Review by Gordon Justesen
Douglas, Demi Moore, Donald Sutherland, Caroline Goodall, Dennis Miller
Director: Barry Levinson
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Surround
Video: Widescreen 2.35:1 Anamorphic Transfer, Standard 1.33:1
Studio: Warner Bros.
Features: See Review
Length: 129 Minutes
Release Date: September 3, 1997
on the popular 1993 bestseller by Michael Crichton, is a professionally made and
very engaging thriller, glossing with style and immense with intrigue. Director
Barry Levinson has had an interesting track record. Prior to Disclosure,
Levinsonís last two films, Toys and Jimmy Hollywood were major disappointments with both critics and
audiences. The success of Disclosure
put Levinson back in the game big time, and I easily consider this to be one of
the directorís finest movies. As far as I can tell, this is the first movie to
tackle the issue of sexual harassment in the work place, though I could be wrong
about that. I can certainly say that is the first movie to poise a situation
where the man is the victim of sexual harassment, rather than the other way
The film stars Michael Douglas as Tom Sanders, a computer
drive designer for the DigiCom Corporation. This corporation is about to enter a
high profile merger, mostly because of the hype surrounding Tomís latest
design project; a CD ROM drive called Arcamax, which is able to perform twice as
fast than drives on the market. Tom is also expecting a big promotion as vice
president, and is astonished when he learns that he doesnít get it. Heís
even more astonish to learn that the position is being handed to Meredith
Johnson (Demi Moore), Tomís former flame. He has also come across a rumor that
he might be out of a job soon. Worried about this, Tom agrees to a private
evening meeting with his new boss, hoping that heíll be able to see what his
career with DigiCom stands. The meeting turns into an attempt to rekindle a
passionate relationship, as Meredith throws herself on Tom and engaging in an
attempted rape. Tom repeatedly shouts no, and eventually resists. Meredith,
angered his decision, warns him that he will be finished in no time soon.
The next day, Tom is the one whoís hit with the
accusation of sexual harassment, and his life and career seem to be in a heap of
jeopardy. He tries to explain his side of the story, but no one is able to
believe the idea of a man being harassed by a woman, especially when she is as
attractive as Meredith is. The president of DigiCom (Donald Sutherland) will not
stand for sex scandal to present itself while in the midst of a huge, million
dollar merger, and wants the situation settled fast and quick. Seeking to clear
his name, Tom hires a lawyer and sues Meredith for the harassment, putting
DigiCom and its merger at serious risk.
If Iíve given the illusion that Disclosure is mainly about the sexual harassment case, it isnít.
In fact, at the movieís core is a brilliantly constructed plot involving Tom
racing against the clock to save himself from losing his job. Once the sexual
harassment case is resolved, Tom discovers that his employers, including
Meredith are attempting to set him up to look incompetent at an upcoming company
meeting. The last act involves Tom using a virtual reality atmospheric device
known as The Corridor, which is used by donning a headpiece. Using this device,
Tom examines files of his product, as his enemies are one step behind them,
attempting to delete them. Itís a breathtaking moment of what a cutthroat
cyberspace battle might look like, and the movieís visual effects are
downright amazing, complements of Industrial Light and Magic. I must also give
major credit to production designer Neil Spisak, who gives DigiCom a true state
of the art look. Their office building is exactly how I would want the place I
work at to look. This movie was made seven years ago, and to this day, the look
of the film still impresses me.
Disclosure is a success on all accounts. The sexual
harassment plot is grabbing, but even more intriguing is the filmís cutthroat
look at corporate politics, and all the backstabbing that finds itself in
todayís modern business world. Barry Levinson, along with screenwriter Paul
Attanasio, who also wrote superb scripts for Donnie Brasco and Quiz
Show, adapts Michael Crichtonís page-turner to pure cinematic perfection.
One of Warnersí first offerings, Disclosure comes off as one of the better transfers of their early period. The dual-sided process is used, and the turnout for the video part was far more impressive than I expected. Both widescreen and full frame versions are offered, but I always view the widescreen side. The anamorphic presentation is an impressively clear and flawless presentation. The filmís visual effects, particularly in the scene where Douglas hacks his way through the virtual corridor, looks absolutely stunning. Has a little grain, but itís very brief. Other than that, a simply solid transfer.
Warners offers one of the
absolute best audio jobs on one of their first releases with a grand Dolby
Digital 5.1 presentation. Soundtrack, dialogue, and especially sounds in key
effects sequences come through with flawless digital power. The sound quality is
constantly dynamite, and never falters one bit in the entire viewing.
Only cast and crew
information is included.
Disclosure is a winner of a contemporary thriller. The art of corporate dealings and backstabbings are wonderfully accounted, and presents a accusation that doesnít always happen the way it does in this movie, but is nonetheless likely to happen sooner or later. Recommended very highly!