Blu-ray Review: SWEET VIRGINIA

SWEET VIRGINIA, was directed by Jamie M. Dagg from a screenplay by Paul China and Benjamin China and stars Jon Bernthal, Christpher Abbott, Imogen Poots, Rosemarie DeWitt, Odessa Young, Jonathan Tucker, Joseph Lyle Taylor and Gary Chalk.

A mysterious stranger sends shockwaves through a close-knit community in this nerve-jangling slice of raw suspense. In the wake of a triple murder that leaves the residents of a remote Alaskan outpost on edge, tightly wound drifter Elwood (Christopher Abbott) checks into a motel run by Sam (Jon Bernthal), a former rodeo champion whose imposing physical presence conceals a troubled soul. Bound together by their outsider status, the two men strike up an uneasy friendship—a dangerous association that will set off a new wave of violence and unleash Sam’s darkest demons.

Sweet Virginia takes place in a small Alaskan town. The opening scene shows Elwood murder three men in a closed bar/diner. Here’s what’s going on. Lila (Imogen Poots) is the one who hired Elwood to kill her no-good husband but unfortunately Bernadette’s (Rosemarie DeWitt) husband was one of the other two men who were shot down in cold blood. The ruthless killer simply decided to take them all out since the others just happened to be there. So, Elwood decides to get a room at the local motel that’s run by Sam while he waits on the money that Lila promised him. Elwood is already an unstable psychopath and with each backwards step he gets worse as the movie plays out.

Here’s how good ole Sam plays a part in this tangled web. He’s easy going, so much so that he takes crap from a few people he shouldn’t. He also happens to be connected to Lila and Bernadette so as you can see this is one vicious circle at play here. What happens is, Lila finds out that her husband was broke and didn’t leave her anything in his will so she doesn’t have the money to pay Elwood who doesn’t handle this very well at all. He ends up finding out that Bernadette has a little money stashed so he decides to rob her. This also doesn’t go as planned and ends up back firing on the crazy killer because once Sam finds out what has happened, he avenges his close friend and puts a stop to Elwood’s violent rampage before he can hurt anyone else. By the way, Sweet Virginia is the name of the motel.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/o-card. The front features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and specs. The reverse sleeve features some alternate artwork and movie credits. The Blu-ray disc also features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for the high-definition disc were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Sweet Virginia ended up being an intense thriller that features a good story and interesting characters. The movie has a touch of slow burn to it, but as the suspense builds and everything plays out, things definitely pick up. The two standout performances in Sweet Virginia are Jon Bernthal who plays this likable good guy type who has ended up a physically broken man and then there’s Christopher Abbott who really sells it as this psychologically unstable man who just gets worse as the movie plays out. Director Jamie M. Dagg was able to capture these intense performances that helps give this movie such a moody and atmospheric vibe. All of these characters are connected in some way and as their story plays out the viewer gets to witness some violent justice served. Sweet Virginia will be available on Blu-ray on April 3rd.

Distributor: Shout! Factory and IFC Films

Run Time: 93 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (2.40:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0

Subtitles: English and Spanish

Special Features:

  • Trailer (01:58)



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