- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit)
- Subtitles: English SDH
- Region: A (B? C?)
- Rating: R
- Run Time: 113 Mins.
- Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
- Studio: MGM
- Blu-ray Release Date: December 27, 2011
- List Price: $24.99
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With the cult success of Repo Man under his belt, Alex Cox turned from the less fantastical and fictional world of SoCal punk rebellion to the weightiness of tragic punk reality. Sid & Nancy, his 1986 masterpiece, followed the rise of punk star Sid Vicious of Sex Pistols fame and tragically quick fall into self-destruction, drunkenness, and drug abuse alongside his American girlfriend Nancy Spungen.
Gary Oldman (Vicious) and Chloe Webb (Spungen) are brilliant as the broken couple who quickly spiral into a heroin haze as Vicious attempts a solo career when the Pistols breakup after a disastrous tour of the United States. While Sid & Nancy may not at all times hit the mark of historical accuracy insofar as the exact occurrences in the lives of its subject, but what Alex Cox does effectively is capture the mood of the punk rock era – the grit, grime, violence, blood, sweat, and energy. He also effectively separates the Sid and Nancy characters from the rest of the film’s world, even the other Sex Pistols like Johnny “Rotten” Lydon (Andrew Schofield), making them standout as the focus, while everyone else, much like in Repo Man, was sort of like a hyper-visualized caricature for the two to play against.
It’s an often vile, sometimes heartening and completely explicit look at the woes of addiction and rock and roll excess. I’ve heard some comment that Sid & Nancy romanticizes heroin addiction; well, they must not have been watching the same film I have been all these years, because no one can watch these two characters spiral into their personal hells, physically ruin their bodies, throw away their success, and think heroin is the way to go.
This 1.85:1 framed AVC encodement of Sid & Nancy from MGM hardly looks brilliant and I’d say that I definitely does not seem like a new, expensive restoration. I’d reckon this release to be using a not too recent high definition master. It looks a bit soft and grainy with a medium level of contrast. Flesh tones look average, but darker areas are a bit undefined and prone to washing out.
While there isn’t much reason at all to offering this in 5.1, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack does sound good and lively when the music kicks in, offering a spacious and dynamic soundfield with an ample amount of ambience in the surrounds. Otherwise, the mix is rather dry and still, but does offer clean dialogue.
Nothing new in HD is offered up on here. There are only two standard definition featurettes that take a look at the history of the Sex Pistols, Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen, as well as a brief look into the production of the film.
- For the Love of Punk (1.78:1; SD; 00:15:46)
- Junk Love (1.78:1; SD; 00:15:30)
- Theatrical Trailer (1.85:1; 1080p/24)
The Definitive Word
Sid & Nancy hits the mark as a successful and disturbing rock and roll biopic on these two infamous characters from rock lore. Although this transfer doesn’t exactly look remarkable, it is more than serviceable, especially with a soundtrack that sounds reasonably good when cranked up to louder volumes.
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