Written by: Michael Den Boer on July 24th, 2017
BluRay released: July 10th, 2017 (UK), July 18th, 2017 (USA)
Approximate running time: 93 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: 15 (UK), R (USA)
Sound: LPCM Stereo English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Arrow Video USA
Region Coding: Region A,B / Region 1,2 NTSC
Retail Price: $29.95 (USA) / £14.99 (UK)
Stormy Monday was the directional debut of Mike Figgis, who would go onto write and direct the academy award winning film Leaving Las Vegas. Besides directing Stormy Monday, he would also write the film’s screenplay score.
The cinematographer on Stormy Monday was Roger Deakins, who is most known for his collaborations with the Cohen Brothers. Other notable films that he has worked as a cinematographer on include, Marquis de Sade’s Justine, 1984 and Sid and Nancy.
At the heart of this film is a tale rooted in corruption that features all the ingredient’s one would want and expect from crime themed drama. With the most surprising aspect of this film’s narrative being the way in which it allows the relationships of its key characters to drive the story at hand. And nowhere is this more evident than, when it comes to Brendan and Kate’s romance that finds itself at constant odds with the conflict between the other people in their lives.
The characters are well defined and the cast are all very good in their respective roles. With this film’s most memorable performance being James Cosmo (Highlander) in the role of Tony, an enforcer who has been hired by the ruthless American Businessman to remove anyone who stand in his way to achieving his goal. Other notable cast members include, Melanie Griffith (Body Double) in the role of Kate, Sean Bean (Ronin) in the role of Brendan, Sting (Brimstone & Treacle) in the role of a nightclub owner named Finny who refuses to sell his property and Tommy Lee Jones (Natural Born Killers) in the role of a ruthless American businessman named Cosmos.
And not to be overlooked are this film’s Neo-Noir infused visuals which do an exceptional job setting and maintaining this film’s foreboding mood. Standout moments visually include, the scene where Tony’s play to strong arm Finny is foiled and his arm is broken in response to his actions. Other standout moments include, a scene where Brendan and Kate are ambushed in the rain by two thugs sent by Cosmos to teach them a lesson and the film’s very satisfying nerve wracking ending.
Stormy Monday comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The HD transfer for this release was supplied by Pretty Pictures and it should be noted that the source of this transfer dates back to 2010. With that being said, the end result is a very good transfer that does a great job retaining this film’s intended look. Colors and flesh look accurate and though black levels fare well, grain looks more pronounced during darker moments.
This release comes with one audio option, a LPCM stereo mix in English and included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles. Range wise this audio does a very good job when it comes to the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack and the film’s score sounds robust when it needs too. Dialog always comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced.
Extras for this release include, an image gallery, a trailer for the film (1 minute 29 seconds), a video appreciation by critic Neil Young titled Just the Same? Stormy Monday 30 Years on… (33 minutes 15 seconds) and an audio commentary with screenwriter / director Mike Figgis and moderated by critic Damon Wise.
Topics discussed in the extra titled Just the Same? Stormy Monday 30 Years on… include, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and information about various other films shot there, information about locations featured in Stormy Monday, the cast, Roger Deakins / the visuals, his thoughts about Stormy Monday and other production related topics.
Topics discussed in the audio commentary include, the origins of the film, the cast, the score / B.B. King and the film he performed for the end credits, how the film’s original titled was Round Midnight, what he was trying to achieve as a filmmaker with Stormy Midnight, Roger Deakins / the visuals, his creative process as a filmmaker, onset memories and critics reaction to the film.
Rounding out the extras is a reversible cover art and a sixteen-page booklet with cast & crew information, an essay titled Mike Figgis: Renaissance Man written by Mark Cunliffe and information about the transfer. Also, included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo. Overall Stormy Monday gets a strong release from Arrow Video.