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Kiss The Girls
review by Ren C.
Running Time: 117 minutes
Starring Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd
Screenplay by James Patterson and David Klass
Directed by Gary Fleder
Retail Price: $29.99
Features: Theatrical Trailer
Specs: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, Dolby Digital
English 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby
Surround, English Closed Captions, English Subtitles,
Spanish Subtitles, Chapter Search
At its heart, "Kiss the Girls" is a first-rate thriller
movie. This movie almost seems like a hybrid between the
modern genre of thrillers like "Seven", and the classic film
noir genre. I enjoy a great detective story, and this
certainly lives up to that description. The plot is
top-notch, there is a fine cast of actors and everything
throughout the movie just seems to gel.
The movie begins in Washington, DC, with Dr. Alex Cross
(Morgan Freeman), a forensic psychologist investigating a
case when he finds out that his niece has been kidnapped.
He calls in a few favors and is able to serve as a
consultant on the case in Durham, North Carolina, where
there is someone attending school. Once he arrives, he
finds out that this is not a freak incident, but rather part
of a string of serial kidnappings. The police there are
baffled as to what is going on, and remain baffled when they
find one of the serial killer's victims. The killer,
referring to himself as "Casanova", has raped the girl, tied
her up to a tree and left her to die.
Police are at a loss of what to do when the next
kidnapping takes place, involving Dr. Kate McTiernan (Ashley
Judd). Kate manages to free herself, and quickly becomes
closely allied with Cross, and the two must together figure
out who the killer is, and where he is, before it is too
late for a certain someone and the other girls that have
been kidnapped. The result will take them from coast to
coast, and from suspect to suspect before arriving at the
final, and surprising conclusion.
While on the surface, the plot may sound somewhat
simplistic, it is anything but, with enough twists and turns
to stock four movies. Just when you think that you are
getting a handle on what is going on in the movie, the plot
thickens, so to speak. Also a major credit to the movie is
the very talented cast. Morgan Freeman, as always, is
stellar in his role, as is Ashley Judd playing the
"woman-in-jeopardy" part that she has perfected.
The movie also has a very interesting vibe to it, a
horror movie that really isn't, although thriller seems too
mild to describe it. When I say it is unlike anything that
I had seen before, that is a definite compliment.
Released in 1998, this was one of Paramount's earlier
efforts into the medium, and while the transfer is not
pristine, it still stands up very well. The movie had an
overall dark tone to it, and the transfer reflects this when
appropriate, with deep, rich blacks. In the light scenes,
again, as appropriate, the colors are very vibrant. I did
notice several blemishes on the transfer, however, bringing
the score down a few notches.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 sound mix here is very good. A few
scenes in particular stand out, including one where a car
skids along the roadway, seeming like it is going from one
corner of the room to the other. Dialogue is never
overshadowed, however, and the score is subtle, yet
There is nothing quite like the Paramount bare bones
disc. This disc includes nothing but a theatrical trailer,
which actually is quite good. However, this is definitely a
movie that deserves a re-visit by Paramount in the feature,
with some more features, really, of any kind.
This is a very, very good thriller movie, with a very,
very average disc. While the movie is definitely worth
owning, I am disappointed by the almost total lack of
features. The video and audio do hold up, though, so since
Paramount doesn't seem inclined to re-visit any of their
older releases anytime soon, I'm going to go ahead and give
this a recommendation.
(3.5/5 - NOT included in
(3.5/5, NOT an average)