In Bruges Arrives on 4K Ultra HD

The Oscar-nominated In Bruges makes its arrival on 4K Ultra HD just a few months shy of the film’s 15th anniversary in early 2023.

I was a few years late to discovering the work of writer-director Martin McDonagh. Going into this year’s reunion project, The Banshees of Inisherin, I’d yet to watch the film in which the trio worked together. However, I’ve now rectified it with this black comedy crime thriller, in which the city of Bruges is a character in and of itself. McDonagh certainly has a way with the writing although there are some elements here (like making fun of overweight Americans) that feel like a cheap shot more than anything else. He has a solid grasp when it comes to writing black comedy. Whether it’s Three Billboards, The Banshees of Inisherin, or In Bruges, this is a filmmaker who knows how to write. Okay, McDonagh probably relies a bit too much on swear words–see Fucking Bruges, a featurette running 1:34 and is nothing but foul language.

After killing a boy by mistake, a pair of hitmen, Ray (Colin Farrell) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson), end up in Bruges as they hide from their boss, Harry (Ralph Fiennes). Where Ken enjoys the city, Ray certainly wants nothing to do with it. Could you blame him? Probably not because you get this sense that he really doesn’t want to be there. Next thing you know, Ray happens upon a movie production in Bruges and takes a liking to a production assistant, Chloë (Clémence Poésy), who doubles as a drug dealer. Everything becomes a recipe for disaster from here on out especially once Ray shoots Chloë’s boyfriend, Eirik (Jérémie Renier) with blanks.

This takes audiences into the second half of the film in which Harry tells Ken to kill Ray. Ken decides to go against this order and also talks Ray out of committing suicide. In fact, Ken takes Ray’s gun away from him as Ray heads on a train. You can probably get an idea about what happens from here on out. Things will certainly not go as planned. Everything is going to come to a climax in Bruges, for better or worse.

The city of Bruges is picture-esque as if this film was ready-made for production. Even in the smallest of details, there’s never a dull moment in terms of the city’s scenery on screen. There’s only one location where they rebuild on a set but other than that, everything you see in the film is Bruges itself. That being said, things certainly change as we get further into the film and other sides of the city come out.

Even though the film was released in early 2008, it was still noticed during awards season. McDonagh’s script earns an Oscar nomination while taking home the BAFTA for Original Screenplay. Interestingly, the film also continues a trend of working with Brendan Gleeson although both parts were originally written for Londoners. He would work again with Farrell in 2012’s Seven Psychopaths. The thing we get to know about Colin Farrell from watching this film is that he’s naturally funny. You don’t necessarily see this side of him in his more dramatic material but this is what happens when filmmakers write to an actor’s strengths.

With In Bruges, Martin McDonagh has managed to hit a home run in his feature-length debut as a filmmaker.

Bonus Features

DISC ONE (4K UHD):

  • Brand New HDR/Dolby Vision Master Color Graded and Approved by Cinematographer Eigil Bryld
  • 5.1 Surround and Lossless 2.0 Stereo
  • Triple-Layered UHD100 Disc
  • Optional English Subtitles

DISC TWO (Blu-ray):

  • Brand New 4K Master Color Graded and Approved by Cinematographer Eigil Bryld
  • STRANGE BRUGES: Featurette (7:27)
  • WHEN IN BRUGES: Featurette (13:48)
  • FUCKING BRUGES: Featurette (1:34)
  • A BOAT TRIP AROUND BRUGES: Featurette (5:41)
  • Deleted Scenes (16:16) | Extended Scenes (2:02)
  • Gag Reel (5:59)
  • EPK Interviews with Actors Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes, Clémence Poésy, Thekla Reuten and Jordan Prentice; Writer/Director Martin McDonagh and Producer Graham Broadbent (16:09)
  • B-Roll: EPK (12:08)
  • US and German Theatrical Trailers
  • 5.1 Surround and Lossless 2.0 Stereo
  • Dual-Layered BD50 Disc
  • Optional English Subtitles

DIRECTOR/SCREENWRITER: Martin McDonagh
CAST: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes, Clémence Poésy, Jérémie Renier

Focus Features released In Bruges in theaters on February 8, 2008. Grade: 4/5

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Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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