PictureThe Business smuggles it's way into your living rooms on BluRay at a theatrically correct 2.35:1 using the MPEG-4/AVC codec and lovingly saturated at 1080p. If the film is not to your liking then there's really nothing you can take away from the video presentation and it is indeed a shining example of what can be done with new high definition video cameras. Like The Football Factory Love and director of photography Damian Bromley used the Sony HDFW900 HDCAM to great effect here with purposely shot scenes and colour pallet.
The colours are wonderfully presented with stark greys from the miserable London estates through to the incredibly saturated yet never wavering deep primaries of the sun drenched scenes set in Spain. Similarly once our anti heroes embark upon their downward spiral even in Spain these colours become less saturated, more drab perfectly preserving from a look and feel point of view how the actual story is progressing. Those colours though in the Costa Del Sol literally leap off the screen, bright, vibrant and incredibly deep in tone, as mentioned before there's no sense of bleed even in these overtly saturated scenes and it does present a very good image indeed.
Being shot on HD means there's no trace of grain, even in the darker scenes of the Charlie's Bar or some outside night shots and no hint of any encoding errors whatsoever. There's no banding on show from the wonderfully bright skies, no blocking and no enhancement on show even on the distant hilltops starkly contrasted against those bright skies.
Contrast is acceptable enough with good gamma however the blacks are not the best I have seen never really becoming truly inky in appearance. There's still good detail on show during these scenes and an incredible amount of detail in other areas such as the bar, the quarry where they test fire their weapons, the coves, the living rooms, the shopping trip Frankie and Carly embark upon. That being said though I found the frame surprisingly flat, a little 2-dimensional and not offering the best pop factor that some recent discs have exhibited. Nevertheless this is still a damn good disc from a visual point of view.
SoundThere's a couple of English tracks to take advantage of here, a full on DTS-HD MA 5.1 and a bog standard DTS 5.1 system. The latter is enjoyable enough, deep and ranging but it does miss out on the full MA variety on a number of marks. It seems a little weaker, there's slightly less definition and depth. The MA track though is a thunderous affair.
Dialogue (which this film is not about) is still perfectly preserved, centred crisp and detailed even from the warehouse used for packaging the marijuana so there's no harm done there. This film though rests on certain set scenes and during these scenes the audio like the video before it delivers in spades. The Eighties score is incredibly detailed and that Welcome to the Pleasure Dome track only bettered by the SACD I have here in my collection. Every other track on offer have to be the best I have ever heard them; they offer width and depth to the track, rich and detailed in their execution.
Tonal range is good from the low bass effects from some of the songs, boats, planes and gunfire to the higher, crisper shattering glass for example. LFE is good but at times strays a little when not needed, the fly by scenes of small aircraft over the orange grove for instance, the bass seems to go on for longer than is necessary; it's not quite as tight as it perhaps could have been. The LFE is deep but again not quite as chest thumping as some more modern day releases. By all means there's no copious explosions or jumbos taking off but still it could have been a little deeper.
Steerage at the fronts and to the rears is well timed with traffic and aircraft providing the majority of these effects with some gunfire thrown in for good measure. Ambiance is catered for at the club where there's a wall of sound emanating from every which way, in the outdoors some creature effects, crickets, provide the ambiance for us. All in all a good track with a few anomalies but nothing major which by themselves become distracting.
- Commentary with Nick Love and Danny Dyer.
Well listen to the first ten seconds of this commentary and you know what's in store for you for the rest of the track. If it wasn't for reviewing then I can honestly say that I would probably not have reached the end. It does concern itself a little with some production and casting but in the main it's a rather messy testosterone fuelled masochistic affair preferring to indicate who they would rather get off with as opposed to discussing any technical merits of the film. The two guys get on pretty well but really leave it at home guys, a commentary needs to be a little more professional than this.
- The Business - Making Of - 0:27:01 - 1080i/MPEG4-AVC
Nick Love, cast members and some crew detailing their experiences on making this film. Love detailing his experiences of the Eighties, obviously a decade he enjoyed, and how he was able to take those memories and incorporate them into this feature. There's not a lot of technical information in here apart from what Eighties icons to incorporate and what to leave out, just the main players saying how much they enjoyed doing this shoot. Copious use of the F and C words with Danny Dyer walking into one shot with his member hanging out. Class guys, class!
- Deleted Scenes - 0:13:48 - 1080i/MPEG4-AVC
A collection of scenes which never made it to the final print. No individual access, they just play back to back. An introduction to others gangsters which were holed up in Spain, Sammy suggesting further lookouts for their smuggling operations, Carly doing some shopping. As is the case with most, but not all, deleted scenes their final resting place on the 'cutting' room floor is the best place for this short collection.
- Alternative Ending - 0:01:30 - 1080i/MPEG4-AVC
As the name suggests but not a lot to see here of any merit.
- Production Designs.
Some still images created for setting the style of the movie. Standard remote navigation.
- Photography Gallery
Images from the final film.
- Trailer - 0:02:01 - 1080i/MPEG4/AVC
As the name suggests.
The extras contain all the usual basic sections that we've become used to over the years; these are neither thin on the ground not over excessive. However within these sections there's not a lot of good information in there, I could have done away with the excessive language; it's fine for a film if needed, it doesn't have any place in a commentary to this degree I think. That aside, objectively, it's still not up there with some better packages out there.
VerdictA guilty pleasure of sorts but really only because of a couple of scenes and a full on, deep soundtrack which I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed. If it wasn't for that soundtrack though and I hadn't been given this to review then there is no way I would have finished watching this film.
The plot was pretty narrow stealing whole sections from earlier better versions. I never enjoyed the characters, their interaction or the reasons for progressing from one adventure to another. As a package it's a wonderful example of what you can do with some high definition cameras, the audio mix is a belter and not just for the Eighties tracks populating this feature from start to finish.
Prior to watching this I was looking forward at some point to catching The Football Factory, but now I think I'll wait a while. This just isn't for me, it's good to see some British actors walk into scene after scene but I enjoy watching better features than this. Rental at best I feel.
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- Commentary with Nick Love and Danny Dyer.