Layer Cake

Layer Cake (2004)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Cast: Daniel Craig, Tom Hardy, Jamie Foreman, Sally Hawkins, Sienna Miller
Extras: Director/Writer Commentary, Deleted Scenes, Featurettes, Trailers

Slick cinematography with a cool mix of some rather uncommon scene transitions help to enhance the storytelling of director Matthew Vaughan's British gangland drama "Layer Cake". Clever title for a film that delves into the various "layers" of the network and structure of the underworld of drugs and corruption, exposing the various double-dealings and murders associated with this form of criminal element. I thoroughly enjoyed the pace and style of this film that caused you to truly focus on the intricate details of the twisting plot that could easily have you confused as to who and what just happened, or is about to happen. Some truly great performances and a well written story contribute to a good directorial debut from Matthew Vaughn (producer of Guy Ritchie's "Snatch" and "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels").

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment presents "Layer Cake" in an impressive anamorphic transfer that is free from any dirt or noticeable artifacts. Good color saturation showcased the nice choice of a mostly subdued color pallet that paired quite well with the story, while still allowing flesh tones to remain natural in appearance. Blacks were rich and deep and balanced with vivid whites to provide good detail throughout the presentation. With it's complexity of grayish tones mixed with the available colors, this would have been an easy transfer to blunder. Fortunately for the viewer, Sony did a terrific job here.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix produced a well balanced presentation with vocals sounding natural in reproduction. The soundtrack kept the action front and center, with the dialogue properly localized to the center channel and the surrounds utilized at the right moments. There was good use of the lower frequency .1 channel that helped to enhance music charged scenes and define the overall soundtrack. This well rounded mix is sure to please and should perform nicely in any home theater setting.

Awaiting you after the feature is a full array of extra features including a director/writer audio commentary, a selection of deleted scenes and alternate endings, storyboard comparisons, trailers and a section exploring the various poster incarnations. Also included is a featurette titled "The Making of Layer Cake" and a Q&A segment with director Matthew Vaughn and actor Daniel Craig.