Bound Blu-Ray Review: The Wachowskis’ Best Movie

Bound is still the Wachowskis best movie. They had already written The Matrix but needed to show they could direct a movie before Warner Brothers would green light a big budget for first time directors. I find the movie they crafted so pure and effective it surpasses even their landmark blockbuster.

At its core, Bound is a genre story about lovers enacting a plan to steal from the mob. The twist is the lovers are both women, which was groundbreaking in 1996. Hopefully it’s more normalized now but I suspect the way Violet (Jennifer Tilly) and Corky (Gina Gershon) manipulate Caesar (Joe Pantaliano)’s heteronormative assumptions remains relevant.

What makes Bound so effective is the narrative efficiency with which Violet explains her plan to Corky while we see it unfold. In paying homage to the sort of film noir of femme fatales enlisting hapless sap’s (although Corky isn’t so much a sap) into their scheme, the Blu-ray captures the noir in color with bright reds and solid whites, and dark suits and leather with deep shadows.

New bonus features show some love to title designer Patti Podesta and give the historical context of neo noir that was big in the’ 90s especially post Tarantino. Christopher Meloni reflects for 10 minutes, but it gets most interesting when we hear from Tilly and Gershon.

Some of the potential casting for Violet was interesting. Tilly wanted to play against type but it worked out for the best. She also shared some specific female minutiae about how two ladies choreographed the love scene to make each other look best. The cinematographer, editor and composer also illuminate technical achievements from the film.

The commentary from the DVD featuring the Wachowskis and cast is included as well so we’ve got some material fresh from the ‘90s and some new retrospective. Mainly, it’s just great that this landmark movie now has a fully loaded Blu-ray too.

Inconceivable Blu-ray Review: The Hand That Rocks The Cage

Inconceivable is not a Princess Bride spinoff unfortunately, but a Nicolas Cage starring throwback to ‘90s thriller may be the next best thing. I do admire the wordplay here. Angela (Gina Gershon) literally cannot conceive a child on her own and Inconceivable becomes The Hand That Rocks the Cradle with a surrogate!

Katie (Nicky Whelan) killed her abusive husband in self defense. In her new secret life she befriends the doctors Angela and Brian (Cage) and gets too close too fast. Surprising them with breakfast seems like overstepping but Katie goes further than that.

Brian does exhibit some Cage-isms. He’s a doctor who drives a motorcycle and wears a leather jacket. He talks about what the song Purple Rain really means. He can’t help being cool, but once the plot kicks in, Brian is really protecting his family. He spots Katie taking a topless swim like a tempting ’90s thriller. Angela catches her having sex too, with her girlfriend. At least the modern film treats that as normal, whereas it would have been a sexual taboo in the ‘90s.

The twist of Inconceivable comes relatively early and it’s a good one that’s not given away in marketing so I’ll keep it. The revelation of plot is a tad clunkier than it would be in the glory days of erotic thriller (characters end up spelling things out awkwardly) but good effort making the ideas twisted. It hits all the right moments with Katie making Angela paranoid until nobody will believe her.

They could’ve even made Inconceivable in the ’90s with the same cast, except for Whelan. It would’ve been prime Cage and Gershon. The cast is all playing it real. Gershon has the protagonist who no one believes role. Cage is sort of the oblivious husband who wants to keep everyone happy but he’s a ferocious family protector. Whelan totally gets it. She’s in control of her body, her instrument, and as convincing at playing the too good to be true side as she is the dangerous side. In the ’90s I would’ve watched this movie if it was straight to view starring Shannon Tweed, so getting to see it with Cage, Gershon and Whelan is an embarrassment of riches.

Inconceivable looks good on Blu-ray in widescreen. Whelan glistens in all her revealing scenes. It’s a very 1% movie so the lavish estate the two doctors can afford is beautiful in HD.

In the bonus features, Cage of course gives a very professional interview. He’s into playing a supporting role for two actresses. He gets it. He also recognizes the challenge of playing a normal guy given his career. I think it still shows when a supporting character is an Oscar winning movie star rather than just whoever was available at the time. He does support them with a real performance, not just saying the lines which it would be in the Andrew Stevens version. We get a full 11 minutes of Cage.

Whelan got the modern thriller reference but didn’t specifically mention Cradle. Director Jonathan Baker shot 13 pages a day. That explains some of the rushed dialogue but I imagine it was also rushed in the writing, or conception if you will, of the script. Interestingly it took six offers to get Cage when he was available. They waited for him and they were right. Baker wanted another oscar winner for Angela but she wasn’t available. There’s a full 52 minutes of interviews, pretty through for a straight to video movie.