Blu-ray Review: Arbitrage

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While the idea of the business thriller isn’t exactly well-traveled ground, we have been here a couple times. And our friends out at Lionsgate want a crack at the comparatively virgin terrain with their new “Arbitrage”, a copy of which they sent our way for review.

You’ll have to wait for almost Christmas to get a shot at this one, though, as it comes out December 21.

“Arbitrage” follows a hedge fund kingpin by the name of Robert Miller, a man whose life has been defined by his own ambition. He’s got it all in the palm of his hand: money, power, a loving family…but there are cracks emerging in what will prove to be a facade. With Miller’s empire staring into the abyss of oblivion, Miller is desperate to cash out and bug out before it’s too late, and his darker deals find him out.

But one mistake is all it takes to bring the whole thing crashing down prematurely…with him underneath it. The law is beginning to take notice of Miller, and now Miller finds himself with the need to protect not his empire, but his family.

Think of this as sort of like “The Company Men”, an earlier release from Anchor Bay, by way of the suspense thriller. They do a very nice job of setting this up, clearly showing that something is up, but just what, no one’s quite sure of. They’re dancing around it, and it’s obvious that something’s gone very, very wrong, but just how far the rabbit hole goes isn’t near as obvious. Then, when that “mistake” I mentioned earlier actually hits, it becomes the ping-pong ball in the big plexiglas box full of mouse traps. It’s very much worth watching, just to see the fallout from this string of disasters that ends up unveiling something much, much worse than anyone would ever have expected.

It’s a little heavy on the drama–it’s much more suspense than thriller–but at the same time, that lends weight and authenticity to the whole affair, the kind of weight and authenticity that you can’t get just anywhere. Richard Gere does an excellent job with this, and he’s backed up, more than ably, but a surprisingly compelling cast. The last few minutes will pack in a big surprise with them, though, so keep an eye out for that.

The special features on this one include some audio options for those with particularly potent home theater setups–dtsHD Master Audio will be available here–as well as your choice of English and Spanish subtitles. There’s also a commentary track, a making-of featurette, a featurette on the main character, a set of deleted scenes, and even a set of trailers for some really rather old fare including “Killer Joe”, “Winter’s Bone”, “Margin Call”, “Friends With Kids”, “Chicago”, and as is commonly par for the course, a promotional video for Epix.

“Arbitrage”, plain and simple, is some truly excellent work that fits in very nicely with the times in which we live. There’s a lot to like about this and for those who like their suspense a bit drama-heavy, this should go very smoothly indeed.

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  • FrickNFrack

    Your review of this film sounds like a version of Wall Street with Richard Gere in the lead. The good part is that it sounds like this movie is definitely one to watch with great performances of the actors. I definitely want to see this film since it comes out next week and I’ve already added it to Blockbuster @Home from DISH. The movie comes via mail and I can choose from 100,000 different titles from the comfort of home. My DISH co-worker loves Richard Gere and she says that we should definitely make it a girls’ movie night once it arrives.