So where are the "SEXY BEAST" reviews?

MichaelW

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I realize it's not full release yet, but it is out in a number of major cities at this point...
I need some opinions from people other than regular movie critics. They all say the movie is phenomenal though...
Speak up!
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Edwin Pereyra

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ChrisMatson

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I saw Sexy Beast this past weekend. I liked it, but I did find some of the dialogue difficult to follow due the the heavy accents and slang. The characters are fantastic--I felt like I knew where each of the main characters was coming from. Ben Kinglsey was fantastic in his sadistic role. There are a few strange scenes that I am still wondering about, but I will definitely be getting this movie on DVD. I hope it has English subtitles so I can catch some of the scenes I missed in the theater.

-Chris
 

Michael Reuben

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My comments are in the thread that Edwin linked to. I recommend it. Even if you end up not liking it, it's under 90 minutes, so you won't have wasted much time.

M.
 

Seth Paxton

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I thought it was terrific. Good use of stylish shots that move the story along without simply being flashy. Some nice use of symbolism in the film. Clever humor, interesting action.
And the plot is allowed to unfold well and it actually involves people's EMOTIONS, imagine that.

Kingsley brings a depth to his edgy, strong-willed, asshole character that shows him to have his own issues to deal with, rather than just being a bastard. He plays him as uptight and a bit fidgity almost, which makes him dangerous in a more realistic way.
Winstone is up to the task of playing across from him as he is being forced to come out of retirement (as a bank job robber) and determined to stay retired in Spain.
Visually it has some style from The Limey (not the SS flashback stuff, but the contemplative soft moments instead) and also borrows a bit from Ritchie (some nice use of flashy style with music to move the film along). It's tightly cut so that we keep getting more story, rather than lingering too much, especially past the mid-way point.
If you can handle violent, foul-mouthed, thick English accent characters with Pesci's attitude, then this is the film for you. Besides it's got the best use of a giant boulder this side of Wile E. Coyote.
 

Brook K

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I would basically agree with Seth's review, though I felt the film suffered at times. Kingsley is such a dominating force that there's a definite loss of energy when he isn't on screen.
But still definitely one of the better films I've seen this year, and I'd recommend it.
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Seungsoo Hwang

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I couldnt understand a lot of what they said, and there seemd to be a lot of slow parts, but i was pretty tired while watching it as well. It was pretty good IMO.
 

Jason Whyte

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I liked "Sexy Beast" as well, although I did find a lot of the time-jumping towards the end far too jarring. Still, Ben Kingsley gives one of the year's best performances as the fierce, you-can't-say-no-to-me Don Logan. He is an actor certainly capable of doing anything.
As for the thick dialogue, I had some troubles as well, but not NEARLY as thick as the english and scottish tongue in last year's "There's Only One Jimmy Grimble" or 1999's "The War Zone," which both, ironically, star Ray Winstone.

Will you see this movie? Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!

Jason - Back off, I'm beautiful
Spoiler:Yeah, I know Winstone says "Fuck off, I'm beautiful" in the film, but I prefer my sig file to be a little bit cleaner for the kiddies.

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"Back off, I'm beautiful!" Ray Winstone, Sexy Beast
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Scott Kennedy

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I'm with chris. I needed subtitles in this movie, I felt like i missed a bunch of the subtle jokes and dialogue because I could only catch about half of what they were saying. I followed enough to get about 90% of the movie, but it's the other 10% that I think can turn this move from a good one to a great one.
Only had 1 couple walk out of the movie, as expected there is some pretty animated violence, but if you can stomach that, and pick up the speech, it's a definitely worth seeing.
My friend walked out and said, "wow, how intimidating was Logan (Kingsley's Character)?" I told him "Teddy" was the one that would have scared the hell out of me. With Logan, what you saw was what you got. Teddy is much more cool and calculating.
I thought the characters were all well done, and some very good acting, you could feel the emotion of each of them as the movie progressed.
anyway, my 2 cents
 

Michael Reuben

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Only had 1 couple walk out of the movie

When I saw it, there was a group of elderly ladies who clearly didn't know what they were in for. Shortly after Logan showed up, there was much rustling and whispering from the group, and suddenly they left. Guess the title led them to expect a different kind of movie!
M.
 

Seth Paxton

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It is played early on to make you think that Don is the big boss, or at least left unsaid enough for you to fill in that gap. So later I was wondering how it was that someone with Don's attitude wasn't the boss.
Of course you start to see how, he is unstable and downright childish in his approach. But still it took the role of Teddy to make us believe in an even more intimidating boss for Don to work for. He was fierce.
Spoiler:
But, he was also gay, right? Wasn't he having a fling with the bank manager, they certainly implied the bank manager's desires for him and they had a relationship of some sort. I took it that Teddy was screwing the bank manager to get info for the robbery. But it was so lightly hinted at that it was hard to be 100%.
Yes, as I say, it has it's slow contemplative, silent moments, but I have grown used to that technique. That is the bit of pace/style that seems borrowed from Limey a bit, although maybe more silent. We get it with more films lately it seems, like Mood for Love and Amores Perros.
Can't tell if its something born from the Dogme movement or simply a current style from somewhere else. There seems to be a minimalist movement in art film going that would seem natural to attribute to the impression that Dogme has made on filmmakers. Quiet, slow, contemplative shots. Heck, even Tykwer is doing it a bit in Princess.
Jason, I love that "Yes, yes, yes, yes" reference.

Maybe that's how we should go about organizing HTF meets from now on.
 

Patrick Sun

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Hmmm...I can't say I really liked this film all that much. Sure, Kingsley (playing Don Logan) chews up all of the scenery. For a second there, I was hoping for a 2nd boulder to come down and smash him into the pool.

I understood Mickey (the Brad Pitt character) from "Snatch" better than most of the players in "Sexy Beast" (what's up with the title of this film?)
Perhaps my expectations were too high for this film.
Without Kingsley on screen, the film flat-lined for most parts, maybe the acting was too "naturalistic" but I found myself with too many questions, and never getting the answers from this film. Mainly "was it enough that the audience knew that Gal (Ray Winstone) - the main protagonist? - was a retired cog in a heist gang and that Don needed him for the 'job'?" I wanted more backstory (and not really the backstory of Don and his fling with Jackie).
I never got a sense of WHY Gal was so important (even after seeing the heist) and crucial. Was it just because he could be trusted to keep his mouth shut and do the physical labor? Is there a point where the audience is supposed to fawn over the verbal arm-twisting antics of Don and be impressed by it? Maybe I expected better "clever" on the Don Logan character. Too bad he was just another belligerent thug with rapid fire retorts. Why did Don expend so much energy trying to get Gal on board with the heist? Was it simply trying to "save face" with the higher up boss?
Who/what was this film about? Was it about Gal or Don or both or neither? In the end, did it matter? Is this ambiguity the strength of this film? I did not think so. I suppose it could be a "day in the life of Gal" when Don shows up and of course we don't get the cliched "just when I thought I was through with them, they pull me back in" line of dialog (more of just reluctance) but it was still pretty much the same result.
I truly could not believe I was seeing an hour of film time devoted to Don recruiting Gal for the big "heist". I think that was my main dislike of the film.
Maybe I missed the boat, but this is the kind of film which gets these critical rave reviews, and I just don't think the audience will agree with the reviews and be disappointed. I try to do my part in seeing critically lauded films, but this one left me with a "blech" feeling.
Grade: C (Go see it if you enjoy watching Ben Kingsley chew up the scenery, but you might want to rent the DVD and turn the subtitles on).
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[Edited last by Patrick Sun on July 15, 2001 at 05:02 PM]
 

Jason L.

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The accents threw me off a bit, but not enough to enjoy the film.
However, there were some things that I was unclear about:
1. The whole gay/orgy thing. Did Teddy have sex with the Bank manager because Teddy was %100 gay, or was he was trying to get close to the Bank Manager? I assumed that it was an inside job with the bank manager because when they went to his house they killed him so that he wouldn't talk. If it wasn't an inside job, I can't believe that the bank manager wasn't notified that there was a break-in at the bank and acted accordingly when the two of them showed up at his house.
2. Was the main character [the one with the blonde hair] married to an ex-pornstar?
3. The old guy who was married to Jackie looked and acted like the cowardly farmer in the Seven Samurai.
4. I guess they like to use the word "c*nt" in England. They must have said that word 100 times in the film.
5. I have no idea why they needed the guy with the blond hair for the break-in. It looked like he didn't do anything special at all.
[Edited last by Jason L. on July 16, 2001 at 10:52 AM]
[Edited last by Jason L. on July 16, 2001 at 10:54 AM]
 

Seth Paxton

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********** SPOILERS, no review info here, please skip *******
Sexy Beast is from a quote in the film I believe, regarding the hero being a Sexy Beast. Not in US terms like he thinks he's evil and handsome, but simply in terms of "I'm damn good looking and cool." He's a bit tongue in cheek about it now, but it is implied that in his youth he was quite the ladies man.
Of course it could mean Teddy, or even Don a bit too, considering their cool, slick looks and evil attitude.
1. I was asking about point 1 as well. I was thinking that the manager was not in on the robbery, just his lover. The heist was well-done so no alarm went off, thus he just thought his boyfriend was showing up.
2. Yes, his wife was an ex-porn star.
4. Yes, it is a bit like SOB is used in America. Not nearly as offensive there as here, best I have ever made out at least.
5. I think it was simply a matter of needing a certain number of trusted, able guys for the heist. Teddy might not have even insisted on it, it may have been more Kingsley's doing as far as the demanding part.
The water work might have been another reason they needed him. Maybe he had previous work as a driller or underwater specialist. Remember that it was difficult work and required them to go in shifts and be very able swimmers, especially when the water rushed in.
 

Michael Reuben

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(Picking up where we left off at HTT; CAUTION: major spoilers below):
Seth, your points about why they might want Gal are all possible, but I don't recall anyone ever mentioning them in the film. There had to be any number of more readily available guys who could do the job that Gal does. I think you're closer in saying that it's Logan who wants Gal there, not Teddy. Logan never tells Gal he has to come because Teddy wants him; he says Gal has to come because Logan promised him. As I said over at HTT:
. It's Logan who volunteers Gal for the job; it's Logan who won't take no for an answer. The sum total of Logan's behavior reveals that he has a deep-seated obsession with Gal -- not necessarily homoerotic, but emotional and irrational. You almost have to wonder whether Gal fled to Spain from a life of crime or from Logan. And it's no accident that it's Gal's wife who finally shoots Logan. At times the three of them resemble a love triangle.
Logan's approach may seem like an odd way to win back a friend, but that's Logan. Bullying is all he knows. Not taking no for an answer is how he expresses affection.
The heist itself is irrelevant. Logan uses it as an excuse to get Gal back to London. Gal ends up participating in it as part of his attempt to cover up Logan's death. Either way, the story is about a personal tug-of-war over Gal, who's the "Sexy Beast" of the title (Gal calls himself that right at the beginning, before the boulder crash; it's easy to miss because you're just getting oriented).
 

Patrick Sun

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I think I might have been pulled out of the film at the beginning, having to suffer through that "sexy beast" in lingering shots of Gal in his yellow pseudo-speedos at the beginning.
I could have sworn he called himself a "sexy beast" but the accent and the sound system where I saw it made it awfully hard to make out those words at the time.
If the bank dude was only Teddy's boyfriend, Spoiler:why does he kill him at the end? It seemed to me that Teddy was tying up loose ends..
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Doug R

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I really enjoyed Sexy Beast.. 2nd favorite film of the year so far.
SPOILERS!!
Yes, I think Teddy had sex with the bank manager. Is he really gay? Not sure. But they showed him having sex in the Turkish bath in that strange shot after the orgy. You could assume that's when he got the idea to come in through the bath.
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Edwin Pereyra

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Sexy Beast works more as a character study. It not about a bank heist or the mechanics of it that is important to this film. Those are all peripheral and secondary to the main storyline.
The boulder coming down the hillside and resting in Gal Dove’s (Ray Winstone) swimming pool is a foreshadowing of what is about to happen in his life. Gal, who after a life of being a gangster, is recruited back by an old nemesis Don Logan (Ben Kingsley) to perform one last job. But Gal is now living a life of serenity and happiness with a very nice house and loving wife. He wants to put that gangster life behind him.
Much of the credit is being given to Ben Kingsley’s performance. While it is no doubt a very chilling performance, it is Ray Winston’s acting and his ability to downplay his character that makes Kingsley shine in this movie. Gal is a man who is living his life under false pretenses when inside, he is a man who has his own demons to deal with. And when he finds out that Don is paying him a visit, all of his fears and guilt from his prior bad acts come out into the open. The transformation of his life from a quiet and peaceful one along with his struggle to do what he thinks is right to protect his wife and his own life is nothing short of amazing. Winstone plays Gal with such precision.
In the final scene, one has to wonder whether Gal gets absolution for his prior bad acts and returns to his life prior to the arrival of Don. While the film flirts with the answers it is anything but conclusive.
Sexy Beast rates
(out of four).
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Paul_D

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This thread is old now, but there are couple of things I REALLY need to clear up.
I did find some of the dialogue difficult to follow due the the heavy accents and slang.
Funny. I don't see what was so hard to understand!
 

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