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Paramount Home Video presents
Sliver (Unrated) (1993)

"Why don't you get tickets to Pearl Jam?"
- Carly Norris (Sharon Stone)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga   
Published: March 29, 2006

Stars: Sharon Stone, William Baldwin, Tom Berenger
Other Stars: Martin Landau, Polly Walker, Colleen Camp, CCH Pounder
Director: Phillip Noyce

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (adult language and situations, nudity, violence)
Run Time: 01h:47m:22s
Release Date: March 28, 2006
UPC: 097363272243
Genre: suspense thriller

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B+ DB-B+ D-

DVD Review

Sharon Stone will forever be remembered for uncrossing her legs in Basic Instinct. Riding the wave of success that film brought her, Stone didn't waste time before appearing in another erotic thriller, the strangely titled Sliver. This project promised more of the same passion and eroticism that Stone was now famous for, but unsuspecting audiences would leave theaters greatly disappointed.

Carly Norris (Stone) is a book editor who has just moved into the apartment building where a woman who looked very much like her died suspiciously. Carly's new neighbors include an author named Jack (Tom Berenger) and Zeke (William Baldwin), an artist and the owner of the building. Carly is drawn to Zeke's charm and good looks, and it isn't long before the two are involved in a serious relationship. Cameras have apparently been installed throughout the entire building, allowing tenants' each and every move to be watched, including those intimate moments between Carly and Zeke. The person watching is a mystery, and every tenant, including Carly, Zeke, and even Jack, could be the voyeur.

Directed by Phillip Noyce (Patriot Games, The Quiet American), Sliver is a train wreck of a thriller, full of plot holes you can drive a truck through. This isn't exactly Noyce's fault, as he at least brings a stylish look to the proceedings. Instead, the blame should be laid upon hack screenwriter extraordinaire, Joe Eszterhas (Showgirls, enough said), and the overacting clinic that the cast puts on. Stone carries this odd, pained look on her face at all times, and is almost always crying during the sex scenes. These tears were more than likely in the script, unless she knew just how awful this project was during the filming. Stone is at her best when she is playing a strong-willed woman who knows what she wants and will stop at nothing (even murder) to get it, but Carly Norris is a softy. Sure, she's an independent woman, living on her own, but she has none of the necessary character traits for Stone to be at the top of her game. Baldwin oozes unwarranted arrogance, and Berenger does his typical macho brooding, making for a heck of a smutty lust triangle. Unfortunately, the lust, as depicted generates no heat whatsoever—the sex scenes comes across as a pathetic excuse for Stone to take her top off and are never integral to the story.

While I'm still not sure what the title means, 1993's Sliver is as clichéd as erotic thrillers come. After heating up the screen with Michael Douglas, Stone is slumming it with the likes of William Baldwin and Tom Berenger. The reception, both financially and critically, paled in comparison to Basic Instinct, and Stone's heat index lowered on the Hollywood landscape. While Sliver could be considered a career-killer for the actress, it's really just an example of choosing a bad film right after a career-maker. Despite a couple of solid turns through the years (namely Casino and The Muse) Stone has never really recovered, with dud after dud (Catwoman, Intersection, and Cold Creek Manor to name a few) littering her filmography. Unfortunately, from the looks of things, the upcoming Basic Instinct 2 won't go far towards resurrecting her career, but at least now we can revisit where her downfall began thanks to Paramount's Sliver DVD.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: D


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio2.00:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Rationo

Image Transfer Review: Sliver is presented in what appears to be in a 2.00:1 aspect ratio. While this transfer is anamorphically enhanced, the film was shown in theaters in a 2.35:1 ratio. It doesn't make much sense as to why the decision was made to use such a ratio, but, despite this, the overall look of the film is quite nice. Just about everything exhibits excellent detail and sharpness, while the colors are well-rendered with accurate fleshtones throughout. There are some specks of dirt and some grain, but nothing that's overly distracting.

Image Transfer Grade: B-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English, Frenchyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: Both a Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 audio track are available, with the 5.1 getting the slight edge due to some nice bass. This is a very active mix, a surprise given the age of the film. The surrounds are used for the music and action-oriented sound effects, but the dialogue is always crisp and easy to hear over the other audio elements.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 13 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: There aren't any extra features on this disc.

Extras Grade: D-


Final Comments

Sharon Stone fans get a Basic Instinct 2 warm-up with the new DVD release of Sliver. It's hard to believe the former could be worse than the latter, though—Sliver is a poor excuse for an erotic thriller. Paramount's disc is as bare bones as can be, and the impressive audio mix can't quite make up for the odd decision to present the film in something other than its original aspect ratio.


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