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Simon Kaijser
Guy Pearce, Pierce Brosnan, Minnie Driver
Writing Credits:
Matthew Aldrich

A married professor known for his many affairs with students becomes the prime suspect when a young woman goes missing.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 100 min.
Price: $21.99
Release Date: 6/26/2018

• Audio Commentary with Director Simon Kaijser
• “Inside Spinning Man” Featurette
• 5 Deleted Scenes
• Previews & Trailer


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Spinning Man [Blu-Ray] (2018)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 21, 2018)

Pearce and Pierce – together for the first time! Yeah, that’s a lousy opening, but hey, when you need to write 400 intros a year, you get a little desperate.

2018’s Spinning Man introduces us to Evan Birch (Guy Pearce), a married college professor who occasionally enjoyed romantic affairs with female students. His wife Ellen (Minnie Driver) knows of his extramarital dalliances but the pair tries to work through these issues.

When student Joyce Bonner (Odeya Rush) goes missing, he comes under the eye of Detective Malloy (Pierce Brosnan). While the investigation deepens, Evan’s unfaithful past comes back to haunt him, as even Ellen starts to question his innocence.

All of that sounds like the makings of a decent – if not especially original – thriller, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, Spinning Man takes a drowsy path to take us on an unsatisfying journey.

I should probably respect the manner in which Spinning approaches its subject, as it attempts something a bit deeper than the average “whodunnit”. In particular, the film deals with the subjective nature of memory, a factor that opens up potential intrigue via the battling perspectives.

Unfortunately, this theme does nothing more than render the tale inert. Rather than add meaning to the proceedings, the memory-related elements simply slow down the pace and make it meandering and dull.

Rather than find a narrative-driven thriller, we mainly just watch Evan as he wanders around in a vaguely confused state. These moments lollygag and add little depth, so the film doesn’t go down an interesting path.

It also comes with a painfully ineffective climax. No, I don’t demand a big, bombastic finale, but the conclusion of Spinning feels wholly unsatisfying, as it seems likely to leave the viewer annoyed more than anything else.

Spinning Man simply lacks the substance and story oomph that it needs. Instead, it provides a sluggish character tale without much meat.

The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio B-/ Bonus B-

Spinning Man appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though not great, the image was more than watchable.

For the most part, sharpness worked fine, but exceptions concerned. These occurred mainly during interiors, as those could be a little soft. Still, most of the film brought out satisfactory delineation.

I saw no signs of jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge haloes failed to interfere with the presentation. Print flaws also created no concerns.

As much as I whine about the use of teal in modern films, I didn’t come prepared for the palette of Spinning Man. It used a blue-green tint to an absurd degree, as this tone overwhelmed the entire film. While the Blu-ray reproduced the hues as intended, I still find myself put off by the ugliness of these choices – there’s really no logical or sensible reason for the movie to come with this color scheme.

Blacks looked deep and dark, while shadows worked fine. Some low-light shots felt a bit murky, but those issues related more to the dingy nature of the teal palette. This was never an especially attractive image, but it remained satisfactory.

I felt the same way about the film’s generally satisfying DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack. Given the movie’s chatty nature, the soundscape lacked a lot of breadth, so don’t expect a lot of involvement from the mix.

Still, the track came to life acceptably well when necessary. Music showed good stereo spread, and effects added a nice sense of the environment, with a bit more activity as necessary. For instance, storms or dream sequences delivered a reasonably engaging soundfield.

Audio quality worked fine, with speech that came across as distinctive and natural. Music showed nice range as well.

As noted, effects didn’t get a lot to do, but they felt accurate and well-defined. This turned into a perfectly acceptable mix for a dialogue-oriented thriller.

With that we head to the set’s extras and an audio commentary from director Simon Kaijser. He offers a running, screen-specific look at story and characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, music, editing and related domains.

Kaijser provides a fairly meat and potatoes commentary. He covers the requisite topics but I can’t claim he brings tons of insight along the way. The track merits a listen but it doesn’t excel.

Inside Spinning Man runs 12 minutes, 12 seconds and provides notes from Kaijser, author George Harrar, co-writer Matthew Aldrich, and actors Guy Pearce, Pierce Brosnan, Minnie Driver, and Jamie Kennedy.

“Inside” discusses story/characters, cast and performances, and Kaijser’s approach to the material. The show includes a few decent insights but largely feels promotional.

Five Deleted Scenes span a total of four minutes, 23 seconds. The only major note found here comes from the discovery of the missing girl’s body, and it seems unnecessary, as we don’t need to actually see this event.

The other four scenes veer toward minor character exposition. None of them offer much of value.

The disc opens with ads for Acts of Violence, The Commuter, Unlocked, Bent and Black Butterfly. We also get a trailer for Spinning Man.

Though I respect attempts to make Spinning Man a different kind of crime thriller, the end result lacks sizzle. It tends to plod along a dull path toward a disappointing finale. The Blu-ray brings largely positive picture and audio as well as a handful of supplements. Despite its potential, Spinning Man fizzles.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 3
0 3:
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