Title: Sexy Beast
Release Date: March 12, 2002
Running Time: approximately 89 minutes
Ten-second Rundown: A retired thief gets called back for the fabled
one last job - and the caller violently refuses to take no for an answer.
Commentary by Ben
Kingsley and Producer Jeremy Thomas
Don Logan refuses to put out his cigarette on an airplane in one of
the most quietly menacing movie moments of 2001.
Tech Specs: Widescreen,
aspect ratio 1.85:1, English Dolby DTS 5.1 surround sound, Dolby 2.0.,
English and Spanish subtitles
Type of disc: Dual Layer Format
At the Academy
Awards last month, Jim Broadbent took home the Best Supporting Actor
award, beating out Ben Kingsley, who was nominated for his role in Sexy
Beast. The Academy has committed worse crimes against movie fans,
but this one was a real shame. A decade from now, Broadbent may be remembered
for his work in other films, but people will still be talking about
Kingsley as Don Logan.
Don is perhaps
the sexy beast of the title, though the film isn't really about him.
However, it doesn't fully snap into life until he appears, and once
Kingsley has your attention, he doesn't let go.
The film begins
with Gal (Ray Winstone), a former safecracker retired from the life,
relaxing poolside in his villa in Spain. (His guttural expressions of
pleasure provide the soundtrack for the DVD menu as well.) With his
ex-pornstar wife, Gal has carved out a life of peace and happiness.
He lounges, he loves, he lives.
Soon enough that
peace is shattered by the appearance of Don, in an audacious long tracking
shot of him just walking through an airport. From the jangling pop and
the fierce gaze, we know Don is nothing but trouble.
Gal knows it, too.
They have a history together, and Don demands that it be rekindled.
Sent by London crimelord Teddy Bass (Ian McShane), Don needs to recruit
Gal for one last job. It's not that the job is that dangerous so much
as Gal considers it bad karma. Helping make his decision are night visions
of a vengeful rabbit monster determined to shatter Gal's place in the
world. Is the rabbit Don? Or is Don even more savage?
plays with that notion, sometimes a thriller, sometimes a heist film,
and sometimes even a romantic comedy. But what ties it all together
is the barking dog Don, a man who has no idea how to be happy and determined
to make sure no one around him can be happy, either. In the included
featurette, Kingsley describes Don as a Tomahawk Missile, and it's as
apt a description as any. No matter what you call it, though, it's riveting,
and that's no hype. This was the best acting job of 2001, bar none.
As a film, Sexy
Beast is riveting, one that makes it worth getting on DVD. The extras
are sparse and admittedly weak. Behind-the-scenes featurettes tend to
all blur into one; only the settings change, though the one included
here is the only place you'll hear from lead Ray Winstone and the director,
fails to hold much interest, mainly because producer Thomas has nothing
much to say beyond pointing out the obvious. Anyone who listens to commentary
already has a good conception of film; either give us great anecdotes
or tell us how amazing shots were done. Kingsley offers what he can,
but though he's an electrifying actor, he's a rather low-key man. Both
commentators stay silent for long periods of time.
Still, with a movie
this fun, who cares? Not a lot of people caught it in theatrical release,
but this is one that should have great life on video as a buried gem.
You'd do well to find out about it sooner than later.