A Few Words About A few words about...™ Sexy Beast -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Jonathan Glazer's 2000 Sexy Beast, with Ray Winstone and Ben Kingsley is one of those unusual Blu-ray releases.  

    Two aspect ratios are offered.

    Photographed in S35, the film is offered on Blu-ray is both 1.78, as well as its theatrical ratio of 2.35, and the difference can be startling.  It's worth viewing a few scenes as a comparison.

    My preference was the more horizontally open view at 2.35.

    This is another beautiful Blu-ray rendering from Schawn Belston and his team at Fox, and my hat is off to Twilight Time for offering twin ratios.

    For those with earlier releases of the film, while the aspect ratios, ie. the numbers may be the same, the content does not appear to be.  Comparing the 1.78 with scope, the new scope formatting has additional image at the sides.

    Not an extraordinary film, but a huge and epic performance from Sir Ben.

    Image - 5

    Audio - 5 (DTS-HD MA 5.1)

    Recommended.

    RAH

     
  2. ROclockCK

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    Well, last night was my first - and second - encounter with Sexy Beast Mr. Harris (I missed it both theatrically and on DVD), and I would absolutely disagree with your "not extraordinary" comment. To me, this was one of the most fiercely original takes on the Brit gangster caper genre I've ever seen...actually, it played more like some strange hybrid monster movie/romance set within that milieu. Odd, by any measure. Extraordinary, at least to me. As a movie fan, I live and breathe for this type of road-less-travelled creativity.

    I do agree with everything else you've said though, including your preference for its 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Through these new-to-the-film eyes, Glazer's funky compositions just seemed to cut together better at that AR. I sampled the 1.78:1 version and most scenes didn't have quite the same flow or punch, so I switched back after Don Logan's arrival at the airport. It's very rare for me to be compelled to immediately rewatch a film - the last time that happened was with Shane Carruth's Primer - but there I was around 3:00 a.m. finally turning the lights out.

    And to your well-deserved praise for Sir Ben's electrifying performance, I'd also like to add that I was equally impressed by Ray Winstone's work here. That guy's world-weary face was a map of continually shifting feelings and impulses. Actually, the whole cast was great in an unfussy, naturally convincing way. To me, they just clicked in these roles.

    Arriving ridiculously late to this party 12 years later, I thought Sexy Beast was beautifully assured filmmaking destined to become a classic...if not already considered as such.
     
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  3. BPullen

    BPullen Stunt Coordinator

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    I must concur. The film is a jewel gaining more luster with the passage of time. Every performance, every detour, all the surreal touches. This is a subgenre smorgasboard within the British gangster niche. Uncompromising, eclectic, and mesmerizing, I find this that rare modern picture. Rewarding multiple views, the picture grows with scrutiny. Kingsley is the most obvious treasure. Winstone, McShane, Kendall, and the wondrous Amanda Redman give their all to magnificent effect. TT does it again. Another classic delivered with the utmost respect. Magnifico.
     
  4. Craig Beam

    Craig Beam Screenwriter

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    I too love this film. I'd actually decided to pass on it (given TT's price) and just live with the DVD already on my shelf.... but damn, now i'm reconsidering.
     
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  5. Yorkshire

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    Thanks for the typically great review.

    One of my ten favourite films. On order now, and awaiting delivery to the UK.

    One slight addendum (I hesitate to use the word 'correction' in relation to any comment by RAH), I'm not sure how much Fox had to do with it.

    The film was a Film 4 production (from UK TV Channel 4), who have already released this in HD in the UK (once on HD DVD, a second time on Blu-ray Disc).

    Twilight Time have said at their Facebook page that they've used the same master as was used in the UK. So thanks probably goes to some imperialist toff on this side of the pond ;) , but as ever I stand to be corrected.

    Not extraordinary? As I've said, it's a personal favourite, so perhaps I should disagree. But I appreciate it's an unusual film and not to everyone's tastes.

    Steve W
     
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  6. Oblivion138

    Oblivion138 Second Unit

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    Love the film, love the BD. There's some very minor dirt here and there...just fleeting specks, nothing untoward...and that's about the only thing that stands in the way of this being a perfect transfer. It's entirely filmic and absolutely beautiful. Nice to have both aspect ratios, as well.
     
  7. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    The only fleeting specks I saw were during the opening titles - which are obviously an optical and the dirt is most likely built into that and not a fault of the transfer at all - it IS a perfect transfer.
     
  8. Oblivion138

    Oblivion138 Second Unit

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    Just watching this again...there are flecks throughout. Infrequent and fleeting, yes, but there nonetheless.
     

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