The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Screen Gems 2011
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 109 minutes
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD MA 5.1, French DTS-HD MA 5.1,
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, Chinese, French, Korean, Spanish
Starring: Mila Kunis, Justin Timberlake, Patricia Clarkson, Jenna Elfman, Bryan Greenberg, Woody Harrelson, Richard Jenkins
Directed by: Will Gluck
Music by: Wende Crowley
Written By: Keith Merryman , David A. Newman, Will Gluck, Harley Peyton
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: December 2, 2011
"Stop buying into this Hollywood cliché of true love"
While trying to avoid the clichés of Hollywood romantic comedies, Dylan and Jamie soon discover however that adding the act of sex to their friendship does lead to complications.
My Take:Mila Kunis stars as Jamie, a recruiter living in NYC. She recruits Dylan (Justin Timberlake) to a great job at GQ magazine, so he moves from LA to NYC. They are both freshly out of relationships and they decide to try the Friends With Benefits situation. Friends With Benefits is like the Scream of romantic comedies. As the films main characters mock its genres clichés, they are, of course, become one themselves. As things progress they realize there just might be something to the rom-com stereotype, and as their feelings start to go on auto-pilot the complications seem to become...complicated.
Friends With Benefits was an honest snapshot about relationships and how uncontrollable feelings can be, especially with a couple who started things with preconceived notions. Justin Timberlake proves himself to be quite a competent actor and his chemistry with the gorgeous Mila Kunis was perfect. The supporting cast of Patricia Clarkson, Jenna Elfman, Woody Harrelson and Richard Jenkins added much needed levity and really made the film shine. Pacing-wise, whenever I was getting annoyed with the in and out of bed or standard upset-fight-walk away, the film would seem to realize it and move on. Sitting through many formulaic romantic comedies made me appreciate the fresh approach of Friends With Benefits, and I think you might as well.
Rated R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, nudity and some violence.
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:
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Friends With Benefits is not the best looking new release I have seen from Sony-- not that its bad, it's quite a competent HD release, it was just was missing that extra but of depth and dimension the best release have. Flesh tones look natural, but tend to take a clayish appearence in the daylight scenes. Blacks are stable and colors seem right on, however, finer details do waiver, thankfully mostly to an impressive level of definition. The movies many ariel shots stand out like a sore thumb looking like a completely different camera shot them and seem lower resolution. The DTS-HD MA audio track has all the components of a rom-com from the loud pop songs on every transition to the heavily weighted front sound-stage. Bass on the musial portions is tight and deep, but dynamics seem lacking as things tend to squash under pressure. The track fairs well for its genre, dialogue is coherent but things never seem to breath the way I would have liked them to.
- Commentary with Writer/Director Will Gluck, Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis
- (HD) Deleted Scenes
- (HD) Outtakes
- (HD) In A Flash: Choreographing A Mob
- (HD) Bonus Benefits: A Pop-Up Trivia Track
- (HD) On Set With FWB
- BD Live enabled
- UV Streaming Copy
- DVD Copy
Friends With Benefits surprised me, and I am glad to have it in my collection. The cast was superb, especially the supporting roles by Patricia Clarkson and Woody Harrelson. The mocking of typically formulaic romantic comedy stereotypes worked, and though it was pretty typical as well, it had a fresh feeling. Audio and Video-wise this is a fine quality HD release by Sony, it just never reaches the heights of the best of the new release pack. Sitting through many formulaic romantic comedies made me appreciate the fresh approach of Friends With Benefits, and I think you might as well.
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Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-X3 3D 1080p 3D High Definition Front Projector
Screen Innovations Solar HD 1.3 120" 2.40:1 CinemaScope Screen
Denon AVR 4311 Pre/Pro
Sunfire Theater Grand 7201 Amplifier
Sony PS3 Slim Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
MK Sound S-150MKII LCR
MK Sound S-150T Tripole Surrounds
MK Sound MX-350MKII Subwoofer