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Stormy Monday Blu-ray Review

Storm

“Stormy Monday” is engaging in parts, but a little choppy overall.

Director Mike Figgis (who is perhaps best known for helming “Leaving Las Vegas”) started his feature film career with the 1988 crime film “Stormy Weather.” Set in Newcastle, the film is an intertwined ensemble piece that revolves around a jazz club owner (Finney), a man who is working some jobs for Finney (Brendan), an unscrupulous American “businessman” (Cosmo) and a waitress/employee of Cosmo (Kate) that begins to fall for Brendan. The primary story involves Cosmo wanting to buy the jazz club from Finney by any means necessary. This is when all hell breaks loose.

Prior to this Arrow Video release, I had shockingly never heard of this Mike Figgis film that not only contains a great cast featuring Sean Bean, Tommy Lee Jones, Sting and Melanie Griffith but also cinematography by the now legendary Roger Deakins. In the first half-hour, I definitely wasn’t feeling the film as the odd editing, meandering structure, and generally slow paced start made it difficult to settle into the film. Eventually, however, the 80’s crime film starts coming alive due to its impressive visuals and, of course, notable acting. While Sting and Tommy Lee Jones both turn in fine performances, it is a young Sean Bean and a charming Melanie Griffith that steal the show here. Their chemistry and character romance is what makes the movie worthwhile.

Even though the film starts clicking for the second act and most of the third act, the ending leaves a bit to be desired. While parts of the ending are impactful and intense, it just kind of ends in an unsatisfactory manner. It feels like there should be more there than what we got. It also feels like the debut film of a director trying to find his voice. Still, for a first film, there’s a lot to admire here for fans of crime films.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? The picture appears grainy and is far from the best transfer I’ve seen, but it’s still an upgrade from DVD reality.

Audio Track: Uncompressed 2.0. How does it sound? The dialogue sounds fine but there’s an echo like quality to some of the background noises and sound f/x that is distracting.

Extras: * A booklet featuring credits and an essay by writer Mark Cunliffe. * Photo gallery. * “Stormy Monday” trailer. * “Just The Same? Stormy Monday 30 Yeas On…”- Film critic Neil Young talks about the film, shooting locations, the cast, Mike Figgis, and much more. A very informative extra. * Commentary by Damon Wise and Mike Figgis. Figgis talks quite a bit and offers up a lot of information. * DVD copy.

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August 4, 2017 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

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