
Malloy. Deceiving? Mostly. You'll probably understand what I mean
if you get to the ending. Also, Frannie's ex-boyfriend shows up
one day played by Kevin Bacon in a cameo. I didn't know he was in
the film, and frankly the character seemed out of place, but I
liked Bacon's performance.
Moreover, In The
Cut contains several gruesome moments. The demise of a known
character is not terribly explicit, but the implication is quite
shocking as I didn't expect it. Also, for some reason Campion
gives New York City a gloomy appearance. Whether that is supposed
to play along the film's muted plotline is anyone's guess, but the
city has never looked so boring to me before. Then again, I've
been there only once and it's only natural some areas might
actually be boring in real-life. Either way, the quote "made 100%
in New York city" during the end credits is not all that
Overall, In The
Cut fails to make its plot interesting and compelling. Some
parts showed promise, but the script just didn't work. As far as
performances go, Ryan does a good job, but is not able to carry
this film out of the slump that is the weak script. Mark
Ruffalo does a very nice job and keeps a cool composure opposite
Ryan, especially during the sex scenes. Call him professional or
lucky, or maybe both. In the end, you can cut In The Cut
from your rental list because there are much better films out
there involving Ryan, Ruffalo, Leigh, and Campion.
Columbia presents In the
Cut in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. Colors are
well-saturated but not that bright, yet detail is crisp and
sharp. Black levels and dark tones look good. The print appears
in good condition and artifacts did not occur. Grain exists, but
that's expected. Overall, a clean transfer in the overall sense.
Columbia presents In the
Cut in English 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound. Mostly audio
driven, the soundtrack is presented with minimal surround sound
activity, yet all the dialogue is clear and easy to understand.
The music score sounds nice, and a few of the sound effects are
presented effectively. Other than that, a fine presentation
that's good but nothing special.
A French 5.1 Dolby
Digital track is also available.
This uncut release
adds a few more shots to an explicit sex scene; a character gets
a blowjob, bringing the total running time to 119 minutes as
opposed to the theatrical cut's 118. You can imagine the footage
is graphic, but I wasn't offended. The MPAA would definitely
slap this uncut edit with an NC-17, but I say "bullshit." This
is not hardcore porn at all, instead it's a lowly attempt at
softcore. The R-rating should be able to sustain a graphic sex
scene. If it can't, create a rating pertaining to adults and
leave the children out of the discussion for once. Anyway, the
scene is not important and I've gone off-topic, sorry.
In terms of
extras, there's a fairly decent audio commentary by director
Jane Campion and producer Laurie Parker. Both of them go
into a few interesting discussions, but overall it's not
everyone's cup of tea. If you liked the film you're likely to
get more out of the track. Next is a slightly above-average
making-of featurette showing on-set footage, interviews, and
all those other familiar things. For anybody interested in the
film's "slang," check out the slang dictionary featurette.
It's a nice try, but ultimately a worthless extra. Rounding out
the bonus material are several theatrical trailers,
including In the Cut.
Menus are animated
and easy to navigate.
You can select to view the film with optional English and French subtitles. The
119-minute feature is organized into twenty-eight chapters. A
paper insert lists scene selections and title recommendations.
Don't waste your time
with this film, unless you wish to see Meg Ryan in the nude. In that
case, give it a rent. The film is not completely bad, but the very
very few moments that intrigued me are incidentally too minimal.
Sony's video/audio is fine, and the extras are fine, too. I'd say skip
this film, but some parts are worth to make it a rent it
recommendation, yet only bare-ly. Hehe, get it. Okay, a juvenile joke.
VERDICT: RENT IT
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