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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Crying Game [Blu-ray]

 

(Neil Jordan, 1992)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Palace Pictures

Video: BFI

 

Disc:

Region: 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:52:37.958

Disc Size: 44,323,034,024 bytes

Feature Size: 30,439,094,400 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.72 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: February 20th, 2017

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

The Making of the Crying Game
Audio commentary with writer and director Neil Jordon
Alternative ending with commentary by Neil Jordon (4:55)

• Northern Trouble (8:50)

Trailer 1 (1:37)

• Trailer 2 (0:54)
Illustrated booklet with new essay by film critic Ashley Clark and full credits

DVD

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: 'The Troubles' provide the backdrop for a study of sexual intrigue in this landmark British drama from director Neil Jordan (Mona Lisa, Interview with the Vampire) and producer Stephen Woolley (Carol).

When British soldier Jody (Forest Whitaker) is kidnapped by the IRA, he strikes up an unlikely friendship with his captor, Fergus (Stephen Rea). When the abduction goes awry, Fergus leaves for London where he becomes embroiled in a curious love triangle with Dil (Jaye Davidson), Jody's beautiful girlfriend.

Full of suspense, mystery and intrigue, this Academy Award-winning thriller challenged mainstream sexual sterotypes and remains a powerful and poignant exploration of gender and identity.

 

 

The Film:

Jordan's thriller hangs together at all. After the opening carnival scene, it virtually turns into a statically theatrical two-hander; then, when Fergus reaches London, both locations and focus become more diffuse as the narrative steadily winds itself up for a bloody finale. There's a problem not only in the clumsy structure, but in Jordan's determination to keep surprising us with twists. Even though the whole is never more than the sum of its parts, the film does work, raises a plethora of questions concerning loyalty, violence and the nature of desire, and is in some respects a summation of the various themes that have emerged from Jordan's work.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

When the film's subplots, all of which are germane, are stripped away, "The Crying Game" becomes a tale of a love that couldn't be but proudly is, although even this love could be a substitute for another love that never quite was.

If I sound vague, it's partly because the film's producers have pleaded with reviewers not to reveal important plot twists, and partly because Mr. Jordan's screenplay reveals itself as if it were an onion being peeled. The nubbin of onion remaining at the end is important only as a memory of the initially unviolated bulb. More from me you will not get.

The love story that dominates the film is about Fergus (Stephen Rea), a sweet-tempered, naive Irish Republican Army terrorist, and Dil (Jaye Davidson), the snappy, almost beautiful London hair stylist who captures his heart. Fergus is living in England under an assumed name after a botched kidnapping in Northern Ireland. He's lonely and haunted by the events that forced him into exile.

Excerpt from Vincent Canby at the NY Times located HERE

 

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

The Crying Game gets an impressive transfer to Blu-ray from BFI.  It is dual-layered with a high bitrate for the almost 2-hour feature. Colors are bright and true and there is no noise in the darker sequences. The 1080P supports solid contrast exhibiting healthy, rich black levels and some minor depth in the 2.39:1 frame.  It's pristinely clean showcasing some hi-def detail and there are really no flaws with the rendering. Depth is readily apparent. This Blu-ray does an excellent job on the HD video front.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The Crying Game is presented with a robust linear PCM stereo track and effects are suported with some depth. The score is by Anne Dudley (Vicky Cristina Barcelona, American History X, Tristan + Isolde.) plus Percy Sledge's When A Man Loves A Woman, Kate Robbins (for Jaye Davidson) and, separately Dave Berry and finally Boy George singing The Crying Game 'theme' composed by Geoff Stephens. It sounds excellent. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.

 

Extras :

I appreciated the audio commentary with writer and director Neil Jordon who discusses how Nicholas Ray was a big influence, the low budget and the evolution of The Crying Game to the screen. It's rewarding with some short gaps as he lets the film run. There is also a poor (VHS-quality) 5-minute alternative ending with, optional, commentary by Neil Jordon. To get the funding Jordan had to agree to change the ending of The Crying Game. A new ending was subsequently shot. After it was viewed, it was determined that the ending Mr. Jordan had originally written, was the appropriate one for the film. The filmmakers were then given the money to shoot the ending that was in the film today. This alternate ending does give some insights into the process of filmmaking and also gives us a look at The Crying Game that might have been. Northern Trouble is a 9-minute video while touring Belfast and getting some political insights from two individuals. There are also trailers and the package has an illustrated booklet with new essay by film critic Ashley Clark and full credits. NOTE: There is a 'making of' but I had trouble viewing it and have reported that to BFI.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
The Crying Game is a highly interesting film that seemed initially eclipsed by its... secret. The performances are strong and Jordan paces a solid story. This film builds really well. The BFI Blu-ray provides an excellent a/v presentation and I appreciated the commentary. This was a great film to revisit after 25 years. I don't think I ever gave it the deserved accolades. Absolutely recommended! 

Gary Tooze

February 1st, 2017


 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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