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Byzantium [Blu-ray] [2013] [US Import]

Sam Riley    Blu-ray
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
Price: £13.74
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Byzantium [Blu-ray] [2013] [US Import] + Dead Man Down [Blu-ray]
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Product details

  • Actors: Sam Riley
  • Format: Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: R (Restricted) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Ifc Independent Film
  • DVD Release Date: 29 Oct 2013
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00DPUB59W
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 279,039 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent For a Vampire Film 2 Jun 2013
Here, we are given a pair of two hundred year old vampires Clara (Gemma Arterton) and Eleanor (Saoirse Ronan), who drift from place to place in hopes of finding peace and comfort, without any trouble. To uphold the average human lifestyle, Clara 'works' for the money to support her and her daughter Eleanor, as they approach a quiet seaside town, one which holds distant, dark and harsh memories for both of them, which begin to resurface with the return of certain characters from the past.
Neil Jordan has directed yet another entertaining and dark, historical vampire horror, that focuses more on a gritty atmosphere and a well-structured storyline with a narrative, much like IWTV, than the gore-laden sub-category of a vampire film. The blood isn't frequent compared to other modern-day horrors, but on the occasions when blood is present, there's a lot of it. The dark atmosphere and the quiet location of the seaside town add to the story as it creates references that connect with Whitby; the location of Bram Stoker's original novel. The soundtrack for Byzantium perfectly reflects the strained relationships between Clara and Eleanor as well as Eleanor and Frank (Caleb Landry Jones), especially Ronan's hypnotising piano sequence in the restaurant, which creates a somber atmosphere. Thankfully the atmosphere is held throughout the film and it never distracts us from the main storyline. I love this film because I had relatively low hopes for it, as I was more interested in watching The Purge, which we went to see straight after Byzantium finished in the cinema. It's funny how Byzantium proved to be much better than The Purge. The acting, the location, the story, and of course, the Blood Red Waterfalls on the coal black island, all contribute to this fine piece of cinema which I would surely watch again. It is well worth a watch.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great vampire film 29 Sep 2013
By moi
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
The actors are really brilliant, and so are the director and the screenplay. I hadn't enjoyed a vampire film so much since Jordan's Interview with the vampire. Watching Byzantium is the perfect way of rinsing your mind if, like me, you once had to watch insipid, mawkish and boring Twilight.The Blu Ray edition achieves great picture and sound quality.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glorious 24 Jan 2014
A stunningly original film, full of yearning and sadness, this has to be one of the best things I have watched for a very long time.

Quality Vampire fiction is out there and relatively easy to find but quality Vampire films are a rare breed indeed. Byzantium manages to be one such film through a combination of original elements, intricately woven amongst staples of the genre.

Two female Vampires live a transient existence, fleeing from those who hunt them. The pursuers are no Van Helsings but their own kind. In languorous, dreamlike flashback and modern day counterpoint, their relationships to each other and the strikingly different ways they view the world unfold. Flashback in film is often tricky to pull off, making one element always seem to over power the other but Jordan skilfully interweaves the narratives making both equally compelling and surprising.

Part horror, part drama laced with love and loss, this film is one for true Vampire fans. Saoirse Ronan, who plays Eleanor and Gemma Arterton, (of whom I am not normally a fan) playing Clara act their socks off, fully inhabiting the strange and lonely lives of the immortal. Caleb Landry Jones, who plays Frank, a teenage lad who tries to befriend Eleanor is a revelation in a pivotal role that would have been easy to crash and burn. His yearning is painfully real to watch and it is he that in many ways drives the piece, providing a glimpse of a life that Eleanor wants but can never have.

Neil Jordan's direction and vision is utterly perfect for the subject matter, rendering the film a visual and aural delight as much as an absorbing story. The colours, the lighting, the setting and above all, the knife edge between savagery and vulnerability is handled with masterful subtlety.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer beauty 19 Oct 2013
This movie is utterly beautiful. A great storyline, ravishingly beautiful and competent actors, great locations and camera work second to none. Highest recommendations! You won't regret buying this splendid bluray!
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting, powerful film 23 July 2013
By RD9348
Brooding, sometimes bleak, thoughtful, occasionally gory, and with a heart-rending emotional impact, this unique film is dominated by the extraordinary and very different performances of the two leads.

To classify this simply as a vampire movie is to seriously misrepresent it. Although the two central characters are immortal and live on human blood (but thankfully no fangs, no sleeping in coffins, no going up in a puff of smoke in the sunlight, and other worn vampire cliches), it is about much, much more. About two women living in a male-dominated world, always on the run from those that would hurt them. About two women stuck in a co-dependent relationship and where this leads (no plot spoilers here!). About what a woman might do to protect her child. About a young woman battling with her contradictory impulses to be alone and to be heard. About survival. And much, much more.

The film is a visual feast. Mundane scenes of a tacky, cold and wet, out-of-season seaside resort are interspersed with powerful images - two women walking across a cabbage field, an insect crawling across Eleanor's face, a waterfall of blood, Eleanor seeing herself across a span of two centuries, a sudden flight of birds. (EDIT: or were they bats? I saw them described as bats on another discussion board, which would make sense for flying creatures emerging from a place of special significance to vampires, but the way they wheel in flight make them look more like birds to me. Whatever, it's still a wonderful and dramatic image.)

Some have criticised Caleb Landry-Jones' "strange" performance as Frank. I didn't see it that way. He portrays a young man mentally scarred by a life-threatening illness. Very convincing, in my opinion. The development of the relationship between two old before their time youngsters, Frank and Eleanor - one of whom is literally old, "16 for ever" - is one of the strengths of the narrative for me.

This film may haunt you for a long time.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I love the layers of metaphor and allegory in this film
I love the layers of metaphor and allegory in this film. I'm no movie snob - I don't need films to be "intelligent" before I'll rate them highly. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Berlake
5.0 out of 5 stars A good film
Well acted, well written and beautiful to look at. A cross between "Being Human", Diary of a Vampire and Hammer Horror.
Published 22 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Cool Movie
Like this one - Atmospheric - unusual storyline - Gorgeous Gemma Atterton - great locations & cast (Hastings on SE Coast UK)
Published 1 month ago by Simon Holloway
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than I expected
This is a really gothic, complex, character-driven vampire movie, led by two brilliant yung actresses. I can't recommend it enough.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars manage your expectations
I scan through other reviews and felt I could appreciate the perspectives of the different reviews giving 1 star or 5 stars. Read more
Published 1 month ago by tiredoldgit
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good story with great atmosphere
I really enjoyed this vampire flick. Entertaining, with good atmosphere and some very cool British actors. Read more
Published 1 month ago by paul gorman
2.0 out of 5 stars Meandering drivel
How tedious is this film? Plot - a girl with a story to tell. The story takes an entire film to unfold. It's not a particularly interesting story. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sonia
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Jordan's best films
ANd one of his least famous. Very good blu ray quality. A story that unfolds in a way you can't predict, turning out to be a philosphical and humanistic tale of love and death. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Elleppi
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible film
This was a terrible film. The storyline was awful. Acting not bad but could have been better structured over all.
Published 2 months ago by hannah o'callaghan
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant.
A really good film, much better than the usual teeny based ones, sultry & moody and sexy in a dark way with Ellanor being the real star.
Published 2 months ago by Paul Rohe
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