Leave it to Jonathan Demme to come up with something
"wild" before he branched out into his mainstream break
through "The Silence of the Lambs". Jonathan Demme is a
unique talent. He had already demonstrated a flair for quirky
comedy and even tackled a mainstream Hollywood film ("Swing
Shift") that went horribly wrong when Demme came into conflict
with actress Goldie Hawn during the shoot and when the studio
elected to reshoot/re-edit major sequences of the film.
Demme was burned out by the experience and had thought about
not directing again. Then the script for "Something Wild"
caught his eye. An unconventional comedy/thriller with shifting
tones throughout the film took Demme back to what he does
best--breaking new ground by throwing a twist into what
could have been a conventional Hollywood comedy in the wrong
hands. The director moved seamlessly from comedy to dark
drama and action within the same movie years before Tarrantino
did the same thing in his films. "Something Wild" remains
one Demme's finest films. ***
A brief summary of the plot (those who have seen the
movie can skip it--Jeff Daniels plays Charles Driggs an
uptight businessman who meets Lulu (Melanie Griffith)in
a diner and is immediately taken with her to the point where
he chucks his day and ends up on the road involved with
her. It becomes clear when Ray (Ray Liotta)a dangerous and
demented criminal appears that Lulu isn't everything she
appears to be and Charles may be in trouble. ***
Jeff Daniels does a terrific turn as Charlie a man
who had everything and lost it all suddenly rediscovering
the excitement of life when he meets the impulsive Lulu
(or Audrey as he later discovers). Griffith likewise does
a great job as Lulu finding the heart of this "free spirit"
who really is very injured. Once Ray Liotta appears he steals
the rest of the movie in his turn as Ray. --
Image & Sound:
Criterion does a terrific job of bringing the movie
to Blu-ray with a nearly flawless looking transfer that
looks positively stunning. This new transfer was created
form a newly struck interpositive transfers created from
the original negative of the film and supervised by DP Tak
Fujimoto and approved by Demme. There's a nice layer of
fine grain present to just remind us that this IS a film.
The image hasn't been overprocessed so there's a nice level
of detail present throughout. Colors pop and skin tones
are accurate to the original intention of the director.
The film appears in its 1.78:1 preferred aspect ratio.
The 2.0 audio mix sounds quite nice with dialogue front
and center as it should be during the comedic and dramatic
moments in the film. ---