Plot: What’s it about?
Roderick Blank (Simon Baker) is a successful executive and ladies man, but he has decided to settle down and his nuptials are just around the corner. This should mean his life is going to be smoother, but a mysterious email soon turns his world upside down and fills his mind with doubt. This email is a list of all the women he has had sex with, as well as all the women he will have sex with in the future. While he is about to get married, the list of sexual partners doesn’t end with his wife-to-be, not even close, as it happens to be. The list consumes Roderick’s brain and he soon leaves his fiancee, choosing to seek out the numerous women on the list he has yet to seduce. But when one of the conquests on his list turns out to be a femme fatale who takes down womanizers, will he wish the list wasn’t so long?
A movie needs more than good ideas to be effective, as evidenced in Sex and Death 101. This movie tries to be more than the usual romantic comedy, but those efforts fall flat. A spark here and there prove there was solid potential, but writer/director Daniel Waters simply can’t pull this one together. Sex and Death 101 comes off as shallow and pretentious, as the concept of the list is used in a most basic fashion. The impact of list could have been explored in ways that would have been fresh and interesting, but instead, we’re given the same old routine. I do appreciate the sheer volume of female flesh on showcase, but thanks to the poor execution of the material, not much here comes off as sexy or erotic in the slightest. The performances are passable, but no one stands out and the material is to blame in part for that. Sex and Death 101 could have been a good movie, but the filmmakers settled for this mess, which makes this a hard movie to recommend.
Video: How does it look?
Sex and Death 101 is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. This is a great looking visual effort, a nice improvement over the standard release. The print is flawless here, which allows for a clean, clear image that rarely disappoints. The colors are bright, but contrast is a little off at times, but just to a minor degree. As far as clarity, detail is impressive and not just in close ups, almost every scene has remarkable depth. On the down side, I also noticed some noise from time to time, as well as halos and other artifacts, but these were minor at worst. So in the end, a great visual treatment all around.
Audio: How does it sound?
An uncompressed PCM 5.1 option is included, but this material never makes much use of the soundtrack. The surrounds have the night off with this movie, so don’t expect much presence in the rear channels. But because of the simplistic audio design, the surrounds aren’t missed and the front channels shoulder the burden well. The music and sound effects don’t stand out, but sound fine and dialogue is clear and never hard to pick up on. This disc also includes a Dolby Digital 5.1 option, as well as English subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Daniel Waters’ commentary track is pleasant to listen to, but doesn’t have much depth. He talks about some of his ideas, but never at length and he moves around a lot with topics. A decent session, but not one you can’t miss out on. This disc also includes a nine minute featurette, as well as the film’s theatrical trailer.