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This review originally appeared in issue 14 of THE CINEMA LASER.


TO DIE FOR ($40) is a wickedly funny black comedy that casts a caustic eye at the evils of living in the modern media age. Thanks to Buck Henry's sly and hilarious screenplay and Gus Van Sant's assured direction, TO DIE FOR will be remembered as one of the greatest indictments of Generation X and the power of the media.

Nicole Kidman gives the best performance of her career as the cold and calculating Suzanne Stone, a cable television weather girl, with aspirations of greatness. Matt Dillon portrays her devoted, but hapless husband, who wants his wife to shelve her career and start the baby machine rolling. Of course, her career comes first, and she devises a plan to do away with her husband by taking a high school boy as a lover and convincing him to commit the crime. Director Van Sant presents the story in a mock documentary fashion, allowing him to milk the ironies out of every situation. The cast of TO DIE FOR also includes, Joquim Phoenix, Dan Hedaya, Kurtwood Smith, Holland Taylor, Wayne Knight, George Segal, David Cronenberg and Buck Henry.

Columbia TriStar has given TO DIE FOR an excellent Letterboxed transfer with restores the film's 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The compositions appears well balanced, the colors are smooth and the image is nicely detailed. The digitally encoded surround soundtrack has an invigorating mix which effectively makes use of all the channels. Only during the films closing credits, does the soundtrack seem to skinny back to monaural. On my sample, the Sony DADC pressing was very good with only an errant speckle. TO DIE FOR is a treat for film fans who like their comedy dark, and will make a worthwhile addition to any Laserdisc library.


Laserdisc reviews are Copyright 1996 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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