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High-Rise Blu-ray Review

High-Rise Blu-ray

“High-Rise” is a mess.

In the British film “High-Rise” (which is based on the novel by J.G. Ballard), the story revolves around a Doctor (Robert Laing) who has moved into a new apartment in a towering skyscraper. While there, he encounters all sorts of people including a documentary filmmaker and his pregnant wife, a single mom, an actress, rich snobs, and the architect of the building. Unfortunately, there is great unrest in the building due to drama amongst the upper and lower class tenants. It becomes so heated, in fact, that a chaotic class war breaks out across the entire building.

Aside from his work on “Doctor Who,” I haven’t been a fan of director Ben Wheatley’s work. To me, his films are visually interesting, but I have trouble connecting with his material. The same can be said for Wheatley’s latest feature film “High-Rise.”

“High-Rise” plays like a surrealistic version of the age old Upstairs/Downstairs subgenre mixed with the work of Terry Gilliam. That may sound interesting on paper, but the end result leaves a lot to be desired. Despite Wheatley’s keen eye for visuals and world building, there is once again a disconnect to his work. The characters are not likable, the scene transitions are baffling, the editing and pacing are jarring, and the story makes little sense. All of the intriguing ideas about the class system are lost amidst poor pretentious storytelling. The story is simply not very coherent as the class war just sort of happens in a random cut to the following scene.

You may have noticed the film boasts a wonderful cast comprised of Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans, Elizabeth Moss, Reece Shearsmith, and James Purefoy, but unfortunately, they are all in a bad movie. No one gives a poor performance here as they all commit to their roles, but their talents go to waste here. They are all so much better than the material they are given.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.39:1 1080p. How does it look? The stylish visuals shine in hi-def. Honestly, they are the best part of the entire movie.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? A- worthy.

Extras:
* “High-Rise” trailer and trailers for other Magnet/Magnolia titles.
* “Building The World Of High-Rise: 70’s Style”- Ben Wheatley and others talk about the film’s style, sets, costumes, and so on.
* “Heady Special Effects”- A fetaurette that contains interviews, film clips, behind-the-scenes footage, and discussions about the f/x of the decapitated head shots.
* “Breaking Down High-Rise And Its Tenants”- Cast members talk about the story and characters of the film in this near 15 minute extra.
* “High-Rise: Bringing Ballard To The Big Screen”- A bonus feature about the film and the novel it was based on.
* A solid commentary by Tom Hiddleston, Ben Wheatley and Jeremy Thomas.

 

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August 24, 2016 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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