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With: Jennifer Tilly, Gina Gershon, Joe Pantoliano
Written by: Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski (a.k.a. Lana Wachowski)
Directed by: Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski (a.k.a. Lana Wachowski)
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 107
Date: 08/31/1996

Bound (1996)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Sex and Money

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Bound joins the list of excellent, violent and itelligent crime movies of the nineties that includes: The Grifters; After Dark, My Sweet; Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Miller's Crossing, Fargo, One False Move and Devil in a Blue Dress. It's also a terrific lesbian movie because it doesn't seem to care that it's a lesbian movie. Bound is more interested in its plot and characters than its sexual politics.

I don't want to give anything away, so, in one sentence, Bound is about gangster's moll Violet (Jennifer Tilly) and ex-jailbird handywoman Corky (Gina Gershon) falling in lust with one another and trying to steal $2 million of the mob's money from Violet's boyfriend Caesar (Joe Pantoliano). Some of this stuff I've seen before, a lot of it I haven't, and I was on the edge of my seat most of the time.

The movie was written and directed by the Wachowski brothers -- Larry and Andy -- and it's their first. I seems as if they wanted to film in black and white (it's likely that the money hungry producers wouldn't let them) because everything is composed in harsh blacks and whites. Even Jennifer Tilly's lipstick is black. The color red comes into the equation every once in a while, if you know what I mean. If you're disturbed by red, better watch something else.

There's a sex scene between Gershon and Tilly that's already been much-discussed. It's worth your attention. The best part is watching Gershon's toes curl.

Since 1996, Larry Wachowski has undergone a sex change and is now Lana Wachowski. One wonders if this had anything to do with the movie's sexual politics (or refreshing lack thereof)? In 2012, the new Blu-ray edition features a very good high-definition transfer, but with no extras, including no subtitles. Strangely, the disc comes with both the theatrical cut and the unrated cut, which runs -- get this -- 14 seconds longer. Really... is anyone going to watch the shorter version at this point?

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