Directed by Jonathan Glazer
UK / Spain 2000

 

Riveting in his intensity, Ben Kingsley delivers "his best performance ever" (Premiere Magazine) in this high-voltage crime thriller that crackles with chilling style and wit. A savage gangster named Don Logan (Kingsley) is met with resistance when he tries to recruit a retired pal (Ray Winstone) for "one last job." But Logan just won't take no for an answer...

***

Jonathan Glazer, the award-winning director of advertisements and music videos, presents his feature film debut with this lushly photographed, expertly written, and brilliantly performed convention-defying gangster film. SEXY BEAST jettisons the slickness of the LOCK, STOCK & TWO SMOKING BARRELS school in favor of intricate character development. In its opening shot, Gary "Gal" Dove (Ray Winstone)--a big-bellied ex-gangster with a cockney accent--is sunning himself pool side at his luxe villa on Spain's Costa Del Sol when a gigantic boulder hurtles down a hillside, almost killing him. This near miss serves as a troublesome portent, but it hardly affects Gal, who is immersed in his tranquil life with wife Deedee (Amanda Redman), who he adores with earnest fervor. However, Gal's peace is soon shattered by the arrival of Don Logan (Ben Kingsley, using his shaved skull, spare frame, and ramrod posture to pose as an anti-Gandhi), a brutal former accomplice looking to recruit Gal for a heist. A battle of wills ensues when Gal refuses to leave retirement, and the frighteningly intense Don refuses to take no for an answer. Glazer expertly heightens the film's tension using shifts in the pacing and flashbacks, while Kingsley and Winstone imbue their characters with gorgeous life.  

Poster

 

Theatrical Release: September 13th, 2000 - Toronto Film Festival

 

This is the MRQE Metric score and graph for this film. The graph works on a five-point scale, from A – F. The MRQE Metric is the weighted average of a full breakdown of critical grades.

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DVD Comparison:

20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC vs. 4DVD - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. 4DVD - Region 'B' - Blu-ray RIGHT

DVD Box Cover

 

Distribution 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC 4DVD - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:28:35 1:28:17.325
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.99 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080i Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 19,571,669,180 bytes

Feature: 18,406,846,464 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.64 Mbps

Codec: VC-1

Bitrate:

Fox DVD

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Commentary: English (Dolby 2.0) DTS-HD Audio English 2046 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2046 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509
kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 448 kbps
2.0 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps
2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Subtitles English, Spanish, None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Fox

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary with Ben Kingsley and producer Jeremy Thomas
• Behind the Scenes featurette (7:37)
• Theatrical trailers


DVD Release Date:
March 12th, 2002
Keep Case
Chapters: 20

Release Information:
Studio: 4DVD

1080i Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 19,571,669,180 bytes

Feature: 18,406,846,464 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.64 Mbps

Codec: VC-1

Edition Details:

• Commentary with Ben Kingsley and producer Jeremy Thomas
• Behind the Scenes featurette (7:37)
• Theatrical trailers

Blu-ray Release Date: June 15th, 2009
Thicker UK
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 17

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: 4DVD - Region 'B' Blu-ray - June 09': Before we get into the image transfers - let's talk about Sexy Beast's aspect ratio. The US, UK and French DVDs have the film in a, somewhat cramped, 2.35:1 AR. IMDb, Amazon and a number of other sources claim it was originally (or composed for) 1.85:1. I've read online arguments going both ways - and I admittedly liked the film in 2.35 but there seems to be an inordinate amount of chopped heads at 2.35. This, of course, doesn't mean that this is 'incorrect'. You may judge for yourself by the captures below but 1.85 seems more centered to me. I'm truly non-committal - although this might end up being more of a personal choice as we would all like to see it the way it was 'meant' to be shown.

Unfortunately the new Blu-ray transfer is interlaced (1080i). I never found it problematic, in my viewing, nor saw combing or related artifacts - and the time is not 4% faster (as a PAL transfer would be). My software tells me it's 29.970 fps. Detail seems marginally improved - perhaps less so with colors - and it shows more depth than the DVD. It's a single-layered VC-1 transfer and could definitely look better I think. The Blu-ray is slightly brighter. In all honestly, despite the interlacing - it does look superior to the DVD but I suspect the aspect ratio is a more prescient issue for most folks. I found it quite a different film experience in 1.85. Along with the improved image quality - possibly a more impacting one.

  

The Blu-ray offers a DTS-HD master at over 2000 kbps but I never found it intense enough to be able to identify scene differences from the DVD's standard 5.1 - although I admit they must exist. Both editions offer optional English subtitles but DVD adds Spanish. My Momitsu tells me this release is region 'B'-locked!

These editions have the same extras - the Kingsley / Thomas commentary and the 7-minute behind the scenes SD featurette with interview tidbits from cast and crew. The Fox DVD seems to have slapped on a few more unrelated trailers.

Memorable film with Kingsley's iconic performance - perhaps the total antithesis of his Gandhi. There is still some disappointment here and the aspect ratio issue will probably prevail as the important feature, but the 4DVD Blu-ray's interlacing weakness - although it is superior to the DVD - should be unacceptable (PLEASE stop doing this!). However, IF you do feel the 1.85 is accurate then this imperfect Blu-ray is the way to go although there are obviously better reasons to indulge in a Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player.

     

Gary W. Tooze

 



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20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. 4DVD - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. 4DVD - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. 4DVD - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 

 

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Distribution 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC 4DVD - Region 'B' - Blu-ray




 

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