BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Suture (1993) - Blu-ray Review

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Suture - Blu-ray Review

4 beersThere is something incredibly haunting about Scott McGehee and David Siegel’s feature-length debut.  Shot in black-and-white and filmed in and around the Phoenix area, Suture is a neo-film noir examination into a person’s identity.  What makes a person know themselves?  Is it their memories?  Their actions?  Or is it something else?  While these questions guide the film, the answers uncovered just might put a certain amount of fear into its audience.  How is it that we know who we are? 

Suture is startling and, quite frankly, a thought-provoking glimpse into how individuals see the world around them.  No wonder then that so many haven’t seen it.  It is a film as uncomfortable as it sounds.  With monochromatic schemes and borderline paranoid schisms running throughout its 95-minutes,

Opening with its climax, Suture – like Memento - unfolds with the puzzle already in hand.  With a thoughtful narrative recorded by actor Sab Shimono who plays Dr. Max Shinoda in the film as its introduction, we dive headfirst into the situation that has two men – a white man dressed in all black and a black man dressed in all white – pointing guns at each other with only a shower curtain between them. 

Dennis Haysbert (you know, that tall guy from the All State commercials) is Clay Arlington.  Michael Harris is the rich and snobbish Vincent Towers.  Believe it or not, these two men are related to each other.  They are half-brothers and while we know they look nothing alike, they don’t and keep referencing to just how similar they appear throughout the beginning of movie.  Because in the movie, they do look alike. 

Let that fact sink in.  It’s a conceit you have to go along with in order for Suture to begin to operate on you and, trust me, in a movie that taps amnesia, plastic surgery, twins, mistaken identities, and psychoanalysis, rolling right up alongside the idea of a black man and a white man being identical looking isn’t that far of a stretch. You see, Vincent has done a really bad thing and he wants Clay to pay for it.  So if he can somehow make Clay take the fall for the murder committed by Vincent’s hands, then so be it. 

And that’s exactly why Vincent invites Clay to his house and then leaves him alone.  Clay has to take the fall.  And no one will suspect Vincent at all…except Suture isn’t a straight thriller.  Existing in a time outside of space itself, Suture grounds itself within the very difficult idea that identity is in itself a meaningless notion.  Clay survives Vincent’s dark plan and begins to learn how to live as Vincent once did.  While Vincent chases the shadows, Clay is out in the open and learns all about Vincent’s habits. 

It's only when he begins to remember his life as Clay that identity becomes problematic.  His therapist and his reconstruction doctor (as there were several surgeries following the incident Vincent wanted Clay to perish in) warn him of ignoring his mind’s battle as Clay struggles against the very idea of Vincent.  But which will he allow to live?

Built upon a web of ironies, Suture is likely to rotate your own skull front to back and, maybe, place it squarely back in place.  Either way, this is one hell of a debut and an even better film, recalling Hitchcockian highs wrapped inside a commentary on race relations.

Suture is anything but clinical.  Just WHO do YOU think you ARE?

Suture - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: Not rated.
Runtime:
96 mins
Director
: Scott McGehee, David Siegel
Writer:
Scott McGehee, David Siegel
Cast:
Dennis Haysbert, Mel Harris, Sab Shimono
Genre
: Drama | Thriller
Tagline:
A thriller where nothing is black and white.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Where am I?"
Distributor:
Samuel Goldwyn Company, The
Official Site:
Release Date:
April 26, 2004
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
July 5, 2016
Synopsis: Brothers Vincent (rich) and Clay (poor) meet up for the first time after their father's funeral and remark on how similar they look. But unknown to Clay, who thinks his life is taking a turn for the better, Vince is actually plotting to kill him with a car bomb and pass the corpse off as his own, planning to start a new life elsewhere with his father's inheritance. But Clay survives the blast and has his face, memory and identity restored in hospital... but are they the right ones?

Suture - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - July 5, 2016
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: LPCM 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD-50, 1 DVD); DVD copy
Region Encoding: Region-free playback

Released on blu-ray with a brand new 4K restoration by Arrow Video, Suture is a striking transfer.  Its white levels are paling and bright.  Its black levels are saturated and thick.  Every single frame works to build upon a monochromatic palette that is every bit as Rorschach as it sounds and intends.  Seeing as how the original camera negative was used for the restoration, there’s every reason to believe the print has never looked this good.  The audio is presented in a 2.0 stereo mix and, while far from impactful, it offers a nice listening experience as this is a dialogue-heavy adventure through the intellect.      

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Moderated by Steven Soderbergh (who came on board the project as executive producer), the commentary by writers-directors David Siegel and Scott McGehee is interesting and informative and dives into their The Manchurian Candidate influences.

Special Features:

Arrow Video loads their release with a lot of supplemental material that is sure to please the fans of this one.  From deleted scenes to looks at some of the shooting locations and more, this one is not going to be forgotten.  There are all-new interviews with Siegel, McGehee, executive producer Steven Soderbergh, actor Dennis Haysbert, cinematographer Greg Gardiner, editor Lauren Zuckerman and production designer Kelly McGehee that will answer some of the deeper and darker questions about the movie.  The documentary is only the tip of the iceberg, though.  You also get the first short the duo ever released, Birds Past.  And, of course, there’s reversible sleeve art featuring original and newly commissioned work by maarko phntm.  A booklet and DVD is also included in the release.

  • Lacerations: The Making of Sure
  • Deleted scenes
  • Birds Past
  • US Theatrical Trailer
  • European Theatrical Trailer

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