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Fox Home Entertainment presents
Sexy Beast (2001)

Gal: This is madness, I've had enough of this Crime-and-Punishment bollocks. I'm happy here.Don: I won't let you be happy, why should I?
- Ray Winstone, Ben Kingsley

Review By: Daniel Hirshleifer  
Published: April 11, 2002

Stars: Ray Winstone, Ben Kingsley
Other Stars: Ian McShane, Amanda Redman, Cavan Kendall, Julianne White, Alvaro Monje, James Fox
Director: Jonathan Glazer

MPAA Rating: R for pervasive language, strong violence, and sexuality
Run Time: 01h:28m:37s
Release Date: March 12, 2002
UPC: 024543026747
Genre: gangster

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A- A-B+A B-

DVD Review

It's more than likely that the most people have heard about Sexy Beast is Ben Kingsley's amazing performance. And to be sure, Kingsley is amazing, but what the reviews and blurbs tend to overlook is that Sexy Beast is a very good movie as a whole. It was one of my favorite movies of 2001, not just because of Kingsley, but because of the strong performances of the whole cast, and the overall sense of style.Gal (Ray Winstone) is a retired British gangster living the good life in Spain with his wife, ex-porn star Deedee (Amanda Redman), and their two friends, Aitch (Cavan Kendall) and Jackie (Julianne White). Their quiet peace is shattered when Don Logan (Ben Kingsley) visits them to recruit Gal for a job set up by Teddy (Ian McShane), the toughest gangster in all of London. Tensions rise between Don and Gal, and eventually Gal and Teddy, as Gal is wracked by visions of danger and death.The great thing about Sexy Beast is the sense of rising tension that the film cultivates from the opening sequence on. There is always a mix of humor and danger, but as the danger increases, the humor decreases. The humor puts the audience off their guard, so when the film increases the tension, the audience is almost shocked at how serious things have become. All the actors do a good job of putting on a jovial face while hiding what kind of cruel acts they're truly capable of.Of course, Kingsley's performance is the best of the lot. He plays Don Logan to the hilt, a man completely unafraid, and willing to do anything to get what he wants and needs. Sometimes the performance consists of ranting and raving, and sometimes it consists of unfurrowing his brow. It's amazing to see the man who played Gandhi now playing this frothing bulldog of a man. But the rest of the cast does pull their weight. Ray Winstone in particular is very good as Gal, the man who was once a career criminal but now wants to have a peaceful life, no matter what pressures are put on him. Ian McShane is chilling as the bloodthirsty Teddy. And Amanda Redman is understated in her role, giving the audience a little bit of a surprise when she turns out to be more than just the happy wife.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: A-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Sexy Beast's transfer is surprisingly dirty. The opening sequence is especially marked up with scratches. The rest of the movie isn't as bad as the opening titles, but there are still plenty of marks to notice. However, in every other respect, the transfer looks fine. The color reproduction is accurate, the blacks are deep, and there are no artifacts.

Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: The 5.1 audio mix on Sexy Beast is superb. First, the dialogue is nice and clear, while the surrounds get a healthy workout throughout the whole thing. The score comes through with force, and sound effects (like the boulder at the beginning) have a wonderful clarity and move around the room realistically. This is a really engaging track. There's also the option of hearing it in DD 2.0.

Audio Transfer Grade: A


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 20 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
2 Original Trailer(s)
3 Other Trailer(s) featuring Super Troopers, Waking Life, The Deep End
1 TV Spots/Teasers
1 Featurette(s)
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Ben Kingsley, Jeremy Thomas
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: Not a special edition, but not barebones, Sexy Beast has a few nice extras. There's a commentary with Kingsley and producer Jeremy Thomas that is actually somewhat disappointing, as a lot of it seems to be them complementing everyone who worked on the film. They do get in some good information, but it's mixed in with some more useless talk. There's a small featurette that goes just a little bit deeper than some Hollywood promo, but not much. Then there are two trailers, a TV spot, and three trailers for other Fox films.

Extras Grade: B-


Final Comments

Stylish, sleek, and thrilling, Sexy Beast is about all you could ask for in a gangster film. Ben Kingsley, Ray Winstone, Ian McShane, Amanda Redman and the rest of the cast make sure the film is populated with characters that the audience has an investment in, while the script keeps things moving at a fairly persistent clip. Recommended.


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