Tuesday, March 28, 2023

I’LL SLEEP WHEN I'M DEAD (2003) (Imprint Films Blu-ray Review)

Imprint Collection #206

Label: Imprint Films 
Region Code: Region-Free
Rating: MA
Duration: 103 Minutes 
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround, LPCM 2.0 Stereo with Optional English HOH Subtitles
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (1.78:1) 
Director: Mike Hodges 
Cast: Clive Owen, Charlotte Rampling, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Malcolm McDowell

I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead (2004) comes from hard-boiled director Mike Hodges (Get Carter), it was his last film, and it stars (Clive Owen, Sin City) as Will Graham, a mysterious day laborer in rural England who has just lost his logging job due to not having the proper paperwork. We then follow a charismatic charmer named Davey (Jonathan Rhys Myers, TV's The Tudors) in the seedy Brixton area of South London, he's a handsome scamp who dabbles in petty crime and selling drugs to the wealthy, and has no problems attracting the ladies. After bedding his fashion model sex-buddy he walks home in the dark, unaware that he is being targeted. A pair of tuxedoed good emerge from a darkened alley way and drags him kicking and screaming into a nearby garage and hold him down while a man named Boad (Malcolm McDowell, A Clockwork Orange), an unsavory car salesman of all things, sodomizes him. In the aftermath Davey wanders home dazed and ashamed, draws a bath, and the next day is found dead by his mate Mickser (Jamie Foreman, Layer Cake) in the tub, dead from an apparent suicide. 

We learn that Davey was the younger brother of Will, and when he learns of his little brothers death he returns to South London, much to the chagrin of insecure mobster Frank Turner (Ken Stott, The Hobbit Trilogy), who believes that Will is back in town to reclaim his former status as the big baddie. The particulars of the story and character are drawn out slowly, this is a story that is unfolding more so than being told, as viewers were putting the pieces together, and I think that structure makes it more rewarding as we figure the moving parts out along the way. As will begins to investigate his brother's suicide in an attempt to figure out the why and who of the situation he uneasily reconnects with his former lover,
restauranter Helen (Charlotte Rampling, Orca) and his former lieutenant Mickser, who assist him on his coldly tunnel-visioned quest to avenge those who victimized his brother. 

It's a brutal, hardboiled slice of neo-noir, tautly directed and well executed on all fronts, an absolutory sublime story about the seedy underbelly of the South London crime world, particularly heinous are the nihilistic motivations of the baddie Boad. I'll Sleep When I'm dead is a cold-blooded, bare-knuckled, revenge-thriller, one I missed out on when it first arrived on the scene just over 20 years ago, so I appreciate Imprint Films for giving this it's worldwide Blu-ray debut! 

Audio/Video: I'll Sleep When I'm Dead makes it worldwide Blu-ray debut from Imprint Films in 1080p HD widescreen (1.78:1), a rock solid transfer with attractive colors and good depth and clarity. Audio comes by way of English DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround and LPCM 2.0 Stereo with optional English HOH subtitles. Both tracks are clean and well-balanced, the hypnotic score from composer Simon Fisher-Turner (Croupier) is well-served by the surround mix.  

Extras on this release include an 
Audio Commentary by director Mike Hodges and writer Trevor Preston, the Mike Hodges and I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead – documentary, Deleted Scenes (one with optional audio commentary by Mike Hodges and Trevor Peston), and the Theatrical Trailer.
The single-disc release arrives in a clear keepcase with a 2-sided, non-reversible artwork housed inside a Side-Loading Slipcase with unique artwork, which is a strictly limited edition of 1500 copies - so don't wait if you're keen to own this limited edition version.  

Special Features:
- 1080p High-definition presentation on Blu-ray
- Audio Commentary by director Mike Hodges and writer Trevor Preston
- Mike Hodges and I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead – documentary
- 2 Deleted Scenes (one with optional audio commentary by Mike Hodges and Trevor Peston)
- Theatrical Trailer
- Limited Edition slipcase on the first 1500 copies with unique artwork