The Criterion Collection
review by Zach B.
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 113 Minutes
Starring: Melanie Griffith, Jeff Daniels, Ray Liotta
Written by: E. Max Frye
Directed by: Jonathan Demme
Retail Price: $39.95
Features: Jonathan Demme Interview, E. Max Frye Interview, Theatrical Trailer
Widescreen 1080p High Definition, English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Surround, English Subtitles, Chapters (28 Chapters)
Released: May 10th,
Something Wild is
presented in a 1080p High Definition transfer, with the aspect
of 1.78:1. The picture quality on this Blu-ray is stunning: this movie
does not look 25 years old. The image is razor sharp, with color
saturation that seems to leap off the screen: be it the typical
surroundings of the open road or the exteriors of downtown New York
City. Fleshtones are downright accurate, detail is superb and there's
an adaquete amount of grain that's not overdone, but goes a long way in
giving texture. The transfer is pretty clean, though nicks and
dirt pieces pop up here and there. A little shimmering is apparent,
too. Still, none of that ruins a very strong transfer.
Something Wild features
a English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Surround track. Maybe a remix would
have added something, but this track definitely does the material
justice. Dialogue is very clear and easy to hear, while the film's
eclectic musical selections have a bit of bounce. Sound effects tend to
come off the best here though: be it the the city streets, cars zooming
along and of course, the punches, kicks, smashes and assorted violence.
This can be a pretty captivating track.
English subtitles are included.
There is not too much here, but everything is still worthy of a watch. There are two Interviews on
the disc: one with director Jonathan Demme (33:16) and screenwriter E.
Max Frye (9:19). Demme is quite lively in discussing the making of the
film. He begins by talking about his disappointing experience making Swing Shift,
and from there, he talks about his desire to direct again and getting
into the Orion films fold. Demme delves into his collaborations with
cinematographer Tak Fujimoto and shares stories on casting: Demme was
originally thinking of Kevin Kline for Daniels's part, and talks about
who and how he got to fill in bit roles. Demme shares plenty of
production anecdotes, but his fervor for filmmaking comes across in how
he talks about the little touches he put upon and his general
While Frye's interview is about a third
shorter, it's no less interesting. The writer talks about his
inspiration for the script: observing people at a bar and the art scene
in 1980s East Village. The script was originally a short, which Frye
then expanded. He also recalls his agent asking him who he wanted to
directed it: he said either Scorsese or Demme (Frye now thinks Scorsese
may not have been able to pull off a light touch). Frye also discusses
the characters, re-writing the ending and how the film came out to be
exactly as he envisioned it.
Also on the disc is the Original Theatrical Trailer
(just check out how the title of the movie is presented at the end -
very 1980s). The booklet has an essay by film critic David
Something Wild is
one of the more out there film choices Criterion has chosen to be part
of their collection, but I'm all for it. This underrated 80s gem will
hopefully get a new found appreciation — and new audience — with this
release. The movie looks and sounds nice, while the interviews with
director Jonathan Demme and writer E. Max Frye are quite entertaining.
This is a solid release, and those who want something different will
find this film worth checking out.