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Owen Harris
Nicholas Hoult, James Corden, Georgia King, Craig Roberts, Rosanna Arquette
Writing Credits:
John Niven

An A&R man working at the height of the Britpop music craze goes to extremes in order to find his next hit.

Rated NR

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Dolby 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 103 min.
Price: $29.98
Release Date: 6/7/2016

• Cast and Crew Interviews
• Previews and Trailer


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Kill Your Friends [Blu-Ray] (2016)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 19, 2016)

Currently best-known as Hank “The Beast” McCoy in the X-Men movies, Nicholas Hoult gets the lead in 2016’s Kill Your Friends. Based on a novel by John Niven, the tale takes us to London circa 1997 and introduces us to record label A&R man Steven Stelfox (Hoult).

Intensely ambitious, Steven faces constant pressure to deliver hits. When his choices sputter, he finds himself stuck in neutral as his colleagues earn promotions ahead of him. We see how he deals with these issues – and some violent consequences.

My screening of Friends follows pretty closely on my viewing of Vinyl, an HBO series that covers the record business. Both have additional similarities, mainly due to an approach to the subject that emphasizes cruelty and treachery.

Vinyl left me cold, and Friends doesn’t do much for me either, though it starts well. Actually, the movie’s first half seems fairly stimulating, mainly because it focuses on satire. The film delivers a biting deconstruction of many aspects of the music business and packs a decent punch.

The longer the movie goes, however, the less impact it musters. Much of the problem comes from the tedious criminal investigation aspect of the story. Early on, Steven inadvertently kills a colleague, and this leads to many interactions with Deputy Constable Woodham (Edward Hogg) – also an aspiring songwriter.

Those elements drag down the story. While the murder and its impact on Steven forms a lot of the plot, it really seems unnecessary. A movie that focused more on the music business would be more satisfying than one that goes for half-formed analogies and bad crime drama.

Because of this, Friends sputters as it goes. While that first half shows promise and bite, the more the movie indulges in Steven’s crime, the less we care.

By the end, Friends feels like little more than an update on American Psycho. That seems like a shame, as the film does work pretty well for a while. It simply can’t sustain that momentum, and it ends up as mediocre by the end.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B/ Audio B/ Bonus C-

Kill Your Friends appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. Though not great, the image seemed largely positive.

For the most part, the movie came with appropriate delineation. Occasional instances of mild softness materialized – usually during interiors – but most of the flick seemed pretty accurate and concise. I saw no shimmering or jaggies, and both edge haloes and print flaws remain absent.

Colors tended toward a distinct teal orientation. A few other hues showed up as well, but teal remained the major tone, and the colors appeared fine given those choices. Blacks were reasonably deep and dense, and shadows were decent; low-light elements could be a smidgen thick but not to a problematic degree. Ultimately, the movie offered more than satisfactory visuals.

Similar thoughts came with the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack. As expected, music dominated the mix, as songs and score came from all five channels. That was a logical choice that added involved to the proceedings.

Effects usage appeared more limited. Much of the track went with environmental information, so outside of the music, I’d be hard-pressed to come up with dynamic usage of the soundfield. Crowd scenes added a little pep but music ruled this roost.

Audio quality seemed appropriate. Speech appeared natural and concise, without edginess or other issues. Effects were accurate and full, while music sounded lively and full. The soundtrack made sense for the movie.

In terms of extras, we get a collection of interviews. We locate segments with director Owen Harris (7:20), writer John Niven (8:52), and actors Nicholas Hoult (5:12), James Corden (2:30) and Craig Roberts (2:06). Across these, we find notes about story/characters, cast and performances, and working relationships. A lot of this tends toward promotional fluff, but some good notes occasionally arise – primarily from Niven, as he offers solid insights about his work.

The disc opens with ads for River, Estranged, and Let’s Kill Ward’s Wife. We also find the trailer for Friends.

For a while, Kill Your Friends offers a gleefully cynical look at the record industry. However, the farther it goes, the more literally it takes its title, and it becomes much less compelling. The Blu-ray offers pretty good picture and audio along with some minor supplements. Friends seems too inconsistent to be a real success.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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