Jun 162018
 

Spinning Man, while imperfect, does at least try something new to the sometimes tired crime-thriller genre, taking viewers away from the investigation aspects and looking into the lives, and particularly mind, of a prime suspect and his devolution.

 

Spinning Man
(2018)

Genre(s): Suspense/Thriller, Crime
Lionsgate | R – 101 min. – $21.99 | June 26, 2018

Date Published: 06/16/2018 | Author: The Movieman


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: Simon Kaijser
Writer(s): George Harrar (book); Matthew Aldrich (screenplay)
Cast: Guy Pearce, Pierce Brosnan, Minnie Driver, Jamie Kennedy, Alexandra Shipp, Clark Gregg, Odeya Rush
DISC INFO:
Features: Commentary, Featurette, Deleted Scenes, Trailer
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Disc Size: NA
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

Lionsgate provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.


THE MOVIE — 3.75/5


“What you believe, what you know, is all how you spin it.”

Spinning Man actually is an interesting twist of the typical crime-thriller. On the surface it looks like any other mystery movie that has come down the pike, particularly in the direct-to-video realm, more often than not copycats of Criminal Minds. But this one takes a unique turn, making it more of a truly psychological thriller, examining the psyche of the main character.

The plot revolves around the disappearance of teenager Joyce Bonner (ODEYA RUSH) being investigated by Detective Malloy (PIERCE BROSNAN) and suspect number one, thanks to an eyewitness who saw his vehicle nearby Bonner’s workplace, is family man and college professor Evan Birch (GUY PEARCE). Birch, though, is a complicated man and someone who has lapses in memory, familiar territory for the Memento actor.

Despite denying any involvement, soon his own wife (MINNIE DRIVER) begins to suspect something is wrong especially with her husband’s predilection towards young girls. It’s not too hard to imagine his involvement, especially when, as the film progresses, we find he’s had affairs in the past, including one with a current student (ALEXANDRA SHIPP) as well as another at his old school, for which they moved to start anew.

From there, there is a bit of a cat-and-mouse play between Birch and Malloy, but the film primarily focuses on Birch’s own mind and his maybe distorted memories, flashbacks of a crime he may, or may not, have committed of a girl he may, or may not, have known, all the while the strain on his marriage begins to show.

As I mentioned earlier, Spinning Man was a surprisingly well made movie, not perfect mind you and not without some serious flaws in pacing, but well done nevertheless. What stood out the most wasn’t the screenplay if of itself (based off of a novel), from the co-writer of Coco of all movies, or the standard point-and-shoot direction from Swedish filmmaker Simon Kaijser, but instead a really strong performance by Guy Pearce with special acknowledgements for both Pierce Brosnan and Minnie Driver, though Pearce was the driving force. It was interesting seeing his character devolve into deeper and deeper psychoses as he, and the audience, begins to question if Evan Birch did indeed have something to do with the girl’s disappearance.

Now, this is not a film for hardcore crime thriller junkies, it is a slow burn so does take a certain amount of patience and even then, the pacing does at times feel off in spite of the reasonable running time. In addition, the conclusion of the crime will find some to be disappointed or underwhelmed. But that’s kind of why I kind of dug this film as, outside of the solid performances, it doesn’t feel like every other crime-thriller and paved new, or at least different, ground for a sometimes tired genre.

Spinning Man genuinely surprised me. No, it’s not an amazing film and isn’t flawless, but between a few good performances from its core cast, and even Jamie Kennedy’s short 5-6 minute screen time wasn’t bad, and at least a distinctive spin (no pun intended) on the genre, that it does make it a worthwhile viewing if only as a rental.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.5/5


This release comes with a glossy, title-embossed, slip cover. Inside contains a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.

Audio Commentary with director/editor Simon Kaijser who takes viewers down the path of the origins of the movie, gives some tid-bits on the story and filming locations.

Inside Spinning Man (12:12; HD) is a behind-the-scenes featurette with interviews as the cast and crew discuss the plot and characters. Nothing great but there is some okay insight into the production.

Deleted Scenes (4:23; HD) – There are five scenes that failed to make the final cut. Really nothing of note and likely cut for pacing issues.

Trailer (2:17; HD)

PreviewsActs of Violence, The Commuter, Unlocked, Bent, Black Butterfly

 


VIDEO – 3.5/5


Spinning Man is presented with a 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer (MPEG-4 AVC codec). Although the actual picture is pretty sharp, for some reason the filmmakers decided to put some sort of blue-green sheen over as the video lacks very much vivid colors. It’s not bad but it certainly has, at times, a cheaper production feel even comparing it to other direct-to-video releases.

AUDIO – 3.75/5


The included DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is on the basic side but does output clear dialogue levels mainly from the center channel, in fact the majority of the action comes through there. I didn’t notice much coming from the rear channels other than the score/soundtrack. The LFE channel does kick on once or twice adding a bit of depth, but otherwise nothing remarkable.

 


OVERALL – 3.5/5


Overall, Spinning Man, while imperfect, does at least try something new to the sometimes tired crime-thriller genre, taking viewers away from the investigation aspects and looking into the lives, and particularly mind, of a prime suspect and his devolution. The performances all around were good, but Guy Pearce was superb. This Blu-ray released by Lionsgate offers up fine video/audio transfers and an okay selection of bonus features.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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