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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 27.69%
Average: 9.23%
Pretty Bad: 13.85%
Total Crap: 3.08%

3 reviews, 47 user ratings

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by Rob Gonsalves

"Scheming-lesbian trash."
2 stars

Every year, it seems, critics go nuts over a movie so lame that I think the critics didn't go nuts -- the critics are nuts. 1995's endlessly acclaimed (and just plain endless) 'Heat' was a shining example. 'Bound,' which has "nasty, clever thriller" stamped all over it, isn't nearly as snoozeworthy as 'Heat,' but it left me cold and vaguely annoyed.

I can almost hear the writer-director brothers, Andy and Larry Wachowski, making their pitch to the studio:

"It's about two guys who steal money from the mob."

"Yeah? So? That's been done."

"Okay, so we make 'em two lesbians, and they get naked and have a sex scene."

"Gentlemen, welcome aboard."

Bound feels exactly that calculated. It's been praised for its spin on film noir standards, but all it actually does is reproduce them and arrange them back-to-back, with many look-Ma-I'm-a-director shots (massive close-ups, ostentatious angles) that critics have called "knowing nods to the Coen brothers." Uh-uh. Sorry. These are knowing rip-offs of the Coen brothers. Always glad to set these things straight.

And let us not forget the lesbians getting naked. These particular daughters of Sappho -- ex-con plumber Corky (Gina Gershon) and gangster moll Violet (Jennifer Tilly) -- are two guys' idea of hip, scheming lesbos. They're immediately attracted to each other, and they both happen to be criminal masterminds who figure out how to pinch $2 million from Violet's brain-cell-challenged gangster boyfriend Caesar (Joe Pantoliano).

If this were done ironically, with a postmodern awareness of how threadbare the premise is (Corky just happens to move next door to Violet and Caesar), Bound might have been as smart and dazzling as it wants to be. As it is, it's an over-deliberate rewrite of the panting pulp fiction of the '50s. I've read some, and it's more fun. In fact, if Bound had been set in the '50s, like one of Showtime's Rebel Highway goofs a couple of years back, I'd have gone along with it for a while.

But no, the brothers Wachowski (who wrote 1995's coma-inducing Assassins) are very much '90s directors, with sex and gore to match (if I never see another Tarantinoid torture scene, I won't mind a bit). And their actors are no help. Poor Joe Pantoliano -- he's been good in other movies, so I'll leave him alone. Tilly seems to be going for a '40s femme fatale effect, but the only thing fatal about her is her grating voice. Gershon sports a ripe smirk and lets her performance ride on it, as she did in Showgirls. After a while, what that smirk really seems to say to us is "I'm getting paid to be here. What's your excuse?"

Well, our excuse is that we want to be thrilled and entertained and maybe even aroused. But the sex in 'Bound' is boring and impersonal, and the whole thing made me tired of thrillers about guns and money and T&A and dark red blood dripping into white paint (don't ask). Ooh, how nasty and clever! Nasty, maybe, but as the man said, there's a fine line between clever and stupid.

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originally posted: 01/26/07 11:18:45
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User Comments

9/07/21 Gino Marrzone Love this movie. I'll never delete off my DVR. Watch til Corky gets pissed in last sex scen 5 stars
2/16/21 Rey Sensual and magnificent! 5 stars
9/22/17 morris campbell boring dyke movie 1 stars
2/08/17 Louise Love this, and the way it looks. Beats the pants off any of that Matrix crap. 4 stars
4/21/15 john de la vega superbly written, directed, actged. A class noir 5 stars
3/01/11 Captain Slog Jennifer Tilly sends shivers up me doobree 5 stars
1/24/10 pat conrad exciting wonderfu and enjoyable all the way through this movie 5 stars
7/26/09 the dork knight Thoughtful of them to put the sex scene right at the very beginning. Avoid the rest. 2 stars
12/04/08 FEMALE GAZE This film turns the male gaze on its head, a film embracing feminist film critique! 5 stars
1/22/08 658 BEST MOVIE EVER, MAN! 5 stars
1/13/07 Sepi53 what a film! Gina you are so hot!!! 5 stars
12/31/06 Monday Morning Suz, you're an idiot. This was a great, taut thriller worthy of Hitchcock. Lezzies=bonus! 5 stars
10/16/06 Suz Tilly's fingernails no lesbien would let her hands anywhere near her crotch, too fake. 1 stars
4/15/06 Steven Lewis Wachoskis's best film with smoking hot Gershon and Tilly. A great Film Noir for today! 5 stars
1/14/06 Jim Cesare isn't nearly as dumb as his wife thinks he is. 5 stars
10/11/05 Agent Sands F U C K I N G A W E S O M E ! ! ! ! ! ! P E R F E C T! ! ! ! ! ! ! 5 stars
9/18/05 m.noel great 4 stars
9/08/05 malcolm joey pants & hot lesbian sex. i'll take it. 4 stars
6/04/05 Hack-SAW GINA GERSHON & JENNIFER TILLY, what a team... Let there be "BOUND 2"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
3/11/05 The Sorrow I hope they re-release this absolutley and almost perfect film-noir at a gay martigra... 5 stars
11/18/04 tom Hottest sex scene I have ever seen, anywhere 5 stars
9/28/04 Archanist_101 DAMNIT! Hollywood should take a look at !Gina Gershon! & not Julia 'FUCKING' Roberts......! 5 stars
7/11/04 Vince Tense flick, healthy dose of violence, and great acting. 5 stars
11/29/03 Bonnie "Fuckin' dark in here!" I guess you never know till you turn on the lights. 5 stars
9/15/02 Joe Zappa (I'm Back!) At 1 point, TOO violent, but it's really well-made. Hot dykes, too. 4 stars
2/28/02 Alan Smithee Gina Gershon and Jennifer Tilly getting it on with each other....need I say more?! 5 stars
12/30/01 Paco Stylish, tense thriller...Gina Gershon is hot, as always 5 stars
11/13/01 Celeste Gina Gershon absolutely rules, and this movie was great - really dark and witty! 5 stars
10/04/01 Phoenix Sexy, twist-filled, stylish entertainment. Excellent. 5 stars
7/04/01 Phil M. Afficianado Suspend reality/propriety and take a shockingly slick wild side ride bound to excite/please 5 stars
6/28/01 Frank The collagen rules. Which other two people could kiss and still remain at arm's length? 4 stars
6/26/01 Hugo Felix - Southern California Not a lesbo flick. Good drama with two hot women that meet and can't resist each other! 5 stars
5/02/01 GarboGirl Mesmorizing, great action, mafia played up better than the Godfather! 5 stars
2/18/01 Jake A satisfying film. Really gets the heart rate going. 4 stars
9/10/00 Bob Fugate Bound was to me both entertaining and sexy. It was quite different. 4 stars
6/16/00 The Graduate I dug it. Wachowski bros. Gina Gershon. Guns. Mafia. Hot lesbo action. 'nuff said. 4 stars
5/03/00 cort major the Wachowskis are wonderfull movie makers another good job. 4 stars
6/23/99 Chuck D. Sensational filmmaking from the Wachowski bros. ("Matrix"), simply great 5 stars
4/15/99 Jon Jackson Dope movie. Jennifer Tilly, boy that girl jiggles me the right way, amen! 5 stars
9/05/98 Badass KICK ASS! Vibrant entertainment. 5 stars
8/31/98 Mister Whoopee How can you not get into Jennifer Tilly and Gina Gershon getting it on together? Nifty! 4 stars
8/29/98 Johny Great camerawork, interesting plot. Kinda overshadowed by the lesbian angle in the press. 5 stars
8/26/98 Pete Bad flick. Butt Gina baby was lesboriffic. 2 stars
8/25/98 Miss Stress another movie about lesbians, wow, and jen tilly is fuckin annoying. 2 stars
8/24/98 The Capital City Goofball Gina Gershon is a lesb-icon. She's also coool. Fun enough flick. 4 stars
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  04-Oct-1996 (R)



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