In Bruges (2008) – Blu-ray Review

in witches2008.

Directed by Martin McDonagh.
Starring Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes, Clémence Poésy and Jérémie Renier.

SYNOPSIS:

Martin McDonagh’s Excellent Contract Killer Character Study in witches comes back to Blu-ray with a new 4K transfer and a host of additional features carried over from previous editions. I think a lot of the extras were originally found on non-Region A releases, so if you’re a fan in the US, you might want to get this.

revisiting in witches For the first time in many years, one thing that struck me is that I can’t imagine a movie like this being released in theaters today. A character study with hitmen in hiding would likely end up made for a streaming service, where it would compete with a multitude of similar projects and the filmmakers would hope that social media-driven word of mouth could help it stand out from the pack. .

If you haven’t seen it before, it’s a plot summary: Ken (Brendan Gleeson) and Ray (Colin Farrell) are a pair of Irish hit men who have been sent to Bruges, a city in Belgium, by their British boss Harry. (Ralph Fiennes). There was an unfortunate result of Ray’s first strike, and he violated one of Harry’s basic principles.

Honor among mobsters may seem like a paradox, but I can appreciate Harry’s point of view, who shares the same kind of “We don’t cross this line” philosophy as someone like Don Corleone from The Godfather husbands. Furthermore, it turns out that Harry’s order for Ken to kill Ray violates one of the veteran hit man’s own principles; when Ken refuses to go through with it, Harry heads to Bruges to put his house in order.

in witches it’s the kind of movie I like to watch, in terms of baseball, as a good stuntman. It’s not flashy, and it’s not based on any major settings, but it’s a fun cat-and-mouse story riddled with religious overtones (some more obvious than others) and philosophical questions of how one adheres to a code of honor even when incurring in illicit conduct.

Kino Lorber commissioned a new 4K master that was color graded and approved by cinematographer Eigil Bryld, issuing this new version of the film on 4K UltraHD and Blu-ray. A copy of the latter was sent to me for review, and I can say that in witches it looks great on Blu-ray, so I imagine 4K is even better. I haven’t had the movie on disc before, so I don’t have anything to compare it to, but it seemed good to me. A character-driven story like this isn’t necessarily one you’ll use to show off a high-end 4K setup, and that’s okay, not every movie needs to be a great CGI spectacle.

As for the extras in this dish, I think everything here was carried over from a previous version, but I’m not 100% sure. This is what you will find:

strange witches (7.75 minutes): Writer/director Martin McDonagh and the cast talk about the city where all the action takes place (except for a flashback and a scene at Harry’s house in London). Harry compares it to a fairy tale town, a characterization Ken appreciates but Ray has a hard time understanding, and that’s the subject of this discussion. Personally, I would love to visit Bruges one day.

When in Bruges (14.5 minutes): This is another look at the city through the lens of a visit McDonagh made to Bruges several years before the film was written. He says that he found it beautiful but that he, too, was bored after a few hours of walking, and divided those two perspectives into the characters of Ken and Ray.

fucking witches (1.5 minutes): In case you’re wondering how often the city appears in dialogue during the story, here’s a montage of all those moments, along with every instance of the word “fucking,” both alone and with others, we shall say, colorful words. (And if you’re wondering how to pronounce the name, don’t worry: it’s said in the first few lines of dialogue, so you can say it correctly if someone walks into the room and asks what you’re looking at.)

A boat trip through Bruges (6 minutes): Like Venice, Bruges has many waterways, and this short video takes you through them, with text scrolling across the screen and explaining the history of a city founded in 1128. I love the deep history of many European cities, which is another reason to want to visit Bruges.

• Extended Deleted Scenes (19 minutes): Much of this consists of small character moments between Ken and Ray that were presumably cut to bolster the narrative. Unfortunately, there is no introduction or commentary explaining why these snippets were cut, and the video quality was not improved from the days of the DVD, so the footage plays in a window box.

EPK footage (12.5 minutes) – This is a batch of “fly off the wall” opening footage from the making of the Electronic Press Kit (EPK) when the film originally came out on home video.

EPK Interviews (16 minutes): Farrell, Gleeson and Fiennes, along with their co-stars Clémence Poésy, Thekla Reuten and Jordan Prentice, join McDonagh and producer Graham Broadbent for a series of thoughts on the film. I’m guessing this is all footage that didn’t fit into the previous reports.

A joke reel and the film trailer in German and English complete the dish. The Blu-ray case, which features a reversible cover, comes in a cardboard slipcase.

Flashing Myth Rating – Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★

brad cook

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