Disc Reviews

Green Room Blu-ray Review

It isn’t often you see Patrick Stewart play the bad guy, yet alone a neo-Nazi leader. That casting sells itself. Stewart fans may know him as Picard or Professor X; but it’s nice to see him flex some acting muscles in a different direction here.

To pull back quickly – Green Room shows us a young punk band, early on in their career, hitting the road to make gigs at small venues. Constantly living in discomfort, tired, broke and running out of fuel – they book a last-minute gig at an unknown location. It’s a quick daytime show – but once onsite they quickly realise who the dominant percentage of their crowd is.  Thankfully they have the onstage gusto to get through it and are soon ready to be safely on their way.  That is until – you guessed it – Something pretty bad happens in the titular Green Room (Anyone not in the know –A Green Room is generally a backstage area for talent to relax, get ready in, away from the public eye).  Trapped with tensions growing and numbers building outside the band has to figure out their situation and how to get out alive.

Jeremy Saulnier made an impact with his film Blue Ruin previously, so Green Room had some anticipation waiting for its release and it did not disappoint audiences. It also features a terrific leading performance from the late Anton Yelchin. Blue Ruin’s Macon Blair also shows up in a key role. Mark Webber makes an impression as a skinhead trying to escape the lifestyle and of course, Stewart is golden in his role as the head of the unit.

This is where thrillers are at their best. It’s small, it’s got talent and the story is thrilling throughout. Eyes will be peeled for Saulnier’s next!

For the extras, here is the complete list with brief comments next to each for context – but rest assured they are all pretty much worth a look.

There are two audio commentaries New audio commentary by Reyna Cervantes and Prince Jackson (acting as a critic/fan commentary) and one from the director, Jeremy Saulnier

Going Hardcore: a new interview with Writer/Director Jeremy Saulnier is a half-hour discussion with the director who recalls his early career path going and then going into Green Room. It’s a good length and Saulnier clearly knows and loves his craft.

Punk Rock: a new interview with Actor Callum Turner. This is an over 15-minute chat with the actor who plays the lead singer of the group in the film. It’s nice to have someone from the cast here talking about the character and the film. This is perhaps an area where we would have liked more talking heads as the cast was so big.

Rocking Out: a new interview with Composers Brooke & Will Blair is a fun 15-minute interview with both composers together – recalling time with the director previous to the film and then the process they went through before and during the film.

Going Green: a new interview with Production Designer Ryan Warren Smith (another 15-minute interview).

Nazi Punks F*ck Off: Thomas Caldwell on Green Room is a reading into the subculture presented on screen and the difficulties that it presents (15 mins approx.)

Archive featurette: Into the Pit – Making Green Room (10 mins approx. Made at the time of the film, but features a few more faces).

It’s a solid package that comes with a 120-page book with essays and also 6 collector art cards. Green Room is a solid feature from a director we’d like to see more work from – Soon! Second Sight has delivered a solid package for a great instant cult film.

Steven Hurst

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