5.0 out of 5 stars
My favorrite movie... on DVD at last!, Jan 18 2002
I first saw this movie in the theaters, and I remember sitting spellbound, utterly enthralled by the adept manner in which Jonathan Demme blends comedy, romance, drama, and suspense in a single film. For years, I would catch it whenever I could on cable -- or, if I were hanging with a "virgin" friend who had never before seen the film, I'd scrounge up a rental copy (pan-n-scan, of course) at the local video store. All told, I've seen it about a dozen times, twice as many times as I have seen any other movie -- but only once in the widescreen format in which it was originally composed.
When people ask me what my favorite movie is, I tell them without hesitation, "Something Wild." Inevitably, a look of comprehension is absent from their face. I briefly explain the plot, describe Melanie Griffith in the black wig, Jeff Daniels as the nebbishy accountant, and Ray Liotta as the Lulu's sinister ex-con (IMHO, career-best performances for all three), and faces begin to light up. Most people have caught at least a part of this film on Comedy Central and recognize it (if only slightly) from those heavily edited screenings, which is a shame because this movie needs to be seen in its unexpurgated form in order to really gain an appreciation of its genius.
So you can imagine my delight when I opened a birthday gift from my girlfriend and found inside a copy of "Something Wild" on DVD. If I were capable of squealing, I would have. You see, I was under the impression that this was one of those "lost titles" that would never be released on DVD. Yet there it was, in my hands, a true cinematic masterpiece, one of the best films of the 80s, my favorite movie. Sigh. What a great birthday present!
Now that I have recovered from the initial giddiness of actually owning the flick and watched it once or twice, I can report objectively that the DVD release isn't perfect. The transfer is average (but nevertheless widescreen -- yay!), with a slightly washed-out look that minimizes some of the impact of the garish 80s couture. And the disk is pretty straightforward. You can select from 16 scenes, watch in the original English or dubbed Spanish, watch with French or Spanish subtitles, and view an irrelevant theatrical trailer. Or, you can just live with the fact that this great film is finally available on DVD and watch it start to finish, over and over again.