Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! is one of the more quirky romantic comedies I’ve come across but that’s the appeal for the film written and directed by famed Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar with two solid performances from Victoria Abril and Antonio Banderas.
Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!
Genre(s): Comedy, Romance, Crime
Criterion Collection | NC17 – 103 min. – $39.95 | August 19, 2014
Pedro Almodóvar’s colorful and controversial tribute to the pleasures and perils of Stockholm syndrome, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! is a rambunctious dark comedy starring Antonio Banderas as an unbalanced but alluring ex-mental-patient and Victoria Abril as the B-movie and former porn star he takes prisoner in the hopes of convincing her to fall in love and marry him (and have kids together). It’s a highly unconventional romance is a splashy, sexy central work in the career of the world’s most beloved and provocative auteurs, radiantly shot by the director’s great cinematographer, Jose Luis Alcaine.
QUICK HIT REVIEW – 3.5/5
Certainly one of more quirky romantic (dark) comedies I’ve seen, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! is an oft funny flick with more than a few awkward moments but believably, even if writer/director Pedro Almodóvar meant it to be anecdotal to marriage, thanks to the performances from the beautiful Victoria Abril and Antonio Banderas. The pair share an… interesting chemistry but for whatever reason, by the end, it works so well. This isn’t a movie for everybody, heck I’m not a fan of the dark comedy, yet there still was something about this quirky flick that was a lot of fun.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.5/5
The two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD) comes housed in a clear double wide Blu-ray keep case. Inside is a 24-page booklet containing interviews.
Untied: Reflections on Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (28:16) is a well made retrospective documentary made for this release and features new interviews with writer/director Pedro Almodóvar, executive producer Agustin Almodóvar, actors Victoria Abril, Antonio Banderas, Loles León and Rossy de Palma, production manager Esther Garcia, and cinematographer Jose Luis Alcaine.
Pedro and Antonio (26:13) is an interview, conducted in 2003, between Pedro Almodóvar and Antonio Banderas as they reflect their time working together.
Michael Barker (14:57) is an interview with Sony Pictures Classics co-founder who had worked with Pedro Almodóvar on Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, recollects his time.
“Resistiré” (4:00) – In this piece of footage, the cast and crew of Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! perform the song “Resistire” at the film’s premiere in Madrid.
Also included is the Theatrical Trailer (2:26).
VIDEO – 5.0/5
Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! gets trussed up onto Blu-ray presented in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer supervised by director Pedro Almodovar and executive producer Agustin Almodovar. I was surprised to find the film looks incredible with excellent detail level throughout, colors are vibrant and bright and darker elements, as few as they were, are stark. I didn’t notice any instances of artifacting, pixilation or dust marks; it’s a pristine transfer.
AUDIO – 4.5/5
The Blu-ray comes with a Spanish language (and default English subtitles) 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. This is a movie that is for the most part dialogue driven, so the bulk of the audio is relegated to center channels where the front and rear speakers are used for ambient noise and Ennio Morricone’s score. It’s a fine lossless track that I’m sure has never sounded better.
OVERALL – 3.75/5
Overall, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! is one of the more quirky romantic comedies I’ve come across but that’s the appeal for the film written and directed by famed Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar with two solid performances from Victoria Abril and Antonio Banderas. This Criterion Collection Blu-ray release offers up incredible video and audio transfers and the features, albeit limited, is in-depth.
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.