Plot: What’s it about?
An interesting pattern through the last twenty years evolved with winners of acting Academy Awards. Some of the winners in those categories either went on to do material that was beneath them or went on to do some of the best work of their career on the same line, if not, better than the movie they won for and no one was more evident of the latter pattern than Michael Douglas. After his win for Wall Street, Douglas turned in a consistant amount of movies that ranged from good to excellent for a period of thirteen years. He also had a trilogy of the sexually charged female against him and the last of them was a novel adaptation from a Michael Crichton novel in the Panavision hands of Barry Levinson that told the tale of power, revenge, and sexual harrassment called Disclosure.
Tom Sanders (Michael Douglas) is expecting the best day at work after the announcement of a merger and a spinoff of the division that Sanders heads up. His expectations are lowered as he enters the office a little late and finds out that his superior (Donald Sutherland) has passed him over for Meredith Johnson (Demi Moore), a attractive co-worker outside the division. It seems that she saved the merger and had a past with Sanders some years earlier before he had gotten married. Meredith summons Tom back to her office after hours to discuss business. What she really has in mind is to reacquaint themselves personally as well as sexually. When her advances are rejected after a long struggle, she accuses him the next morning of sexual harassment. With his back up against the wall and with the help of a high profile attorney (Roma Maffia) he risks everything to prove his innocence.
It’s been a while since justice has been served on a Michael Crichton novel and, for what it’s worth, Disclosure is one of the last times that a Crichton novel got the proper treatment for the big screen. With a solid cast and a great script by future Oscar nominee Paul Attanasio, Disclosure is visually eye popping with it’s multi-colored environment in the software world as well as the fun struggle between Michael Douglas and Demi Moore. The movie is not a comedy, but it’s dramatically fun.
It’s also interesting to note the scenes inside the office showing through windows what goes on behind closed doors and what doesn’t get heard or understood when seen through a wide window that fits the Panavision aspect ratio beautifully.
The only backlash against the movie is that some of Ennio Morricone’s score seems out of place with the tension of the film and the outcome is fairly predicable, but so what? This is one of the better Barry Levinson directed vehicles where predictability falls into the “doesn’t matter” box and is an improvement over the dismal Bugsy that did nothing to liven up the life of the man that started Las Vegas into the hotbed that it is today, which he got nominated before this project.
All in all, with very good performances and a tech touch of how technology was looked at in the early nineties, Disclosure is a fitting final chapter to the Michael Douglas sexually charged female trilogy.
Video: How does it look?
Disclosure was one of the earliest DVDs to be released by Warner and it preserved the 2.35:1 aspect ratio nicely but the transfer still suffered from the same problem the laserdisc had when released. The print is sharp and clean but has a dose of eighties haze that plagued many of the first DVDs. It seems that there was a cloudiness in some prints that can be cleaned with the stroke of some solid computer work. Despite a few specks and flaws, this DVD has a satisfactory transfer for the visuals looking at their best but I know this could look better and a remastering should be welcome to make the satisfactory into excellent. It also helps that you don’t have to flip the disc over to see the film in its entirety as some titles had to in the early days.
Audio: How does it sound?
The track on Disclosure is 5.1 and the result is less than spectacular as the mix is resorted to the front channels only without any range or surround to widen the audible spectrum. There’s not much in sound effects but the dialogue comes out clear and easy to understand but not much else on this decent track. This film also has English subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
The only extras on this disc are substandard menus with the WB shield, production notes and cast and crew bios.
In closing, with the lack of extras, Warner provides a decent DVD but here’s hoping that the studio revisits Disclosure in a more extra laden Special Edition.