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Brad Anderson
Jon Hamm, Rosamund Pike, Dean Norris
Writing Credits:
Tony Gilroy

Caught in the crossfires of civil war, CIA operatives must send a former US diplomat to negotiate for the life of a friend he left behind.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$1,734,497 on 755 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English DVS
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 110 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 7/3/2018

• “The Story Behind Beirut” Featurette
• “Sandy Crowder” Featurette
• Previews


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-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Beirut [Blu-Ray] (2018)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 25, 2018)

For a period tale of spies and terrorism, we go to 2018’s Beirut. After a 1972 incident that goes awry and leads to the death of his wife Nadia (Leïla Bekhti), former US diplomat Mason Skiles (Jon Hamm) winds up as an alcoholic who works as a labor arbitrator in New England.

10 years later, authorities recruit Mason to return to Beirut – the site of his personal tragedy in 1972 – to help negotiate the release of a CIA agent. Mason’s dark past complicates this task and he encounters a variety of snarls.

Going into Beirut, I figured it’d offer a tale based on true events ala 7 Days in Entebbe, another film that hit screens around the same time. Instead, it uses real-world elements to tell a fictional tale.

Would Beirut have become more interesting if it’d used a factual narrative as its basis? Maybe not, but I suspect a true story would’ve shown more focus and drama than this often listless effort.

Beirut feels like a movie that thinks it brings us nearly constant tension, especially given its photography. The camera constantly spins and bobs and weaves, all in an attempt to conjure an impression of urgency and impact.

None of this works, as instead, the narrative feels oddly slow and flat. At its heart, we get a potentially appealing hostage tale, but as depicted, the plot meanders around so much that the end result lacks punch.

Every once in a while, matters threaten to show some life. Beirut certainly tosses enough violence and plot twists our way to conjure the occasional pulse-quickening moment.

Unfortunately, these dissipate pretty quickly and Beirut goes back to its sluggish ways. Somewhere here there’s a decent thriller to be found, but the end result lacks the power and thrust it needs to succeed.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus D

Beirut appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie boasted a pleasing image.

Overall sharpness worked well. Some wider shots veered a smidgen toward the soft side, but they remained in the minority during this largely accurate presentation.

I saw no shimmering or jaggies, and edge haloes remained absent. Print flaws also failed to become an issue.

Like most modern movies, Beirut went a lot of orange and teal, as along with sandy yellows, those tones dominated the presentation. Predictable as the colors tended to be, the Blu-ray rendered them in an appropriate manner.

Blacks looked dark and deep, while shadows seemed smooth and concise. I felt happy with this high-quality presentation.

As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it added involvement to the proceedings. The five channels used music in an involving manner, and various effects also broadened the soundscape in a winning way.

While not a film packed with action, Beirut came to life enough to work the speakers well. Various vehicles and elements of warfare moved around the room in a convincing pattern to contribute real life to the tale.

Audio quality worked well. Speech seemed concise and distinctive, while effects appeared accurate and natural. Louder moments – such as from various weapons – boasted fine punch.

Music was warm and full, with a good level of punch from percussive elements. All of this left us with a satisfactory “B+” soundtrack.

Two featurettes appear here: The Story Behind Beirut (2:57) and Sandy Crowder (0:51). Across these, we hear from director Brad Anderson, former CIA officer Whitley Bruner, writer Tony Gilroy, and actors Jon Hamm, Rosamund Pike, and Dean Norris.

The featurettes offer notes about story/characters as well as cast and performances, sets and locations, and some historical elements. These are promo pieces that feel like glorified trailers, really.

The disc opens with ads for Disobedience, On Chesil Beach, Unsane, 7 Days in Entebbe and Papillon. No trailer for Beirut appears here.

Anyone who expects a vivid thriller from Beirut will likely encounter disappointment. Though it never becomes a bad movie, it seems trite and stale too much of the time. The Blu-ray delivers very good picture and audio along with minor bonus features. Beirut winds up as a mediocre film.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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