Ah, the 90s, the teen flicks of my youth. I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Craft, Scream, Wild Things, and Cruel Intentions. Most of which only recycle the tried formula of their respective genres. For this movie, it's been a long time since I saw it (back when VHS was still big). After all those years, it's not the best of movies. A very forgettable effort but still enjoyable for its corny spirit and sometimes bland acting (Ryan Philippe felt like a washed off sponge, but we all had to start somewhere). The real part that got me back then was between Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair (yes, that part). Even though the movie is very predictable, what few heart it has makes up for some of it's nihilistic approach in characterization.
Sebastian (Ryan Philippe) collects female like a sportsman collects trophies. The only woman he really wants is his step-sister Kathryn (Sarah Michelle Gellar). They place a bet involving the most outrageous idea: Sebastian has to corrupt and bed Annette (Reese Witherspoon).
A very serviceable track, the dialog is crisp, easy to hear and the music is very well balanced.
As far as DVD go, this is a good enough transfer. It's nothing to write home about but it gets the job done.
A nice array of supplemental material is offered: an audio commentary, deleted scenes, two featurettes, music videos, trailer and filmographies.
on April 9, 2012
I wanted to buy this movie because I had just heard about actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, I knew her by name before but never happened to see any of her movies or TV series before. I've read that the steamy scenes between her and actress Selma Blair made this something of a cult movie; I was also very curious to see the work of director/writer Roger Kumble. There is currently about a dozen movies made from the 18th Century novel "Les Liaisons Dangereuses", two of the most famous are Milos Forman's "Valmont" made in 1988 and Stephen Frear's "Dangerous Liaisons" made in 1989, who won 3 Oscars basically for the costumes and the writing. In my opinion there were problems who made these two movies doomed from the very beginning, no matter how good the costumes and sets are someone get bored very rapidly of seeing only aristocrats living their daily life, especially when the dialog is complicated and hard to follow. Some positive point could always be given for the excellent music. Personally I really think the story is confusing in all three versions, in "Cruel Intentions" it's probably the main flaw of the movie, but it's still much clearer than the other versions and the story is understandable, those who don't understand everything the first time could always watch it again. The idea who made the movie excellent is certainly to adapt the action to modern 20th century where it's easy to put sexual overtones among other things, and making it a rich teenagers story add something. I couldn't think of better persons to play in it than Ryan Phillippe, Selma Blair, Reese Witherspoon and Sarah Michelle Gellar. Amazon.ca user "Murkey" from the UK wrote in another review exactly what I personally think: "The script is clever, the plot well structured and the production excellent, but over-riding this is the sheer quality of acting and the raw sexual overtones between the characters. Controversial subjects are addressed simply and directly, and all of this without any real nudity or explicit sex scenes." Overall the other two well-known movies made from the original novel are boring to death, I woudn't recommend them at all, but this one is really interesting and an eye-candy to watch.
on October 25, 2003
This is a good movie that anyone could watch. so unlike what Chris Kibber said, "This is clearly made for teens who really, really, really, wish they were cool. Here's a hint: if you are watching [stuff] like this you are not cool. The cool people are out doing stuff while you sit in front of your TV watching Dawson's Creek and wondering why you are getting heavier."
I mean who is he to say what is or what isnt cool. if he thought the movie was bad then why is he wasting his time writing here. so dont believe his review.The movie is about Katherine who is unconfident in herself and finds enjoyment in other peoples pain and her step brother Sebastian who has a repuation of sleeping with numerous girls; they make a bet that if Sebastian sleeps with Annette (the virgin)that he can have Katherine but if he loses then Katherine gets his car. Then comes innocent Cecile where she is played the fool but then gets her reward. by the end of the movie...well you go see it and you'll know the ending. lol hope i helped you and you are all COOL!
on April 7, 2003
What a fantastic film! As dark as it may be, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Reese Witherspoon, Ryan Phillipe (hottie!), and Selma Blair are phenomenal in this twisted...well, I'm not sure what you'd call it. It's pretty funny in the beginning, but gets thrilling in the end.
The only bad thing about this movie would have to be it's ending. First a crucial character is...erm...well something bad happens to them, and then Sebastian gets revenge on Catherine. Then it just ends. I mean, you never see what happened to Catherine or Annette! You find out what happens to Sebastian, but not to the two (or three, if you include Ceccile (Selma Blair) female characters.
Just don't let young children see this movie, because I think that it gives a message saying "Doing it is okay, it's all fun and games." Although the two evil characters do get revenge in the end.
An added bonus of this movie would be a scene in which you see Ryan Phillipe's butt.
Phillipe and Witherspoon have fantastic chemistry together, which would make sense seeing as they are now married and are expecting their second child. But everyone plays their characters well. Catherine is pure evil, Sebastian is also evil at first but softens, Annette is good-girl, and Ceccile is seriously naive and innocent.
A great buy - purchase this movie!
on December 27, 2002
I first saw Cruel Intentions on tv. I didn't see the whole thing but it looked pretty good so I decided to rent it. The movie is very good and takes many twists and turns. I sometimes felt as if I would be able to predict what would happen next, but of course it didn't.
The movie starts out showing Sebastien (Ryan Phillipe) with a therapist. Sebastian talks about his so called former life where all he thought about was sex. He says he has changed but that is not true. I'll skip some unimportant stuff and go on.
He goes home where his stepsister Kathryn (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is talking to Cecile's mother. Cecile is a girl who will be attending Kathryn and Ryan's school next year. Afterwards, Kathryn wants to destroy Cecile's reputation because Cecile dated her ex-boyfriend. Kathryn wants Sebastian to seduce Cecile to enhance his reputation. Sebastian is known for sleeping with tons of girls.
Sebastian would rather sleep with the new headmaster's daughter, Annette (Reese Witherspoon) who writes articles about how she is a virgin and plans to wait. Kathryn and Sebastian make a bet. If Sebatian can't bed Annette, Kathryn gets his car. If Sebastian wins, he gets Kathryn.
The movie goes on from there with Sebastian falling for Annette and Kathryn trying hard to destroy Cecile. Overall, a very good movie worth watching but NOT for the kids. Trust me on that one.
on October 15, 2002
At first the movie seem to be good, Sarah Michelle Gellar in the role of Catherine is great, she's a very good actress. The movie seem to me a bit too much, like the actors performence was in the line to be too much but at first it was okay, it was kind of weird, funny let say cynical but it could had been a good movie. It gets worst when Sebastian change, he had change way too fast, it was way too cliché and after that the movie was too weird and ridiculous.Come on Sebastian had change overnight that impossible to change so fast, fall in love almost right aways with the goody goody, sweet and smart Annette seem so not real.Sebastian get on my nerves lots of time, the actor give a good performance but sometime it was way too much. Also Annette gets on my nerves for being so goody smart and fall in love so fast with Sebastian that was stupid. And the one who get on my nerves the most was Cécile, I could not tolerate her and sometime Catherine also gets on my nerves.I don't say it's a bad movie but it could had been way better. It was too weird, everything went to fast that make it so unbelievable and the end was so stupid, that movie doesn't make any sence. I think it was just a very cynical movie so it was met to be that way!
on September 30, 2002
When I first saw this movie in the Spring of '99, I expected another cheesy 90's teen movie; what I got was a twisted, manipulative, and rather clever screenplay, great acting from the four main characters, and a surprise ending, that was so unexpected that I found myself laughing in the theater (I was the only one!).
Here's the situation: Sebastian Valmont (Ryan Phillippe) is a yuppie scumbag with a bad reputation that precedes him, who enjoys exploiting women sexually, his stepsister Kathryn (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is a manipulative social climber who also enjoys sexual exploitation, but is a "good girl" to everyone else but her brother. Sebastian is sick of dating the same girls, and is looking for a real challenge. Kathryn has just been dumped by her boyfriend (she usually does the dumping), and is looking for revenge. Kathryn and Sebastian hatch a plan to ruin the life of her new boyfriend's squeeze, Celeste Caldwell (played hilariously by Selma Blair); on the side, Sebastian bets Kathryn that he can seduce the new headmaster's daughter, Annette Hargrove (Reese Witherspoon). If Sebastian loses the bet, Kathryn gets his classic Jaguar roadster, if he wins, he gets to have get Kathryn in bed (anyway he wants).
What follows is a hilarious string of manipulation, deceit, sex, betrayal, and eventual retribution. This movie did not fare as well at the box office as it should have, opening against such movies as American Pie, American Beauty, and The Rage: Carrie 2. Fortunately, it picked itself back up upon its video release. I recommend the sequel to this movie also, as it explains the origins of Sebastian's bad reputation, and it's just more vulgar. Gather your friends, pop some popcorn and have a great night!
on August 31, 2002
I've seen this movie several times, and it's one of those flicks I can never get enough of. Now, this isn't a film for everyone, it deserves it's R rating fully and is indeed quite sexual. However, there's no real nudity and the scenes aren't nearly as graphic as one might expect.
This movie tells the story of wealthy step-siblings Kathryn Merteuil(Sarah Michelle Gellar, in a throughly convincing performance) and Sebastian Valmont(Ryan Phillipe, in a performance even better than Sarah's). Kathryn is the popular(and secretly evil and extremely manipulative), role model of a class president while Sebastian is the school bad boy whom parents warn their straight-laced daughters to stay away from. Anyway, Kathryn is dumped for the incredibly naive but nice virgin Cecile(Selma Blair), whose mother wants her to befriend Kathryn. Kathryn wants Sebastian to seduce Cecile, a mission he initially declines. Instead, he vows to deflower the new headmaster's well-moraled, brainy daughter Annette(Reese Witherspoon). He thinks getting the girl into bed will be a piece of cake, but the fine line between love and lust blurs and things get more complicated then he could've ever imagined.
I won't reveal how this amusing and provocotive film ends, but believe me, it's not totally what you might expect!
on May 22, 2002
This movie served its purpose as a campy, entertaining and sexy piece of work that any rich or poor teen could've wrote off the top of their head.
No stunning performances.
No unforgettable moments (maybe a few unforgettable sayings).
But it sure was entertaining! I have watched this movie several times and I just love how the film plays out in an easy watch type of movie. You don't really have to think too much - and either did the actors. I was a little disappointed in the performance of Reese Witherspoon just seemed to have difficulty holding her performance without her co-stars. Ryan Phillippe did a mediocre job as playing the hustling rich boy that prides himself on destroying the lives of young virgins. It works - I guess. Sarah Michelle was my most favorite. It was great too see her being a true villain and maybe letting go of some of her inhibitions as teen queen actress. This shows she may have the potential of growing into an incredible actress with enough risk tasking. Overall I loved this movie and recommend it to anyone who doesn't want to do much thinking but just be entertained.
on April 10, 2002
I began viewing Cruel Intentions with extremely low expectations. Think about it. It was a movie geared at teens, and nearly every teen flick I had viewed up to that point was a horrid flop. I was only watching Cruel Intentions to see Ryan Phillippe.
Which was a huge mistake. Contrary to my expectations, the plot was NOT created by a band of monkeys: the storyline was intriguing and expertly crafted. The actors' performances were refreshingly well done. These were actors who had appeared in such embarassments as Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer...Cruel Intentions proved that these young actors actually HAD talent.
Aside from its excellent plot and acting, the sets and costumes are lavishly eye-popping. If you ever get bored of viewing the film (which rarely happens), it's really fun to let your eyes wander and admire the movie's beautiful sets.
Despite all of this praise, Cruel Intentions does have a few fallbacks. The plot of gratiutious sex and backstabbing revenge may not appeal to some viewers: watch out, the kids in this movie will try ANYTHING. And yes, they are kids. Although every single one of these actors are in their twenties, they are playing high school students from a prestigious prep school, which I found a horrible inaccuracy. Was Cruel Intentions truly an attempt at a formidable film or a mere vehicle to boost these celebrities' careers? It makes me wonder.
Although the sets of Cruel Intentions are extremely beautiful, they are very fake and impossibly upscale. However, they provide an excellent backdrop for a sinfully sweet story played out by beautiful actors.