The Last Circus (Blu-ray)

January 28, 2012 4 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

As the Spanish Civil War rages on, a clown is forced into service, not even allowed to remove his makeup or costume. He is given a machete, which he uses to slaughter a platoon of National soldiers. He is then thrown into prison, where he is killed during an attempted escape. But he was able to impart his last wishes to his son Javier, whom he wanted to continue his legacy as a clown and to channel his loss into vengeance. As an adult, Javier is indeed a clown, working as a “sad clown,” the foil to the circus’ “happy clown,” Sergio. The abuse he endures at the hands of Sergio goes beyond the performance, as he humiliates Javier without mercy in each show. Javier also happens to be in love with Sergio’s gorgeous wife Natalia, which only serves to ignite the rivalry to a new level of violence. As these two clowns face off and neither will back down, how far will their brutal conflict go and will either survive once it boils over?

I’ve seen a lot of movies, but I’d never seen one like The Last Circus before. This is wall to wall madness, with insane clowns, buckets of blood, thousands of bullets, remarkable visuals, and political/social satire thrown in. The Last Circus is not a great movie, but it is one you can’t take your eyes off of, as it never slows down and just keeps gaining outlandish momentum. Cinema has given us a number of twisted clowns, but few even come close to the unstable psychopaths on showcase here. This is more like serial killers with clown makeup, as The Last Circus is a feast of blood and violence. Of course, the mayhem rarely makes sense or gels with the other elements, but it makes intriguing cinema nonetheless. The visuals sparkle, the performances are unhinged, and the sense of chaos is unrelenting. So if you like movies that push the envelope right off the cliff, then don’t miss The Last Circus, as it is one of the most original, unusual films in a long while.

Video: How does it look?

The Last Circus is presented in 2.35:1 widescreen. The film’s striking visuals are able to shine here, thanks to a razor sharp, well detailed presentation. Some visual design tricks, such as overly heavy contrast at times, remain intact and that ensures the film’s unique style is replicated as intended. The colors also have more vibrant hues than realistic ones, but again that is part of the visual design. All in all, this is a tremendous transfer that makes sure the film always great and as the filmmakers intended.

Audio: How does it sound?

You’ll find DTS HD 5.1 soundtracks in both the original Spanish and English, but of course you’ll want to stick with the original language, right? The action scenes light up the surrounds as expected, but the calmer scenes are enhanced thanks to creative, subtle presence. There is a good amount of directional effects and they’re crafted in ways that make you feel like you’re in the film’s world, so great work there. While dialogue is usually clear and easily audible, some vocals do get lost in the more action driven scenes. This disc also includes English subtitles.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes three promotional featurettes, as well as three of the film’s theatrical trailers.

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