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Tom Sanders (Michael Douglas) is psyched up about his promotion at DigiCom. But, as he arrives at work that morning, he finds out that the promotion never happened, but the position of Vice President was given to a woman. Of course, its not just any woman, its Meredith Johnson (Demi Moore), a woman from his past. Sanders discloses that he once was in a whirlwind romance with Meredith, but they parted ways and he came to Seattle, married, and started a family. Now, she wants nothing more to rekindle their romance, which Sanders doesn't want. An after-hours encounter leads to Meredith crying sexual harrassment, Sanders claiming he was the one who was really harrassed. Now, Sanders must be able to push past her power and status to show people what Meredith is really all about.
This was a great movie, based on an amazing novel. Douglas as Tom Sanders is what I expected, middle aged with a family, successful. However, the novel describes Meredith Johnson as blonde, while Demi Moore was not what I really pictured. However, her performance as "Super-Bitch" Meredith is convincing. She makes you hate her, no matter how much you like the characters she played in other films.
The part where Sanders struggled with Johnson in her office was extremely graphic. My mom predicted that I would cover my eyes, but I was very fascinated with it. In the book, this particular scene was EXTREMELY long, about 15 pages.
In conclusion, I thought "Disclosure" was a very well-done film with a great cast. Performances by Moore and Douglas were great, with a good supporting cast to back them up. It gives a good understanding of the American Legal System and sexual harrassment, and proves that sexual harrassment works on two levels. Sex is truly power, and if you have it, you have it, and if you don't...well, you'll have to work hard to prove yourself. I highly recommend seeing this film, but read the novel in addition to the movie. You won't regret it.
This film suffers a little from the same thing the Sandra Bullock vehicle The Net suffers from - in hindsight, now that we've all just accepted the internet and computers as a helpful part of our daily existence, all these old fears we had seem slightly silly. Its a bit like looking back at those Y2K scares and thinking how ridiculous we were to be so afraid. Unlike The Net, though, technology-phobia is only in the subplot of this film. Its more about what happens between Michael Douglas and Demi Moore late one night at the office, and what happens afterwards.
Its very wordy - so be prepared for that. A couple of early dialogue scenes should have been rewritten with the dialogue absent, and told with a couple of thoughtful extended shots. But maybe i only think that because i've just gotten into Antonioni. He really makes this movie look reliant on words.
The sex scene is so well choreographed as to feed an entire movie's worth of plot. Its sexy - true, Demi Moore radiates sex appeal like you wouldn't believe - its an incredible scene to watch. But its stict mechanics are also very necessary for the rest of the plot. Its one of the most necessary and justified sex scenes i've ever seen.
Overall, it works. Its a tense thriller with two really incredible performances from the leads. I don't think its an essential movie, and its not particularly pleasant, if that's what you're after, but if you want a good tense thriller (which many of us do), this is worth a rental. Plus, we feel for Michael Douglas and want things to turn out good for him. So in that way, i think it deserves a workmanlike 7/10.
Michael Douglas co-stars with Moore and is good, too, but I found Douglas' lawyer "Catherine Alvarez" played by Roma Maffia, to be the most interesting of them all and making the most profound statements in this tale of "power" (not sex).
Donald Sutherland gives another convincing performance as a "bad guy" as well. That's a role he seems best suited to play. All the actors are good on this adaption from a Michael Crichton book.
The radical feminists didn't like this movie, so you know the the film has something going for it besides good acting and dialog. They want everything slanted to them, but as it's pointed out in the film, things can go both ways.....and what's wrong with an even playing field?
It's interesting that although the story revolves around Michael Douglas's plight, it's the women who set the events in motion and who help the protagonist resolve the problem he's presented with. Female empowerment is the main theme of this movie.
Demi Moore gets perhaps her best movie role ever by playing the sexual predator to Michael Douglas's easygoing mid-level manager. She knows how to play the corporate game much better than him, and quickly boxes him into a dicey situation. How does a guy explain that it was his female boss who hit on him and not the other way around as she claims? Demi Moore controls the situation well for most of the movie, and plays the villain so well that the viewer really enjoys when she finally gets her comeuppance.
Roma Maffia does an excellent job of playing Michael Douglas's lawyer. He's lost on how to respond to the sexual harassment charges and what to do to preserve his job, and she forcefully takes over his defense and steers him towards a successful resolution. She also understands how the game is played and keeps her nerve when the company comes after her client.
Caroline Goodall plays Michael Douglas's wife and displays a perfect combination of anger and support while he resolves the charges against him. A lawyer herself, she understands the situation her husband has gotten into much better than he does, and is there for him as both an advisor and partner.
Rosemary Forsyth plays another female executive at the company who, without giving away the plot, mentors Michael Douglas through his dilemma. She's smart, but calm and principled, and in fact it is she, not Douglas, who eventually gets the promotion to head the company.
Even though Michael Douglas is the protagonist and eventually overcomes the crisis he's facing, his character is basically weak in the movie. He's carefree and unfocused at the outset, assuming the job promotion is his because he's done a good job for the company, and is completely blindsided when a woman takes it away from him and then threatens his career and his marriage. Douglas eventually takes charge and with alot of outside help and some improbable plot twists gets the upper hand, but in the cutthroat world of corporate intrigue, he's the little fish who gets lucky and swims out of the net.
Donald Sutherland hands in his usual fine performance as the president of the company. Dennis Miller plays a computer geek working for Michael Douglas and has a few humorous moments, but suddenly turns nasty in the middle of the movie and then just disappears. Dylan Baker plays a sort of Mr. Smithers kind of character to Donald Sutherland's Monty Burns, and is just egregious enough make you hate him, which is a good sign of a performance well done.
There are a few plot twists that offend the viewer's senses and things are wrapped up just a bit too neatly, but all in all, this is pretty good entertainment from start to finish. The movie touches an important issues, sexual harassment in the workplace, and makes it more interesting by making the woman the aggressor and the man the victim. Not surprisingly, I noticed that women gave this movie a higher average rating than did the men.
Tom Sanders (Douglas) is an executive at DigiCom, a high-tech computer company, who hopes that now it's finally his time to get promotion. Passed over for an outsider, he's further irked when it turns out to be Meredith Johnson (Moore), an old passionate flame of his from years previously. When Meredith arranges for a meeting between the two later that evening, Tom finds himself sexually harassed by her. Spurning her aggressive overtures, Tom is shocked to learn the next day that she has filed a charge of sexual harassment against him. He naturally counters the charge, but this opens up a can of worms for both him and the future of DigiCom.
The 1990s practically belonged to Michael Crichton, it seemed for a time that everything he wrote was adapted to the big screen for some form of entertainment. With Jurassic Park still warm and still garnering bucket loads of cash, two other Crichton adaptations worked their way into theatres; both of which were a world away from the family friendly extravaganza of Jurassic Park. One was Rising Sun, a messy wasted potential of a movie, the other was Disclosure, a zeitgeist snatcher that seized the moment.
The topic, and the novelty of flipping the gender aggressor, was always going to make Disclosure of much interest, thus the film and the novel made big money: aided still further by the hot casting of Douglas and Moore, who were still draw cards in the early 90s. Crichton, after being displeased with other adaptations of his work, got big say on the screenplay as a written project. So with director Levinson in tow, he set about pushing the buttons of his audience, attempting to continue the heated debates that were brought about previously from Douglas' Fatal Attraction and Basic Instinct. If it's Crichton's or Levinson's fault that it didn't work out that way? I'm not sure, but fact is, is that Disclosure really wasn't that potent back then, and certainly now it's not even lukewarm.
There's too much techno babble going on, and an over keenness to stick the nose up at the big business vultures picking the flesh off of the lesser minions. Entering the last half hour of the film, it's easy to forget there has actually been a sexual harassment case! Here's the crux of the matter, if going in to it for a first time viewing expecting this to be a powder-keg of sexual harassment muckiness and legal intrigue, then you are in for a big disappointment. I know, because I was one of the paying patrons at the theatre back in 94! You sense that one of the makers got a bit carried away
Yet the film still has much going for it if stripped of that expectation, not least that it packs a pile of tension in that last half hour and the finale is rather rewarding. I'd go as far to say I'm a fan of the film, but it's not the film I originally went to see! There's a trio of interesting and differing female characters at the front of the narrative, even if Moore's stair-master vixen isn't exactly developed beyond being a bitch, and the virtual reality sequences have an appealing charm about them. The cast are turning in good ones, with a notable shout out to Caroline Goodall who wisely underplays it as the wife. While the interior set design (Gary Lewis/Joseph Hodges) for the DigiCom HQ is wonderful with its 90s excess of glass meeting mirrors and open spaces. Which leaves us with what?
A film that is not what you expect! Which in this case is both disappointing and a surprise. 7/10
Tom Sanders is an executive at DigiCom, a leading computer software firm. The company is about to launch a new virtual reality-based data storage system that is expected to revolutionize the industry, and Bob Garvin, the owner of the company, is in the midst of negotiating a merger that could bring $100 million into the firm. However, while Tom is expecting a promotion, he discovers the position has been given instead to a new hire, Meredith Johnson, with whom Tom had an affair years ago, before he was married. After her first day of work, Meredith invites Tom up to her office and makes a concerted attempt to seduce him; while Tom doesn't fight off her advances with very much gusto at first, eventually he decides things have gone too far and leaves in a huff. The next morning, Meredith accuses Tom of sexual harassment, and he realizes this was merely a power ploy to get him out of DigiCom for good; Tom, determined to fight, files a counter-suit, which makes him no friends at the company, since rocking the boat too hard could very well scotch the merger.
The story takes some clever twists and turns as it develops into a full- fledged psychological thriller that is effective and gripping, if occasionally contrived as a result of over-plotting.The film is genuinely gripping and well-written.As for the performances,Moore makes an awesome femme fatale while Douglas triumps over evil in a big way.But it is a watchable film as well.
Whilst the sexual harassment element of the story was shocking and attention grabbing, it soon became apparent that this was just part of a far larger and more pervasive issue i.e. the abuse of power. In the workplace, where social conventions, various legal constraints and political correctness all come into play, there is still no escape from the kind of management conspiracies, office politics and duplicity which are depicted so effectively in "Disclosure" or the kinds of distrust and paranoia that they can so easily generate.
Tom Sanders (Michael Douglas) heads one of the divisions of a Seattle computer company and is engaged in the development of a product which is vitally important to the success of a planned and very lucrative merger with another company. There are some problems with the product which Tom and his team are currently dealing with and are under considerable pressure to resolve.
As a result of some changes which are taking place within the company, Tom's confident that he'll be promoted but it soon transpires that he's been passed over and the job has been given to one of his ex-girlfriends, Meredith Johnson (Demi Moore). On her first day in the job, Meredith arranges a late meeting with Tom to discuss his division's work but during their meeting she aggressively tries to seduce him and is furious when, after a considerable struggle, she's unsuccessful.
Meredith responds to Tom's rejection by accusing him of sexual harassment and asserting that in the circumstances, there's no way that she'd be able to work with him again. The company want to avoid any publicity that could have an adverse impact on the upcoming merger and so try to get Tom to take a transfer to another job in their Austin branch. He can't countenance this idea because of the negative effect it would have on his career and is in a very tight spot. Help unexpectedly arrives in the form of an anonymous e-mail which recommends that he consult an attorney called Catherine Alvarez (Roma Maffia) who's a specialist in sexual harassment cases.
Tom decides to fight back and files a counter-suit. The process he has to go through to achieve justice is difficult and painful but irrefutable proof of his innocence is produced and the company agrees to retain him and give him a pay rise.
The relief that Tom feels after being cleared of the charges against him is short lived as it quickly becomes apparent that efforts which were originally initiated by Meredith to make him look incompetent have now drawn wider support and he's being set up to be publicly humiliated and undermined at a high profile shareholders' meeting. The way in which Tom copes with this threat then provides the story with its intriguing conclusion.
The events in "Disclosure" all take place within the space of one intense week in which Tom's normally affluent and comfortable lifestyle is disrupted as his disappointment at being passed over for promotion turns into discomfort when he discovers the identity of his new boss and then horror as he's threatened with the loss of his job, his wife, his family and his stock options.
The false accusation made against him, the plots to make him look incompetent and a workplace where no one can be trusted, create a climate of paranoia which is reinforced when some of his previous innocent actions are characterised as something more sinister and the support of his colleagues is systematically eroded by those high up in the company structure.
Michael Douglas gives a good solid performance as the beleaguered Tom and Demi Moore is marvellous as the cold and cruel villain of the piece. Donald Sutherland and Roma Maffia also stand out in their supporting roles.
What doesn't work is the cyber-thriller aspect. The computer graphics are HORRIFIC. Even for the '90s it looks bad; these days it looks like a glitchy Atari game. And one of the main plot lines revolves around Douglas receiving messages from an anonymous source on his computer, so a lot of time is spent looking at dated interfaces. The movie's climax goes a step further and throws virtual reality into the mix, and those scenes make the X-Files episode 'First Person Shooter' look like a visual masterpiece. It really takes you out of the movie, despite Ennio Morricone's best efforts on the music front.
Disclosure is certainly watchable. It has some witty and clever dialogue, it deals with serious issues in a tasteful manner, and has a wonderful sex scene that will keep your eyes glued on screen even if you detest the rest of the film. Overall, Disclosure is a serviceable thriller, ending the Michael Douglas sex trilogy with a bang. Literally.
The direction, by Barry Levinson, is up to his usual standard, which is pretty good, though his forte lies in remarking small quotidian moments rather than complicated technical drama. The acting is competent too. There was, however, a dolorous moment at the end when Douglas exposes Moore's trickery in public and when she objects furiously he smirks at her like a third-grade kid who just squealed on a classmate.
If there is a problem it is with the script. The story seems bifurcated. The two schemes to torpedo Douglas are only tenuously connected. Either one -- the sexual harassment business or the sabotaging of Douglas's production line -- would have been movies unto themselves. And for the most part, the dialog is functional and flat, empty of verve, except for one angry outburst by the victimized Douglas who does a neat turn while pointing out that nobody believes him because he is a stereotypical white male. Oh, and one or two other lines. When Douglas is about to sue the company they offer him a "lateral move" to Austin. Donald Sutherland, the boss, gets a nifty observation: "AUSTIN? That's like a duck making a lateral move to 'a l'orange.'"
Worth seeing. Imaginative and picturesque.
Set against the corporate and executive positioning of a complex business deal, Michael Crichton's story (oh how we miss that man's creative output) strikes an interesting balance between techno-thriller, sexual politics commentary, courtroom drama, and urban paranoia thriller. The story is terrific - complex but always followable, gripping and involving, and with emotional ramifications as the essentially decent and blameless Sanders finds himself in an impossible situation.
This is a good film, with one of the best payoffs ever, and I recommend it.
I've been seeing a lot of Douglas in recent months and my opinion of him has steadily improved to the degree that I can't remember him giving a bad performance. He's fine here, providing a key likable anchor for the film to revolve around, and playing opposite him Demi Moore is also a surprise: she oozes sexuality and selfishness in equal measure, proving a powerful enemy at all times. Moore isn't the world's greatest actress but this might well be her best performance in a film.
The courtroom scenes, tense and full of electricity, are undoubtedly the film's highlights and there are supporting actors to relish (Donald Sutherland, Allan Rich and in particular a slimy Dylan Baker). It's not a perfect film, but it is a reminder of the kind of solid, sensual thriller that got made during a sometimes forgotten decade of filmmaking.
"Disclosure" is not high drama, nor sit-on-the-edge of your seat suspense. It's certainly not difficult to figure out story events well in advance of their occurrence. But director Barry Levinson does make "Disclosure" entertaining in a Saturday night rental sort of way. Especially if you enjoy looking at Demi Moore.
Incredibly there is no nudity in the scene in which I can recall.
It was truly sensual and hot and showed that a woman could be just as cruel as a woman when it comes to corporate politics and the cut throat world of technology.
Douglas is known for his passionate scenes with Sharon Stone, but in my mind the scenes with Demi are far more erotic.
For whatever reason this film didn't really have the impact I thought it would have as a cultural statement on the world of corporate America.
DISCLOSURE dares you to enter the terrifying cut-throat business world in which bad dialogue runs rampant, characters appear in cartoonish clarity or linger blurred in the background, and all dramatic points are rendered in stark black and white.
If I hadn't seen a little cheapie shot-on-video horror movie called HELLSPAWN, I'd call DISCLOSURE the worst movie of its year. The packaging looked intriguing at first: we have the usually respectable Michael Douglas, the "talented" Demi Moore, and the once respectable Barry Levinson. Then there's that whole roles-reversed sexual-harassment thing. It sounded like a neat idea at first, but they brought it off as some cheesy thriller complete with bad suspense and a hero who is constantly accidentally implicating himself. It's like FATAL ATTRACTION plus crap.
In short, it's about a guy (Douglas) being sexually harassed at the workplace by his superior, and ex-lover (Moore). Nobody believes him because guys generally like girls coming onto them even when they're married (if the film was good it might have dispelled this sexist stereotype). The matter gets legal and things complicate.
Now, we've seen hundreds of these bad thrillers, but DISCLOSURE isn't satisfied with being a regular old bad thriller. Instead, Demi Moore, Donald Sutherland, Michael Douglas, and probably the entire supporting cast are entangled in some kind of shady deal involving technology and the manufacture of microchips overseas. This wouldn't be so bad if it didn't result in supposedly important techno-babble about the technologies for which they obviously failed to consult a technical advisor. That isn't the worst of it either. The real stinker of this flick is the virtual reality scene. Michael Douglas puts on the virtual reality goggles to uncover footage exposing corporate black-ops, only to find a cheesy 2D icon of Demi Moore deleting his files with what looks like a laser-beam (Ha! Ha!). And then comes the computer-geek with angel wings and a halo, trying to warn Douglas while still in virtual reality. The scene inspires one to say out loud "What the F***?"
Meanwhile in reality, Douglas has a wife who doesn't trust him, people in his office shifting loyalties, accusations- the whole deal. None of it is interesting, and you can see the twists coming a mile around the corner. Levinson renders it all very dull, taking no steps to save the picture from its script. Levinson even fails to put the beautiful Seattle locales to the proper use. I think this one really unmasked him as a bad director (after all, how good was RAIN MAN, really?). DISCLOSURE is a bad 80s concept trying to squeeze into the newly forged 90s in all the wrong ways.
The final result is truly inexcusable. DISCLOSURE should only be watched for laughs, and even then, only out of severe boredom. For a good suspense/thriller involving a domineering woman and sex, see PLAY MISTY FOR ME. For a good 90s movie, see any of the films I named in the first paragraph. Just stay far away from DISCLOSURE!