Plot: What’s it about?
Tess McGill (Melanie Griffith) is a working class woman, but she has worked hard and as such, carries a degree in business. She went through night school to do so, which has her behind others, who attended name colleges and such. Nonetheless, she pushes forward and tries to make it past her secretary duties, no matter what it takes. After her bosses try to get her to sleep with a client (Kevin Spacey), she quits in a huff and searches for a new position, though this is the last chance the temp agency will offer her. So she takes on a job as an assistant to Katherine Parker (Sigourney Weaver), a no nonsense executive who seems nice enough, but has a severe killer instinct. When Katherine tries to steal an idea from Tess, she ends up in a ski accident and soon, Tess decides to take a chance and make some moves. Can she strike a deal in this window of chance, or will she once again be left behind?
This film was well received back around its release, both from critics and audiences, who seemed to love the picture. It has remained a popular movie since and as time passes, it picks up even more fans as it rolls along. I’d seen this film on cable television a few times, but this was my first chance to see it uncut and in widescreen, so I was looking forward to this disc. I liked the movie a lot this time around and was pleased to see it in widescreen, but I don’t think it deserves the “modern classic” label it is often given. The elements are all good, from Mike Nichols’ solid direction to the more than able cast, but it never clicked that much with me, perhaps it just wasn’t aimed at me, who knows. But I did like the movie and especially the performances, from Melanie Griffith, Harrison Ford, Sigourney Weaver, and in a hilarious smaller role, Kevin Spacey. I think this is a well made, well written effort and if you need something to rent, I’d give this a strong recommendation. If you’re a fan however, this is one disc you will want to own, to be sure, thanks to the much improved video, though not many extras were included.
Melanie Griffith was nominated for an Oscar for her turn in this film, which is enough to make some give this a spin, just to see Griffith in a great performance. I happen to like Griffith’s style and choice of roles, but not everyone does and as time passes, she seems to slip even further from the spotlight, to be sure. But her quirky presence sometimes nails the characters and in this case, that is just what happens. I do think the terrific supporting players add to her effort, but Griffith is the central force here, at least I think so. You can also see Griffith in such films as Cherry 2000, Pacific Heights, Body Double, Something Wild, and Another Day In Paradise. The cast here also includes Harrison Ford (Patriot Games, Return of the Jedi), Sigourney Weaver (Ghostbusters, Aliens), Alec Baldwin (Pearl Harbor, The Edge), Oliver Platt (Ready to Rumble, Diggstown), and Kevin Spacey (American Beauty, The Usual Suspects).
Video: How does it look?
I can remember seeing the trailers for this when I was in high school, so to see that this movie is now nearing its 30th anniversary is somewhat frightening. That said, the 1.85:1 AVC HD transfer gives the film a little bit of life. Films in the 80’s were shot in a different way and that’s conveyed in this transfer. Yes, the colors look a bit brighter and bolder. Yes, the detail makes things stand out a bit more, but by and large the image is still a bit dingy in places and soft in others. This wasn’t given the 4K treatment and meticulously restored. It shows. It’s a step up from the DVD, but not much of one.
Audio: How does it sound?
If memory serves the DVD had a 3.0 surround track and this Blu-ray now features a DTS HD Master Audio mix. The music and various sound effects come across in fine form, with the surrounds offering a bit of substance. The dialogue sounded warm and natural, but it instantly reminded me as to why I never cared for Melanie Griffith as an actress – my God…that voice! Like the video, it’s a nice mix that sounds a bit better on Blu-ray, but it’s nothing to get worked up over. I didn’t, at least.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- Theatrical Trailers/TV Spots