Sex, Lies and Videotape appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The image held up pretty well.
Overall sharpness worked fine, as the majority of the movie offered nice delineation. A few interiors felt a little soft but most of the film seemed accurate and well-defined.
I saw no issues with jagged edges or moiré effects, and the image lacked edge haloes. The movie came with a nice sense of light grain and a handful of small specks.
Colors tended toward a mix of reds and ambers, and the Blu-ray replicated them well. This meant the tones appeared full and warm.
Blacks seemed dark and dense, while shadows were largely appealing, though a few low-light shots seemed a bit thick. Overall, the visuals worked nicely.
A chatty character piece like Lies doesn’t seem like a project ripe for dazzling audio, and the film’s Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack appeared appropriately subdued. Effects remained subdued and in the background, while music only occasionally appeared.
This meant a soundscape without much scope. Those periodic instances of music used the front sides well enough, and effects fleshed out the forward channels in a mild way, but much of the mix felt monaural, and surround usage became essentially non-existent.
Audio quality seemed fine, with speech that appeared natural and concise. Music showed nice range and fidelity as well.
As noted, effects didn’t bring much to the table, but they seemed accurate within their low-key development. Given its modest goals, the soundtrack became satisfactory.
When we head to the set’s extras, we open with an audio commentary from writer/director Steven Soderbergh and filmmaker Neil Labute. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/character areas, cast and performances, influences, sets and locations, editing, music, cinematography and connected domains.
Recorded in 1998 for a DVD, this becomes an engaging chat. Soderbergh seems willing to criticize his own work and he shows a nice sense of openness. We learn a lot about the film in this strong track.
A 20 Year Reunion reel lasts three minutes, 26 seconds and includes notes from Soderbergh and actors Andie MacDowell, Peter Gallagher and Laura San Giacomo. They reflect on their experiences and the movie’s impact.
The featurette’s too short to tell us much, though I like Soderbergh’s belief that the film probably hasn’t aged well – usually this kind of clip comes with nothing but praise, so it’s funny to hear the director semi-badmouth his work.
One Deleted Scene occupies three minutes, 26 seconds. It shows a conversation between Ann and her therapist about Graham’s impact. It feels somewhat redundant and not especially valuable.
We can view the scene with or without commentary from Soderbergh. He tells us a little about the sequence and why he cut it. Soderbergh brings some good notes – hey, he agrees it’s redundant as well!
Two similar clips follow: Steven Soderbergh on the Trailers (1:29) and Steven Soderbergh on Sex, Lies and Videotape (8:11). “Trailers” discusses an ad he created that used alternate footage, whereas “Lies” gives us a few insights about the film. Soderbergh delivers worthwhile information in these featurettes.
The disc finishes with Previews for Obsessed, Damages Season 1, Casino Royale (2006), The Da Vinci Code and A River Runs Through It. We also find two trailers for Lies.
Steven Soderbergh’s directorial debut, 1989’s Sex, Lies and Videotape holds up well after almost 30 years. Deep, involving and self-assured, the movie gives us a strong character drama. The Blu-ray brings pretty good picture along with adequate audio and supplements highlighted by an informative commentary. Lies remains one of Soderbergh’s best flicks.