The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Lionsgate - 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 100 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Ashton Kutcher, Katherine Heigl, Tom Selleck, Catherine O’Hara
Directed by: Robert Luketic
Music by: Rolfe Kent
Written by: Bob DeRosa & T.M. Griffin
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: September 7, 2010
"One day is enough for you!"
Jen Kornfeldt (Heigl) thinks she has found the man of her dreams. He’s smart, charming and funny. So what if he’s also…an international spy? Fresh off of a sudden break-up, Kornfeldt reluctantly accompanies her parents on a vacation to the French Riviera. Unexpectedly, she stumbles upon the perfect guy, the too-good-to-be-true and incredibly handsome Spencer Aimes (Kutcher). After three wonderful years of romance, the newlyweds prepare to celebrate Aimes’ 30th birthday. However, events are cut short when bullets start flying, and his little secret is revealed. Confronting the news head-on, Kornfeldt is determined to discover what else he might be hiding – all the while trying to dodge bullets, keep up neighborly appearances, manage the in-laws, and work out some major trust issues. …And you thought suburban life was easy!
I am a fan of the action/comedy genre and believe that the balance required to make them work can be a delicate one especially if you thrown romance into the equation. Chemistry between the primary members of the cast is an essential component that if not present can result in a lackluster film experience. As I said in my recent review of Date Night, “This genre is filled with films that have been met with mixed reviews. For every gem there are probably half a dozen insipid, silly, and over the top bombs that pale by comparison.“. Unfortunately Killers is just such a film. If it weren’t for Ashton Kucther this film could easily serve as the poster child for insipid, silly, and over the top bombs. For the first 35 minutes or so I thought it showed promise as it set up the characters and plot.
Then it quickly descends into a series of ridiculous contrivances and nonsensical dialogue/situations that fail to deliver engaging action or genuine laughs. The attempt at romance only further exacerbates plausibility (as much as could be expected in a film like this) by revealing the poor chemistry between Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl who is definitely the weak link in this chain. The uneven script leaves us to languish in poorly conceived characters (Catherine O’Hara doesn’t have one meaningful line and I don’t think Martin Mull says anything) staggered pacing, wearisome action, uninspired humor and an incredulous twist that made absolutely no sense. If there is a bright spot it’s Ashton Kutcher. He made the most of what he had to work with and came across as charismatic and credible which was ingratiating. I found little else to hang my hat on and came away from this film wishing that it had been more than just a waste of my time.
The rating is for violent action, sexual material and language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Killers comes to Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 36 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 5.2 Mbps.
This is a high quality video presentation that seems a perfect match for the source material. Colors are deeply saturated with eye pleasing vitality and delineated depth. Images are resolute, with stable sharpness, crisp detail and appreciable subtle refinement. Certain scenes appeared better resolved than others although I suspect this is related to the photography and not the encoding. Contrast was dynamic without being overpowering and blacks were respectable in depth with discernible detail in low lighting and shadows. I didn’t see any signs of video related artifacts and thought that in general video quality was excellent.
I like that fact that Lionsgate supports 7.1 channel lossless audio on their Blu-ray Disc releases. The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack for Killers is a good one that makes excellent use of the entire system platform. This is a fairly active and at times dynamic surround mix that employ’s the subwoofer and four rear channels in order to better draw you into the action. This creates a believable and enveloping sound field that replicates the film’s various interior/exterior environments while perfectly mating with on the onscreen elements. Low frequency effects have substantial weight and presence that occasionally fill the room with deep, punctuated bass. The front and rear soundstages combine perfectly as sounds emanating from both during panning and dimensionally spaced sequences are seamless. Dialogue and sounds within the recording are highly detailed and clearly articulated throughout the course of the presentation.
- (HD) Killer chemistry: Behind the scenes with the Killers‘ cast/crew - 11 minute featurette
- (HD) 1 minute gag reel
- (HD) 6 deleted scenes
- (HD) 2 alternate scenes + alternate ending, 3 extended scenes
- LG-Live enabled - local news/weather/clock gadgets, Twitter/Facebook integration, access to free ring tones
- BD-Touch/Metamenu apps
- D-Box motion code enabled
Killers is a forgettable action/comedy that starts out well enough but quickly descends into a series of ridiculous contrivances and nonsensical dialogue/situations that fail to deliver engaging action or genuine laughs. On a positive note its Blu-ray Disc presentation from Lionsgate features exquisite high definition video and involving 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio sound. The bonus features are just average and include a making of featurette, additional/deleted scenes and a few fan friendly apps for your Apple products. If you’re a fan this package comes recommended otherwise it’s worth a rental only if you’re interested in its technical merit.
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Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
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