Blu-ray Review: HIGH-RISE

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HIGH-RISE is based on the critically-acclaimed novel by J.G. Ballard. The movie was directed by Ben Wheatley and stars Tom HiddlestonJeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans and Elisabeth Moss.

High-Rise stars Tom Hiddleston as Dr. Robert Laing, the newest resident of a luxurious apartment in a high-tech concrete skyscraper whose lofty location places him amongst the upper class. Laing quickly settles into high society life and meets the building’s eccentric tenants: Charlotte (Sienna Miller), his upstairs neighbor and bohemian single mother; Wilder (Luke Evans), a charismatic documentarian who lives with his pregnant wife Helen (Elisabeth Moss); and Mr. Royal  (Jeremy Irons), the enigmatic architect who designed the building. Life seems like paradise to the solitude-seeking Laing. But as power outages become more frequent and building flaws emerge, particularly on the lower floors, the regimented social strata begins to crumble and the building becomes a battlefield in a literal class war.

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The story for this apocalyptic sci-fi thriller was intriguing and fascinating to say the least. Besides dealing with the apocalypse in a strange and unique way, the movie is also a dark character study that’s very well crafted. We watch these interesting characters slowly turn into complete psychopaths and animals as their world crumbles down around them. It’s the rich against the poor in this survival of the sanest showdown! Ben Wheatley does a great job capturing all of this chaos as well as sneak in some shots of small things like the produce spoiling inside the supermarket that is actually inside this “luxurious” building. The signs are all around that things are heading south if you can catch them all! Watch out for flickering lights, strange visions, and odd behavior! It’s like the people are also deteriorating along with the world. Now to this lavish and posh location that all of this craziness takes place in. The impressive building itself plays an important part in the story and is really a character itself.

We get plenty of apocalyptic movies but none quite like this bizarre piece of work. The cast assembled here was spot on. Tom Hiddleston’s character starts out as this normal doctor but once he moves into this building that has pretty much everything he needs without leaving, he slowly starts to change as the world around him rots. Sienna Miller does a great job as the attractive love interest Charlotte who is probably the most grounded in the building even though she comes with a little baggage. She doesn’t handle parenthood very well because she’d rather be partying! Luke Evan’s character Wilder is a wild man that grows more out of control as everything around him falls apart. He’s another subliminal sign! Elisabeth Moss’s pregnant character Helen is also grounded and unfortunately can’t participate in the extracurricular activities that her hubby Wilder takes center stage in. She makes up for it by chain smoking! Jeremy Irons’ character Mr. Royal is the man behind the building. He’s a rich snob who has it all plus he has a touch of bully to him. Just ask his wife!

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The packaging comes with a slipcover. The front features the artwork you see up top and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The Blu-ray disc also features matching artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, High-Rise wasn’t quite what I thought it was going to be but it was still a fascinating and bizarre watch that’s something original as far as apocalyptic movies go. It’s a dark and twisted character study that’s so well executed. Once again, the story was intriguing and fascinating and Ben Wheatley was able to capture the insanity of it all. The cast was amazing and Tom Hiddleston did a great job with this likable character that simply gets caught up in the insanity as his world falls apart. His character literally goes crazy by the end of the movie and joins the apocalyptic after party full blast. But he’s a survivor! This sci-fi thriller has this whole 70’s vibe going on with some of the characters but I think it’s set in present day. Maybe? It’s kind of like a mixture of decades with the end result being this full blown psychedelic acid trip. Not that I’d know what an acid trip feels like. This Blu-ray is available now and definitely worth checking out.

Distributor: Magnet Releasing

Run Time: 120 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition 16×9 Widescreen (2.39:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish

Special Features: Good Stuff! The extras include some audio commentary with some of the cast and crew, four behind-the-scenes featurettes and the trailer.

  • Commentary With Actor Tom Hiddleston, Director Ben Wheatley, And Producer Jeremy Thomas
  • Building The World Of High-Rise: 70’s Style
  • Heady Special Effects
  • Breaking Down High-Rise & Its Tenants
  • High-Rise: Bringing Ballard To The Big Screen
  • Theatrical Trailer

 

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