Sexy Beast (2000)
Twilight Time Blu-Ray Review
Starring Sir Ben Kingsley, Ray Winstone,
Amanda Redman, Ian McShane, Julianne White
and James Fox Directed By Jonathan Glazer
COLOR/2000/1 HOUR 29 MINUTES/RATED R
Aspect Ratio: 2:35.1 1080p Anamorphic
1:78.1 HD Non-Anamorphic
"Don: I love you, Gal. You're lovable. Big lovable bloke. Loveable lump. Loveable lummox. Gal Dove, party boy. Big oaf."
"Sexy Beast" is easily one of the more enjoyable and exhilarating crime thrillers that was released in the decade of the 2000's that made a huge impression when it was released and has gone somewhat unappreciated since. The film is now making a triumphant debut on Blu-Ray and is deservidly apart of Twilight Time's Special Limited Edition Series. (Many fans still think that it deserved to be apart of Criterion Collection's Series and I am definitely one of those as well but hey you can't have everything!) The film is a well shot, well directed and ferosciously directed film by Jonathan Glazer, who would later helm the reincarnation drama "Birth" starring Nicole Kidman years after this film. The film stars Ray Winstone ("The Departed", "Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull") as Gal Dove, a retired British criminal living with his former porn star wife DeeDee (the lovely Amanda Redman) and their friends, Jackie and Aitch living the good life in Spain with the former party boy criminal enjoying his days in the sun with drinks aplenty. That was until a former criminal aquintance arrives in the person of Don Logan (Sir Ben Kingsley, in a brilliant Oscar nominated performance), a vicious, foul mouthed and relentless bulldog of a man. He arrives to Gal's hacienda to disrupt thier peace and good times with a proposition of a major bank job back in London to which Don will absolutely not accept no for answer. The job is being headed by his brother, Teddy Bass (Ian McShane, "Deadwood", "Death Race"), a major underworld criminal whose major heist involves teams of thieves flooding the bank vault of a major London bank and then looting it for millions of dollars worth of jewels, money and other valuables.
Gal continually rejects Don's offer, but to no avail as he relentlessly with harsh language and violence tries to impose his will upon Gal into finally accepting it. Gal soon relents and does accept the offer after something happens to change his perspective a bit. Gal does fulfill his obligations to Teddy and helps with the heist despite his suspicions. The film became a indie hit thanks to Fox Searchlight Pictures as well as the great performance of Kingsley, who really is the film's major showcase and what a bravaura performance that he gives. The power of each scene that he is in is just intense and immense. A ballsy, diminutive powerful dark force of relentless rage and intensity that is just captivating and mesmerizing in every sense of the word. The words that spew right out of his mouth with a poisonous venom that just makes your skin crawl every minute you're with him. Winstone is excellent here as well as the big lovable oaf that just simply tired of the B.S. of the criminal underworld and Redman as his wife is really good here playing the perfect foil to him.
Twilight Time's Blu-Ray is a sharp looking transfer that is a very good upgrade than the original DVD that was released more than a decade ago making use of the beautiful cinematography showcasing Spain and the heist sequence which is well shot. The sound is excellent with a punchy, robust English 5.1 DTS-HD MA track that which is a big improvement over FOX's DVD and makes great use of Roque Banos' and UNKLE With South' hip, techno based score which really gets better and better with each listen and gets its' own isolated score track as with all of TT's titles produced by the always dependable Mike Matessino.
The other special Features aside from the Isolated Score Track is a very informative and excellent audio Commentary with Sir Ben Kingsley and Producer Jeremy Thomas, which was thankfully ported over from the DVD and an excellent track all around as they share their experiences on the production and how the film came to be. Also on hand is a "Featurette" and the films' Original Theatrical Trailer, which were also on the DVD. A beautiful, detailed and informative booklet featuring the great notes of writer Julie Kirgo is also on hand here who provides a rather arresting and enjoyable read on the production of the film. Always great stuff.
"Sexy Beast" isn't a film that will jump at you when you first see it or just simply dismiss it as another British crime thriller that's basically the same as any other. This definitely is not that and it's a terrific watch especially for those who really loved films such as "Layer Cake", "Snatch", "Rock N' Rolla" and "The Bank Job". The film is full of energy and has a great breakneck pace thanks to Jonathan Glazer's solid direction. This is definitely one of the best films you'll see on Blu-Ray and absolutely worth every penny of it! Thumbs way up! Way UP!