Wild Things appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This turned into an appealing presentation.
Across the board, sharpness seemed very good. A few wide shots displayed light softness, but most of the movie seemed distinctive and detailed.
I noticed no issues with jagged edges or shimmering, and edge haloes remained absent. Grain felt natural, while print flaws failed to mar the proceedings.
With its Southern Florida setting, Things featured a vibrant palette that came across well. The tropical colors appeared bright and dynamic, so they hopped off the screen at times.
Blacks also seemed deep and firm, while low-light shots displayed nice dimensionality and precision. Expect a fine presentation here.
Similar thoughts greeted the pretty solid DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Wild Things. Given the film’s scope, the soundfield mainly concentrated on ambience, but it did so in an unusually involving manner.
Various environmental elements consistently popped up in the forward channels to create a nicely engrossing feel. The surrounds also kicked in with solid atmospherics and occasionally demonstrated stereo material.
For example, early in the film a car zoomed from front to rear and across the back. This was about as showy as the mix got, but it seemed like a satisfying use of the format. Music also showed nice delineation and cropped up neatly in the rear speakers at times.
As for the audio quality, the mix sounded great. Speech consistently came across as clear and accurate, with no issues connected to intelligibility or edginess.
Effects appeared concise and detailed. The mix boasted firm bass response as necessary, and the various elements sounded clean and distinctive.
The vaguely jazzy score fared especially well, as the music seemed smooth and frothy and showed strong range. Highs were crisp and bright, while low-end came across as rich and lively.
The audio of Wild Things didn’t make “A”-level consideration due to the somewhat restricted ambition of the soundfield. Nonetheless, the high quality of the material meant this felt like a “B+” despite the lack of super-active soundscape.
How did the 2022 Blu-ray compare to the prior BD from 2007? Audio felt pretty similar. Even though the 2022 disc replaced the 2007’s PCM mix with DTS-HD MA, both seemed largely alike.
Visuals became a different matter, as the 2022 disc looked considerably better defined and more stable, with superior colors as well. This was a good upgrade.
We get a mix of new and old extras on this Arrow Blu-ray, and we find two different versions of the film. The disc includes the movie’s Theatrical Edition (1:48:15) as well as a 2004 Unrated Cut (1:54:47).
What changes with that extra six and a half minutes? The longer rendition extends a bunch of scenes, adds a couple, and includes some alternate material.
I don’t think the new version seems substantially different. Clearly fans most want extra nudity, and though we get a little of that, it’s not enough to make a huge impact.
The rest of the material also comes across as fairly insubstantial. The added stuff doesn’t harm the film, but it fails to bring much, so either version works about the same in the end.
Only alongside the Theatrical Version, the disc gives us two audio commentaries, the first of which features director John McNaughton, cinematographer Jeffrey Kimball, editor Elena Maganini, composer George S. Clinton, and producers Steven A. Jones and Rodney M. Liber. All sit together for a running, screen-specific view of story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, music, photography, costumes, and related domains.
Found on the 1998 DVD, we get a nicely casual track, as evidenced by the fact that five of the participants start before Kimball even arrives! They all seem enthusiastic about the project but they never treat it with any kind of feigned seriousness.
Instead, they know it's just a funky little potboiler and they seem to regard it as a fun film and nothing more. One aspect of the audio commentary that I really like stems from the way the participants discuss just how much work goes into making movies.
I think a lot of times people see silly little films like Wild Things and imagine that the whole project gets tossed out quickly and easily. It's illuminating to hear just how much work took place to make this thing happen, and also to learn how hard the participants toiled to make it just the way they wanted.
Even a trashy movie like this requires a lot of forethought and effort. The commentators communicate their activities thoroughly and entertainingly. They all seem to have a lot of fun as they discuss the film, and they make this a fine chat.
New to the 2022 Blu-ray, we get a commentary from director John McNaughton and producer Steven A. Jones. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific discussion of the same topics found in the 1998 chat.
And I mean that literally, as little no material appears here. McNaughton and Jones toss out a handful of minor nuggets that we don’t get in the old commentary, but the vast majority of their remarks become redundant.
In addition, McNaughton and Jones go MIA an awful lot, so the commentary suffers from tons of dead air. Don’t bother with this tedious track, as the 1998 piece offers all you need.
We get more from the filmmaker via a new 26-minute, 20-second Interview with Director John McNaughton. He discusses what led him to Things as well as script/development, research and locations, other aspects of his career, the movie’s nudity, casting, and various production notes.
Given we already heard from McNaughton for two commentaries, this piece comes with limited room for new material. Still, we get a decent conversation overall, even if McNaughton goes onto tangents a little too often.
Another new piece, we find an Interview with Actor Denise Richards. During this 14-minute, four-second chat, she talks about her casting, her role and performance, her costars and her experiences. Richards gives us a decent overview of memories here.
From 1998, we get four minutes, 17 seconds of On-Set Interviews. These involve McNaughton, Richards and actors Neve Campbell, Kevin Bacon, Matt Dillon, and Bill Murray.
They give us story and character basics. Don’t expect anything more than EPK fluff.
Called “An Understanding Lawyer”, 27 seconds of Outtakes show a variety of reactions Bill Murray tried for one scene. Previously called a deleted scene on prior releases, this seems fun but insubstantial.
Note that the original 1998 DVD included two other deleted scenes. One was just a silly outtake, whereas the other – which involved a conference between lawyers – appears in the Unrated Cut.
In addition to the film’s trailer, we finish with a Stills Gallery. It provides 44 shots from the movie and seems wholly mediocre.
A light but fun sex thriller, Wild Things shares a lot in common with many “C”-level straight to video romps. However, it boasts better production values and a borderline campy sense of fun that make it entertaining. The Blu-ray presents solid picture and sound along with a fairly good selection of bonus materials. After nearly 25 years, this remains an enjoyably tawdry tale.
To rate this film, visit the original review of WILD THINGS