RELAXER BLU RAY REVIEW

Joel Potrykus has been on the radar of a select bunch of film lovers for a while now. 2016 THE ALCHEMISTS COOKBOOK was the catalyst for a new wave of film fans to begin to notice his work. I didnt really get what was exciting. It was a 90s film, made 20 odd years later. It had the slacker vibe but lacked that essential sprig of something dynamic and immediate. Something now. Then along came RELAXER.

Y2K might be about to end the world. Abbie (Joshua Burge) is being bullied into challenges by his brother Cam (David Dastmalchian). Cam is a hard guy. Controlling almost. He videos everything that Abbie does as a challenge and when he is tasked to get to level 256 on the classic computer game Pac-Man, he wants him to make sure he does not to leave his couch until he does. However as the game goes on, the psychological toll builds.

Relaxer is a mind-bending drama. Inspired by Luis Buñuel’s absurdist classic The Exterminating Angel, Yes that is quite right. Its an experience, why of course. More correctly said in my opinion would be this. It unleashes events on you like a waking nightmare. You are unable to detach from them and they come in the slowly enveloping state of despair. Captured in a single space and literally taking place on a sofa, RELAXER is a study in craft. Lead Burge won Best Actor at 2018 Fantasia Film Festival. Its easy to see why. His performance of the brow beaten and controlled Abbie, is magnetic. He is given space and material. The relationship with director Joel Potrykus, (who manages compacted wonderfully), benefited the film. They seem to work in tandem. One unwrapping a performance, the other giving the screen room to soak it up.

THE EXTRAS

Let me be straight. BUZZARD (Joel Potrykus first film is on the set as a limited edition extra) is the main draw. Yes I liked the commentary on Relaxer (Potrykus is full of energy about the location, cast and that odd obsession with video games) but it is the film and its shorter cut that steal the extras show. The study of a con man, who is actually really a slacker in to deep. Then collapsing into the world of despair, is a great watch and is the antithesis of RELAXER. It is such Value for money that everything else is a bonus on a bonus…For goodness sake buy it!

LIMITED EDITION 2 x BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES:
DISC ONE: RELAXER
• High Definition presentation
• Original stereo soundtrack
• Audio commentary by writer-director Joel Potrykus
• Behind the Scenes (2018, 7 mins): on-set footage featuring Potrykus and actor Joshua Burge
• Deleted scene (5 mins)
• Rehearsal footage (2018, 10 mins)
• Milk Party (2001, 9 mins): the real-life inspiration behind one of Relaxer’s most memorable scenes
• Four short films by Joel Potrykus: Ludovico Treatment (1999, 2 mins), Ludovico Testament (1999, 4
mins), Coyote (2010, 25 mins) and Test Market 447b (2019, 2 mins)
• Follicle Gang (Green) (2011, 2 mins): music video for Heavier Than Air Flying Machines, directed by
Potrykus
• Image gallery: behind the scenes photography
• Theatrical trailer
• David Dastmalchian promos
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
DISC TWO: BUZZARD (LIMITED EDITION EXCLUSIVE)
• UK premiere presentation of writer-director Joel Potrykus’ 2014 feature
• High Definition presentation
• Original stereo soundtrack
• Audio commentary by writer-director Joel Potrykus
• Buzzard: The Rehearsal Cut (2014, 65 mins): alternative version of the complete film comprised
entirely of rehearsal footage
• ‘Buzzard’ at Locarno Film Festival (2018, 9 mins): short documentary on the filmmakers’ trip to Milan,
Italy, shot and edited by director of photography Adam J Minnick
• Behind the scenes footage (2014, 8 mins): a selection of outtakes and on-set material
• Seven deleted/alternative scenes (9 mins)
• Hidden ‘Buzzard’ (2014, 1 min): a guide to the ‘Easter eggs’ within the film
• Image gallery: behind the scenes photography
• Theatrical trailer
• Festival trailer
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• Limited edition 36-page booklet containing new writing on Relaxer by Nathan Rabin, Joel Potrykus on
the making of Relaxer, Caden Mark Gardener on Buzzard, Alex Ross Perry on Potrykus, and film credits
• Double-sided inlay with full Buzzard artwork
• Limited edition of 3,000 copies

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