The second version of Cornell Woolrich’s novel “Waltz Into Darkness” (previously filmed as François Truffaut’s Mississippi Mermaid), this is a decidedly steamier version, especially here, in its unrated form.
Cuban plantation owner Antonio Banderas advertises for a wife, and the woman who answers his ad is, he believes, plain but pure. Who shows up, however, is the beautiful but duplicitous Angelina Jolie, who has larceny rather than matrimony on her mind. Her scam runs smoothly at first … but she hasn’t counted on the depth of Banderas’ obsession with her.
Okay, okay, you probably want to know about the unrated footage. It’s pretty explicit stuff, not so much for what is shown than for the acts that are taking place. There. Happy now?
Original Sin is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The 1080p image is arrived at with an AVC MPEG-4 codec at an average of nearly 40 mbps. The colors are good, though slightly artificial (Jolie’s skin has a rather unflatteringly pale tinge when she first shows up), and so the picture is just a few hairs’ breadths away from looking quite as sumptuous as it should. But still, very, very close. Still, this high-definition image is quite a step up from the DVD release. It’s the sharpness and detail that really shines here. The exotic locations become lush environments busy with natural colors. Black levels are now superb. Beyond that slight coloration issue the skin tones are reference throughout. That means a lot in this unrated version, if you follow my meaning.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 is great when it comes to delivering atmosphere. The sound was enough to make me feel I was in the hot, steamy Cuban settings. Very nice surround environment, especially during the crowd scenes (voices rising first from the rear, then the front left, and so on). The dialog is crystal clear, and the music sounds terrific as well. Very warm sound on the Gloria Estefan video too.
The Audio Commentary by writer/director Michael Cristofer covers just about everything you might want to know about the making of the film, the locations, how the casting came about (Jolie wore the right dress to the Golden Globes, and that was enough for the studio to green-light her participation), the difficulties in shooting the sex scene, and so on and so forth. Cristofer is articulate, though he speaks rather slowly (at first sounding like he’s tired).
Music Video: Gloria Estefan’s “You Can’t Walk Away from Love”
Cristofer’s search for the right location in which to set the story pays off here in spades. The turn-of-the-century Cuban setting meshes nicely with the hot-house themes. Not a lot of extras on offer, but the commentary doesn’t leave too many questions unanswered.
Some material was written by Gino Sassani