One of the pleasures of reviewing so many Blu-Ray discs is simply discovering, and enjoying, movies that we would otherwise have never seen. Sugarhouse is one such movie - at least in terms of we would likely never see it without this disc dropping in through the postbox recently. With Andy Serkis starring in this movie we were keen to have a look at his post Lord of the Rings work. The question remains, did we enjoy this release?
Tom is a middle-class city boy whose life has reached breaking point. D is a young crack head. He is smart and witty yet desperate. Tom is completely out of his depth when he finds himself in D's abandoned warehouse attempting to do a "deal" with the energetic, volatile drug addict. The two enter into an irrational, deadly game of cat and mouse. The tense drama escalates when psychotic local crime lord Hoodwink (Andy Serkis) wakes to find his snub nose gun missing.
The three lead actors in this movie are moderately impressive for varying reasons. We all know Andy Serkis as Gollum from the Lord of the Rings movies but he's bad-assed in this movie (and not just because of his naked, tattoo covered body you see in the opening!). You know he's trouble right from the outset, and indeed as the movie progresses that psychopathic side becomes more and more evident. Another impressive performance comes via Steven Mackintosh is solid as Top but it's Ashley Walters as the crazy crack head that steals the show. Sadly this movie can't be saved by the performances. There are no interesting locations, no major action sequences, a storyline that doesn't really go too far and characters that you'll struggle to connect with.
Sorry to say but this movie really didn't do much for me at all. It seems to try too hard to be bad, despite the generally impressive performances on offer. I've sat through this movie, watched it, but would be unlikely to return for a second helping.
Don't get me wrong, this disc certainly offers an improvement over the DVD release due to the 1080p resolution and is the preferred of the two, but it simply doesn't stack up next to other big Blu-Ray releases, nor other Eagle Entertainment releases either.
As with pretty much every Eagle Entertainment Blu-Ray we've seen to date this disc comes with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track (24-bit/48Khz). It's not exactly the most lively of movies we've heard. It's very dialogue driven, with plenty of swearing and thick British accents. Almost no music - actually I don't even really recall any at all! - and there are pretty much no sound effects to shake your room - no explosions, gunshots, and some very brief violence. Fortunately what is here is solid, and the dialogue is clear to understand at all times.
This disc also includes a Dolby Digital 5.1 track encoded at 640kbps. It's a pretty good effort in itself and given that the HD track doesn't really offer anything outstanding this is a pretty good replacement if you can't play back the HD audio. Sadly there are no subtitle tracks on this disc which is disappointing.
"Welcome to My Goth" - set tour with "D" (13:37): A fairly entertaining look around the set with "D". The actor stays in character, and it's moderately entertaining, especially when he finds some set lights and then people walking around on set.
Cast & Crew Interviews (12:45): Interviews with Director Gary Love and actors Steven Mackintosh, Ashley Walters and Andy Serkis.
Image Gallery: 12, not too exciting still images.
Review By: Dave Warner