Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

X (Lionsgate) Blu-ray Review

Collapse
X
Collapse
  •  
    Ian Jane
    Administrator

  • X (Lionsgate) Blu-ray Review

    Click image for larger version  Name:	cover.jpg Views:	0 Size:	28.0 KB ID:	393112

    Released by: Lionsgate
    Released on: May 24th, 2022.
    Director: Ti West
    Cast: Mia Goth, Jenna Ortega, Martin Henderson, Brittany Snow, Scott Mescudi
    Year: 2022
    Purchase From Amazon

    X – Movie Review:

    Ti West’s 2022 film, X, takes place in Texas in the year 1979 and sets things up with an obvious nod towards Tobe Hooper’s Texas Chain Saw Massacre. The home video market is just starting to pick up and a Houston strip club owner named Wayne (Martin Henderson) wants to get in on that action. To do so, he gets his cocaine loving girlfriend (Mia Goth) her fellow stripper Bobby-Lynne (Brittany Snow) to star in his effort, Farmer's Daughters, alongside stud Jackson (Scott Mescudi, better known as Kid Cudi), to be directed by film school graduate RJ (Owen Campbell) and his diminutive girlfriend Lorraine (Jenna Ortega). They all cram into a van and head out to the sticks where Wayne has rented a very rural boardinghouse to serve as their main location.

    Upon their arrival, Wayne has to meet with the owner, Howard (Stephen Ure), a senior citizen who pulls a shotgun on Wayne when he doesn’t realize who he is. They sort it out and Howard leads the crew over the boardinghouse but he knows that they’re up to something. He does request that they be discrete, as his equally aged wife, Pearl (Goth again, under a ton of makeup), is nearby and not doing well.

    The group goes ahead with their production, shooting a few sex scenes, unaware that Pearl has been spying on them all the while and knows exactly what they’re doing. This stirs something in Pearl, connecting to her own past, which turns what started off as a fun and carefree sex film shoot into something very dangerous for its cast and crew.

    X gets a lot of things right, but pacing isn’t one of them. The movie feels about twenty-minutes too long and takes its sweet time getting to the actual horror elements of the movie. Getting to that point isn’t wholly unenjoyable though, since the cast is really strong and the film’s never wants for style, but some more judicious editing could have resulted in stronger tension, especially since we know pretty early on where all of this is headed and things to get pretty predictable once the initial setup is out of the way. Still, the way that West blends slasher horror movie clichés with the ideals of early American porno filmmaking is interesting, and he does a good job of drawing parallels between what’s happening in front of RJ’s camera and what’s happening in the movie outside the shoot. You could have a lot of fun peeling back the layers of the movie and trying to get into West’s head to explore the various metaphors that exist on the screen, Lorraine’s character arc in the second part of the movie being a big one (that we won’t spoil here) and how it connects to certain slasher movie clichés involving sex and death.

    The acting is strong across the board. Goth gets the movie screen time and, as Maxine, is excellent. She looks right for the part and has the sex appeal her character needs, but also a distant sense of melancholy that suits the part. As Pearl, under a lot of makeup as mentioned, she’s also quite good but it’s so obvious that both she and co-star Stephen Ure are under all that makeup that they never feel quite real in their roles as Howard and Pearl. The rest of the cast are also solid. Henderson is completely believable as the cocky, entrepreneurial man in charge, and Owen Campbell pretty strong in his role as a fledgling filmmaker wanting to elevate a cheap XXX movie. Jenna Ortega’s acting is very good here and Scott Mescudi also does very fine work, as does Brittany Snow. There are no weak links as far as the acting goes, everyone turns in very good work.

    Production values are also strong. The movie makes great use of some interesting soundtrack selections, using everything from Chelsea Wolfe to Loretta Lynn to Rasputin Stash to, somewhat predictably though not inappropriately, Blue Oyster Cult. The cinematography is top notch and the location work also impressive (who’d have thought New Zealand would stand in for Texas as well as it does?).

    X – Blu-ray Review:

    X is presented in AVC encoded 1.90.1 1080p anamorphic widescreen. Image quality is very strong, with plenty of detail evident in pretty much every frame and good depth to the image as well. Color reproduction is strong, though keep in mind that much of the movie takes place in dimly lit, dingy interiors or outdoors at night. Regardless, the transfer on this disc is good in that it replicates the look that the filmmakers were going for. The disc is well authored and nicely reproduces the movie's rather subdued color scheme quite well. There aren't any problems with compression artifacts to note and the image is as spotless as you’d expect it to be, though there are a few scenes that we see through the lens of the 16mm camera used to shoot the adult movie inherent to the plot that are understandably presented to look like grubby, grainy dirty movie footage.

    The only audio mix on this disc is an English language 24-bit DTS-HD 5.1 track, subtitles are provided in English and Spanish. From the opening sounds of the music through to the darker bits of the score used in the later part of the movie, it all sounds quite clear and quite good. We get plenty of depth and range up front throughout, with rear channel activity is used sometimes rather subtly to help build atmosphere. The track is well balanced and easy enough to listen to. The sound effects in particular sound quite good, while the dialogue is always very easy to understand.

    There are a few featurettes included on the disc, starting with That X Factor which is a collection of eleven minutes of interview and behind the scenes footage showing off what it was like on set and some of the key moments from the movie being made. Ti West talks about the challenges inherent in making a movie like X, trying to figure out how to take low brow sex and violence and do something more high-brow with it, how porn levelled the playing field for people to get into moviemaking. Jenna Ortega talks about what drew her to the project. Owen Campbell covers how West wanted the movie to be a love letter to film and the parallels between early horror and genre filmmaking with the porno movie industry. Mia Goth talks about her appreciation for West's work and her thoughts on the script as well as the what it was like playing two roles in the movie. Brittany Snow talks about the shock value in the film and why she took the part. Scott Mescudi talks about what drew him to the movie and working with West and the cast. Stephen Ure talks about the look of the film. It's interesting enough to be worth a watch.

    The Farmer's Daughters is a collection of five minutes of extended material from the 'film within a film' footage used in the movie. There's also a quick minute and a half time lapse clip of Mia Goth getting into the old lady makeup to turn her into Maxine which is pretty cool to see.

    Finishing up the extras on the disc are previews for a few other A24 releases, menus and chapter selection options.

    The Blu-ray comes packaged with a DVD version of the movie as well as an insert sheet containing a code redeemable for a downloadable HD version of the movie. Lionsgate also packages this release with a slipcover.

    X - The Final Word:

    X is a little longer than it needs to be and at times falls prey to some of the slasher movie clichés that it tries to tackle, but the production values are strong and the performances pretty much excellent across the board. Not a perfect film, but an interesting one made with plenty of style. Lionsgate’s Blu-ray release looks and sounds great and while it isn’t loaded with extras, the behind the scenes piece is worth checking out.

    Click on the images below, or right click and open in a new window, for full sized X Blu-ray screen caps!

    Click image for larger version  Name:	01.jpg Views:	0 Size:	303.3 KB ID:	393116

    Click image for larger version  Name:	02.jpg Views:	0 Size:	292.6 KB ID:	393115

    Click image for larger version  Name:	03.jpg Views:	0 Size:	367.8 KB ID:	393127

    Click image for larger version  Name:	04.jpg Views:	0 Size:	331.6 KB ID:	393117

    Click image for larger version  Name:	05.jpg Views:	0 Size:	296.8 KB ID:	393126

    Click image for larger version  Name:	06.jpg Views:	0 Size:	233.7 KB ID:	393125

    Click image for larger version  Name:	07.jpg Views:	0 Size:	212.6 KB ID:	393120

    Click image for larger version  Name:	08.jpg Views:	0 Size:	366.6 KB ID:	393119

    Click image for larger version  Name:	09.jpg Views:	0 Size:	195.2 KB ID:	393124

    Click image for larger version  Name:	11.jpg Views:	0 Size:	203.7 KB ID:	393123

    Click image for larger version  Name:	12.jpg Views:	0 Size:	117.1 KB ID:	393118

    Click image for larger version  Name:	13.jpg Views:	0 Size:	188.3 KB ID:	393122

    Click image for larger version  Name:	14.jpg Views:	0 Size:	223.8 KB ID:	393113

    Click image for larger version  Name:	15.jpg Views:	0 Size:	241.0 KB ID:	393114
    Ian Jane
    Administrator
    Last edited by Ian Jane; 05-24-2022, 10:09 AM.
      Posting comments is disabled.

    Latest Articles

    Collapse

    • The Return Of Captain Invincible (Severin Films) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Severin Films
      Released on: July 26th, 2022.
      Director: Philippe Mora
      Cast: Alan Arkin, Christopher Lee, Kate Fitzpatrick, Bill Hunter, Michael Pate
      Year: 1983
      Purchase From Amazon

      The Return Of Captain Invincible – Movie Review:

      A black and white prologue lets us know what a big deal the Superman-esque super hero named Captain Invincible (Alan Arkin) was back in the thirties and forties. We see news reels showing off
      ...
      06-29-2022, 05:57 PM
    • The Necro Files (Visual Vengeance) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Visual Vengeance
      Released on: July 19th, 2022.
      Director: Matt Jaissle
      Cast: Steve Sheppard, Gary Browning, Christian Curmudgeon, Jason McGee
      Year: 1997
      Purchase From Amazon

      The Necro Files – Movie Review:

      When Matt Jaissle’s 1997 epic, The Necro Files, opens, a couple of cops - Detective Martin Manners (Steve Sheppard) and Detective Orville Sloane (Gary Browning) – are trying to stop a vicious rapist/serial killer
      ...
      06-29-2022, 02:35 PM
    • Horror High / Stanley (Vinegar Syndrome) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
      Released on: May 27th, 2022.
      Director: Larry N. Stouffer/ William Grefé
      Cast: Pat Cardi, Austin Stoker, Rosie Holotik, Chris Robinson, Alex Rocco, Steve Alaimo, Susan Carroll
      Year: 1973/1972
      Purchase From Amazon

      Horror High / Stanley – Movie Review:

      Vinegar Syndrome’s Drive-In Collection makes a long overdue return with this special edition double feature Blu-ray release of Crown International regional
      ...
      06-27-2022, 05:05 PM
    • Red Lips (Saturn’s Core) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Saturn’s Core
      Released on: June 28th, 2022.
      Director: Donald Farmer
      Cast: Ghetty Chasun, Michelle Bauer, Danny Fendley, Mandy Leigh
      Year: 1995
      Purchase From Amazon

      Red Lips – Movie Review:

      Somewhere, two 90s Goth gals are making out. They get baked and make out some more, it's pretty graphic but not quite hardcore. The Gothiest of the two, wearing a choker, then bites the other, her victim’s blood turning her lips
      ...
      06-27-2022, 04:46 PM
    • Escape The Field (Lionsgate) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Lionsgate
      Released on: June 21st, 2022.
      Director: Emerson Moore
      Cast: Shane West, Theo Rossie, Jordan Claire Robbins, Tahirah Sharif, Elan Juatco
      Year: 2022
      Purchase From Amazon

      Escape The Field – Movie Review:

      Directed by Emerson Moore, who co-wrote with Sean Wathen and Joshua Dobkin, 2022's Escape The Field not surprisingly takes place... in a field. A corn field, to be specific. Here a woman named Sam (Jordan Claire
      ...
      06-22-2022, 05:26 PM
    • The Brain From Planet Arous (The Film Detective) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: The Film Detective
      Released on: June 21st, 2022.
      Director: Nathan Juran
      Cast: John Agar, Joyce Meadows, Thomas Browne Henry, Robert Fuller
      Year: 1957
      Purchase From Amazon

      The Brain From Planet Arous – Movie Review:

      Directed by Nathan Juran and released in 1957, The Brain From Planet Arous tells us what happens when a giant floating brain from outer space decides it wants to take over our planet. After it initially
      ...
      06-20-2022, 02:11 PM
    Working...
    X