Title: Blu-ray Review: Original Sin
Directed by: Michael Cristofer
Starring: Antonio Banderas, Angelina Jolie, Jack Thompson and Thomas Jane
Running time: 118 minutes, Unrated
MGM has released the 2001 steamy thriller Original Sin onto Blu-ray. It is the story of a wealthy Cuban coffee merchant in the late 19th century that orders an American mail-order bride whom he had only communicated through letters and photographs, and when she arrives she is not the same person. She alleges she sent false photographs so he would not be captivated by only her beauty. Their early days as man and wife are passionate, however he soon discovers it was all just a ruse conducted by her former partner/lover and that she is really a con artist out to steal his fortune. However Luis (Banderas) cannot bring himself to let her get away without explanation or a fight.
Original Sin was one of those erotic thrillers that a lot of people were afraid to enjoy, like 9 1/2 Weeks or Basic Instinct; and though I enjoyed the latter, I didn’t see this one the first time it was released. The sex scenes were beautifully filmed, albeit somewhat explicit. I researched the film and found that a whole two minutes were shaved off the sex scenes in order to not give it an NC-17 rating, but were restored for this unrated version. The scenes were uninhibited, but not pornographic. Angelina Jolie is notorious for not being ashamed (nor should she) of showing off her body at every opportunity. Besides the eroticism, the acting was great and the costumes and prop department should get their kudos as well.
One of the Blu-ray extras includes director commentary. Michael Cristofer voices how incredulous he is and his voice just drips with bitterness about his art being corrupted by censorship; he also goes into detail involving each shot that had to be edited because of the pressure from the ratings board. Other extras are the original theatrical trailer and an unnecessary music video by Gloria Estefan for the title song “You Can’t Walk Away From Love.”
I found the film itself quite enjoyable and I’m glad to add it to my growing Blu-ray collection.
Total Rating: B+
Reviewed by JM Willis