Sexy Beast (Rental) (2000)
Trailer-Kiss Of The Dragon; Lantana; Joy Ride; Someone Like You
Trailer-Tigerland; Planet Of The Apes (2001)
|Year Of Production||2000|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Jonathan Glazer|
Twentieth Century Fox
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||Yes|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
I found Sexy Beast to be a truly chilling drama. The tension that the film creates borders on the uncomfortable, and while there are some comedic moments, the majority of the laughter comes not from comedy, but from the occasional, temporary release from the tension that has been building.
The tension and drama can be attributed pretty much to one character, Don Logan, played by Ben Kingsley. His portrayal of a truly psychopathic, sadistic criminal is a work of genius. He is totally believable - you can see the madness in his eyes. The body language is perfect - this really goes beyond acting. At times you scrunch down in your seat in the hope that he won't notice you sitting over there. It sounds crazy I know, but at times his performance is so powerful that you are totally drawn into the world of the film.
This is not to say that the other characters in this film do not also give great performances, but they are simply overshadowed by Kingsley. Their portrayal of the objects of Logan's displeasure is great and you can very easily put yourself in their shoes.
Ray Winstone plays Gal, a British criminal who has retired after a stretch in gaol. He is very happily married and has moved to Spain for his retirement. Into this idyllic setting arrives Don Logan who wants Gal to come out of retirement for one last big job back in England. Even though Gal is terrified of Don, he attempts to say a soft but firm no to the offer. This is not received well by Don. The interaction between Don, Gal and his wife, and two friends of theirs who also knew Don back in England becomes the focus of our story. Lying beneath the tension and occasional graphic violence is a story about true love and about standing up for what you believe in.
Remember the good old days of VHS rental tapes, the ones with all those trailers at the start that you had to fast forward through? Well, they are included on this disc, all 11:44 worth of them. Thankfully, the menu button works to bypass these if you are not interested in watching them.
Thankfully presented at 2.35:1 and 16x9 enhanced, the cinematography in this film simply would have been destroyed had it been reduced to Pan & Scan. The entire 2.35:1 frame has been brilliantly used both for wide vistas and for positioning characters on screen in ways that display the tension that is being built.
As mentioned, the sharpness is not great. It varies from acceptable for close-ups to poor for distance shots; fine detail is missing from many scenes. Shadow detail is good and there is no low level noise.
The colours are good and the skin tones accurate. There is no chroma noise present.
Other than one peculiar scene, there are no noticeable MPEG artefacts. The one exception is at 18:47 where Ben Kingsley is walking through the airport. The camera is panning along as he is walking but he moves up and down within the frame. His beard is heavily macro-blocked and for some reason there is a blurred outline around his face and in particular his nose that moves preceding any movement of his face. Visible in this scene and many others, such as at 54:48, is a fair amount of edge enhancement. There are a small number of small white flecks visible throughout the film and a small amount of grain is also present.
The disc includes English subtitles for the Hearing Impaired. These appear at the bottom of the frame and are easy to read. They are pretty accurate with only the longest of sentences being paraphrased.
This is a single layered disc.
The dialogue quality is excellent throughout the film and there were no problems with audio sync.
The musical score was particularly interesting. At times, the music becomes very minimalist and almost monotonic with percussive accompaniment. I found that this really helped build the tension within the film. A sterling effort by Roque Baños.
The surrounds have been put to great use with some particularly good examples of split surround use. Some of the scene changes are sharp and jarring and the soundstage tracks these precisely. One scene contains a motorbike that is moving off across the scene. The perspective changes on this from front to back a couple of times. Each time the sound from the motorbike is in precisely the correct location relative to the scene.
There is exactly the correct amount of subwoofer use in this film. The LFE track is used to good effect precisely where it belongs, not drawing attention to itself but blending in very well. This is not to say that there is a lack of bass - at times there are some thundering low effects.
|Surround Channel Use|
The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;
The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;
As this is a rental disc, we cannot do a fair R4 vs R1 comparison at this time, although it should be noted that reviews of the extras on Region 1 sites do not speak highly of them.
Sexy Beast will not appeal to all people, particularly those who are sensitive to foul language of which there is a very large amount. Nonetheless, there are many reasons to see this film including some of the best performances on-screen that I have seen in a long time.
The video is somewhat disappointing.
The audio is excellent.
We will have to wait for the sell through release to judge the extras for ourselves.
|DVD||Skyworth 1050p progressive scan, using RGB output|
|Display||Sony 1252Q CRT Projector, 254cm custom built 1.0 gain screen. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre.|
|Speakers||B&W DM305 (mains); CC3 (centre); S100 (surrounds); custom Adire Audio Tempest with Redgum plate amp (subwoofer)|