Revisiting 'Disclosure' gives me the same vibes as revisiting, say, 'The Net.' Two movies that, when they were released, were decked out with the technology of the day. Technology that, nowadays, would maybe be sold in thrift shops. It's just funny to see what was considered cutting-edge technology in 1994.
'Disclosure' features Michael Douglas playing the role of Tom Sanders, a middle-management cronie who is desperately trying to hold onto his job by any means necessary. The high-tech business world is a cut-throat business. Tom is hoping for a big promotion, but his dreams are dashed when the company's CEO (Donald Sutherland) brings in a new, female face. Meredith Johnson (Demi Moore) is a striking woman. It just so happens that Tom has a history with Meredith, a sexual history.
Soon Meredith becomes Tom's boss and Tom finds himself wondering if he's going to get canned altogether. The employment climate portrayed in this movie eerily parallels the type of job outlook we have today. People are so worried about their jobs and their job security that they'll do anything just to keep them. That's about the most interesting part of this otherwise bloated, confusing affair.
Meredith is a predatory woman. She's highly sexual and will use her body to get what she wants from whomever she wants it from. She sees Tom as an easy target because her wiles have worked on him before. Tom is now married, with two children, but once Meredith starts pressing her Wonder Bra up against him he's almost powerless to stop it. He half-heartedly pleads with her to stop, but she just keeps going. Finally, after the requisite amount of time has passed to make the sex scene titillating to the audience, Tom flees.
Even though Tom was the one to leave and to say "No!" he gets blamed for sexual harassment, because seriously, who's ever heard of a woman harassing a man. He soon finds himself embroiled in a bitter lawsuit mediation that threatens his career and family. Meredith is blaming him for the whole fiasco.
If the movie would've simply explored the intricacies of the court case and what would happen if it was the girl who was the aggressor, maybe we'd be looking at a better movie. I've never read the Michael Crichton novel this movie is based on, but the movie simply takes on too much and becomes about nothing in the process. Not only does it want to point out that its edgy because the aggressor in the harassment case is actually a woman, it also painfully points out again and again how horrible it is for women in the workplace. It also wants to focus all its time on how technologically amazing it is, so there are endless shots of email messages opening and a whole virtual reality simulation that is cheesy by any standards.
The whole movie devolves into a convoluted thriller whose plot is still murky at best. I still have no idea why Meredith and her cohorts wanted to set up Tom or what they'd gain by doing so. There's a whole subplot involving faulty CD-Roms built by the company that makes little if any sense. Director Barry Levinson constantly undermines the tension he builds by inserting scenes with nauseating happy-go-lucky music. The movie can never build enough momentum to carry us through to the end.
Clocking in at an overlong 131 minutes, 'Disclosure' ambles towards the finish as slower than it's taken virtual reality to die off. Demi looks good here, but that's about it.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
This release from Warner Bros. comes in an eco-friendly, Blu-ray keepcase. The Blu-ray Disc included is a 50GB disc.
Considering movies from the early 90s are always hit and miss when it comes to looking good on Blu-ray, I was surprised that 'Disclosure' looked as good as it did. Some soft shots aside, you're looking at a very well-groomed HD transfer.
Textures, faces and of course Demi's lacy brassiere are all given the utmost attention to detail. Douglas' well-manicured mane flows as he runs his hands through it. Moore's tanned body glistens. Darkened scenes still provide quite a lot of detail. Shadows are consistently precise and clean. I didn't notice any hampering artifacts like banding or aliasing.
There is one scene, where Douglas goes into the virtual reality world that people may mistake for having a blocking issue. Douglas' face constantly gets jaggies forming around it, but it's an artistic decision. It's simply there to make him look like he's been digitized. It's not a problem with the overall transfer. 'Disclosure' look pleasantly pleasing, even though the movie fails to impress.
I wasn't as impressed with the audio portion of this release. The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is pretty anemic when it comes to producing an immersive surround sound environment.
Dialogue here is the most important thing and that the release gets right. Dialogue is clear and audible throughout the movie, even Demi's deep, breathy words. There isn't a lot of surround sound to go around, but it's delivered relatively well whenever it comes up – for example when the entire office has gathered around at the end to hear who is getting the new promotion; they're clapping echoes nicely through the rear channels.
The synthesizer-infused soundtrack is heavily front-centric, instead of spreading throughout the soundfield. Directionality works fine as people who talk off screen are placed where they need to be relative to the focal point. LFE is light, but does perk up during the more intense scenes – like when the tension builds as Tom tries to find his way through the virtual reality world. It isn't a memorable soundtrack by any means, but as far as a catalog title goes you could do worse.
Not one special feature to speak of.
'Disclosure' has absolutely no business being over two hours long. Maybe the odd bits of tension here and there would have had a more taught effect had the movie been trimmed considerably, like down to 100 minutes or so. Even then the movie would have to overcome its other faults like trying to focus on too many "groundbreaking" aspects at once. The relationship between Tom and Meredith is the most interesting thing going on in the movie, but it's diluted by the awkward corporate espionage plot which still doesn't make any sense. It may be a rental if you were wanting to see the movie again for some reason, but that's about it.