Twilight Time has released the acclaimed Sexy Beast as a limited edition (3,000 units) Blu-ray edition. The film is regarded by many as a modern day classic of the British crime genre and while it may not equal the impact of Brit gangster flicks from bygone eras like Get Carter and The Long Good Friday, the movie stands head and shoulders above most of the dumbed-down, similarly-themed movies of more recent years. Ray Winstone stars as Gary 'Gal' Dove, a one time heist artist who is now comfortably retired in a remote Spanish villa living the good life from his ill-gotten gains. He and his wife (Amanda Redman) are enjoying their middle-aged years partying hearty with another married couple (Cavan Kendall, Julianne White) with whom they enjoy an almost inseparable relationship. Into every life a little rain must fall, however, and in their case it comes in the form of a human hurricane named Don Logan. As played by Ben Kingsley in one of his most revered performances, Logan is a terrifying figure even before we see him. When the couples learn that Logan is en route to see them, the sheer terror on their faces tell us all we need to know about this crime kingpin. When Logan does arrive, he is arrogant, irrational, sex-crazed and unpredictable-- friendly one moment and threatening the next. He orders 'Gal' to return to London to help orchestrate one more heist. When 'Gal' objects, Logan becomes completely unhinged and wreaks havoc on the close-knit group of friends. As played by Kingsley, Logan is easily one of the more memorable villains in recent screen history, a totally psychotic character whose unpredictable nature and vile mannerisms make him mesmerizing to watch. Kingsley so dominates the film that it's easy to overlook the brilliant performances of the other cast members, which includes Ian McShane as another London mobster who is part of the caper. Winstone is particularly impressive here and his scenes with Kingsley tingle with real tension.
Director Jonathan Glazer made a promising directorial debut with this film. The fact that he hasn't had any other major successes is somewhat frustrating because the man shows a flair for a unique visual style. The cinematography threatens to become a bit too pretentiously artsy at times but there is no doubt that the film contains many haunting scenes. Likewise, although the story relies on dialogue rather than violence, Glazer's penchant for fast-cutting and jumping back and forth in time can be a bit distracting. Nevertheless, this is a bold reinvention of a time-worn genre and Sexy Beast is well worth a look.
Bonus extras include a commentary track by Ben Kingsley and producer Jeremy Thomas, a short production featurette, a trailer and and isolated score track.