Bound Special Edition on Blu-ray – The DVDfever Review


Bound was the first film ever made by The Wachowski Brothers, with The Matrix being their follow-up in 1999. Most recently, Jupiter Ascending should’ve been out by now but for no apparent reason, and after much publicity and trailers aplenty, it’s been put back to next February, which is generally a dumping ground for movies.

However, back to this film and Jennifer Tilly plays Violet, a young, and seemingly introverted, woman who lives with the cocky Caesar (Joe Pantoliano), and they’re just next door to the apartment where slightly butch lesbian Corky (Gina Gershon) – who drives a ’63 Chevy truck – is working, renovating the place.

There’s a lot of weird shit going on in Violet’s apartment, which Corky can hear due to the thin walls, and I don’t want to go into too much detail other than to say the plot involves the mafia, and $2m in cash, since Bound is a thriller that’s gripping from start to finish, with everyone on top form. I can’t believe I’ve not got round to watching this in all the 18 years since it was made, but this Blu-ray edition was the best way in which to do it.

Pantoliano makes for both nice comic turn, as well as nasty when he needs to, and the sexuality from the Tilly and Gershon as accidental lovers is smouldering, and the chemistry between them is as perfect as you could ever hope from a pairing. And there’s fantastic support from Christopher Meloni, as mob boss son, Johnnie, who I remember best from later appearing in the prison drama Oz, one of the defining dramas of a generation and a show that so few people seem to have heard of, but if it was made now, then it would be the new ‘Breaking Bad‘.

Bound is also a wonderful visual treat, the way the Wachowski Brothers use the camera including the genesis of “bullet time”, and the planning sequence where Violet and Corky make a plan in the present, whilst it shows them carrying it out in the future.


The film is in its original 1.85:1 widescreen ratio and in 1080p high defintion and is as perfect as the style on display. It’s a lush and detailed tranfer, which was transferred from original pre-print elements by Paramount Pictures in the USA. If I had any slight nitpick, it would be that there’s a very brief blip on the print at 1.29.34 that looks like a mastering defect, but nothing to get too upset about. So that’s a 9.9/10, technically, for the picture 😉

For the record, I’m watching on a Panasonic 50″ Plasma TV with a Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray player.

Sound-wise, the film is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 and the atmosphere builds nicely during the two leads’ more intimate moments, as well as when The Wachowski Brothers want to show what they can do with the camera.

The extras are as follows, most of which are in HD, but sadly none of them are subtitled:

  • Modern Noir: The Sights & Sounds of Bound (29:24): There’s chat about many aspects of the film including how it put two girls together to buddy-up, rather than the convention of a man and woman, all coming from a number of crew members including Bill Pope, director of photography, brought in for his work on Evil Dead: Army of Darkness, composer Don Davis and film editor Zach Staenberg. Oddly, there’s no contribution from The Wachowski Brothers.

  • Cast interviews: first with Gina Gershon & Jennifer Tilly (26:52): They’re both looking stunning almost 20 years later, but unfortunately, they’re not onscreen together like they were in the film. However, both interviews are cut together as if they are in the room together, and both give great insight into how they worked together, including in the sex scenes.

    Then there’s Joe Pantoliano (13:29) aka “Joey Pants”, looking slightly less svelte these days, but then aren’t we all 🙂

    And then Christopher Meloni (10:03), as Johnnie, and he talks about the difficulty of trying to shove someone’s head down a toilet bowl without actually hurting them.

    And I love it when he says, “If you do his toes, as well, you can make it 20 questions.” If you’ve seen the film, you’ll know what he’s talking about…

  • Featurettes One made for the US market (4:53) and one for the international market (5:08). Both are fairly similar, but it’s good to see them both added for completeness. It’s in these, made at the time of the film’s release, when you’ll see The Wachowski Brothers for the first time in these extras.

  • Original trailers (6:47): Three of them here, all in 4:3. Ah, remember the days of 4:3? 🙂

  • TV spots (0:51): Two TV trailers in 4:3.

  • Stills Gallery: 28 images to view.

  • Booklet: Also included in the package is a 24-page booklet featuring many stills from the film, plus an in-depth look at the film by James Oliver.

  • Audio commentary: from writer/directors The Wachowski Brothers, film editor Zach Staenberg, and Susie Bright, an extra who plays Jesse.

As you put the disc in, the menu bursts into life with clips from the films and a piece of the music within. There are subtitles in English, but when it comes to the chaptering, I feel one should come every five minutes on average. Arrow, like many other distributors, go for a low 12 however long the film. I would like them to increase that number. Subtitles are in English.

Bound: Special Edition is out now on Blu-ray/DVD Dual Format Special Edition, and check out the full-size cover by clicking on the packshot.



Detailed specs:

Running time: 109 minutes
Year: 1996
Distributor: Arrow Films
Released: June 9th 2014
Chapters: 12 FCD966
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: DTS 5.1 HD Master Audio, DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
Languages: English
Subtitles: English
Widescreen: 1.85:1
Disc Format: BD50

Directors: Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski (as The Wachowski Brothers)
Producers: Stuart Boros and Andrew Lazar
Screenplay: Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski (as The Wachowski Brothers)
Music: Don Davis

Violet: Jennifer Tilly
Corky: Gina Gershon
Caesar: Joe Pantoliano
Micky Malnato: John Ryan
Johnnie Marzzone: Christopher Meloni
Gino Marzzone: Richard C. Sarafian
Jesse: Susie Bright
Shelly: Barry Kivel