One of my soft-spots in films (puns aside) are erotic thrillers. This genre includes some of my favorite movies of all time include the likes of Basic Instinct, Sliver & Fatal Attraction. As it turns out, Basic Instinct & Sliver’s screenplay was written by one Joe Eszterhas. Then I get a copy of Jade to review on Blu-Ray which just also happens to feature Joe on screenplay credits. Color me interested.
Kyle Medford has been murdered at his own lavish estate. He was found with a fertility mask on his head and the murder weapon was a hatchet that looks to be from the middle ages. On the scene is David Corelli (played by David Caruso), an assistant D.A. with political aspirations who is there to investigate the case. The place is thoroughly searched and one of the most interesting things they find on the premises appears to be an assortment of metal tins that contain pubic hair.
Another thing found in the estate tucked away in a safe was some rather interesting photographs that seem to put the Governor Edwards (played by Richard Crenna) in a torrid affair with an unknown woman. Corelli takes these pictures to the Governor to ask what his involvement might be in the murder. Mr. Edwards of course denies any involvement but keeps the pictures for his own later perusal *wink wink*.
There is another person under suspicion and that is David’s old flame: Katrina Gavin (played by Linda Fiorentino) who happens to be a psychologist. She was seen with Kyle Medford the day of the murder and her fingerprints were found all over the murder weapon. She is married to Matt Gavin (played by Chazz Palminteri) who is a prominent criminal attorney. At one time, he was also best friends with David.
The deceased also had a very nice beach house where he would secretly film women with rich & successful business men. One of the women coming out of the house is identified as Patrice Jacinto (played by Angie Everhart) who doesn’t seem to be a murder suspect but talks about another woman the rich & the powerful alluded to, named Jade. Jade would perform some very naughty sexual acts and the police are in possession of a ruined vhs tape that they hope to restore to find her true identity.
As tensions flare, several people in the police department ask the assistant district attorney Corelli to step down from the case. He’s simply to close to the action. One police officer, Bob Hargrove (played by Michael Biehn) is calling for Katrina’s arrest because of mounting evidence. Furthermore, there are others who are starting to turn up murdered that had a connection to the case. Who is this Jade and is she also to blame for the string of murders? Hopefully David Corelli can find out.
This movie has a very interesting history if one was to read up on it before watching the film. The screenplay as mentioned previously was done by Joe Eszterhas. However, when the director, William Friedkin got a hold of the script, he basically rewrote the document. Eszterhas threatened to take his name off the movie until Paramount settled with a “blind script deal” that cost them in the neighborhood of 2 to 4 million dollars.
There is also an unrated cut flying around that only made its way to VHS. Twelve more minutes that includes additional scenes and some more explicit sexual footage. The dvd nor the blu-ray have this cut. So is this movie any good? Actually, despite the rather harsh rating that most critics thrust upon this movie, it is. The cast is strong, especially in the starring roles held by David Caruso and Linda Fiorentino. But there are actually a couple of supporting roles that are worth mentioning.
The first is the character of Petey Vesko (played by Ken King) who is a police officer that has some of the best lines in the movie. His wit and comic timing was appreciated even though most would conceive his part to be very minor. Another was Angie Everhart who has made a habit of playing roles a lot better than what they are written for. She is also one of the best looking redheads I’ve ever seen.
Also worthy of mention is an amazing car chase scene which probably didn’t belong in this type of film but certainly raised the tension level tenfold. All that praise though doesn’t excuse the script from being muddier that most would care for. The final reveal basically drops out of nowhere and you are left with, well what the heck do we do now moment. There is also evidence to suggest that the theatrical cut was chopped to death and doesn’t quite pull the sexual trigger where it should in a lot of places.
The video is shown in 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen @ 1080p. This is the first time that the movie has been in widescreen since the disappointing theatrical run. It is still not OAR (which would be 1.85:1), but it is certainly a lot closer than the joke known as the dvd release. The colors have significantly improved and this film actually looks its age rather than something out of the early eighties. Grain is present, but it is far from distracting.
The audio is presented in 5.1 DTS-HD MA English. This probably ranks as the highlight of the disc. Dialog is clear and there are many surround sound effects that pop especially during high tension scenes (car chase included). If you like activity in your speakers for a nineties thriller, this is one movie that should be in your player. Subtitles are provided in English, English SDH & Spanish.
- Automatic Trailers: Lionsgate Blu-Ray
- Theatrical Trailer 2:50
Jade is a fine example of an erotic thriller. The movie has a sexy backdrop and an ample supporting cast that make watching this movie a good time for you & your significant other (either the one you married or the one you have for the night). The disc is a lot better than previous efforts, but it would still be nice to have the unrated cut, OAR for the picture and a commentary or extended documentary. Outside of that, this disc is best served as a good bargain bin buy or rental. Recommended.