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Jonathan and Josh Baker
Myles Truitt, Jack Reynor, Dennis Quaid
Writing Credits:
Daniel Casey

Chased by a vengeful criminal, the feds and a gang of otherworldly soldiers, a recently released ex-con and his adopted teenage brother are forced to go on the run with a weapon of mysterious origin as their only protection.

Box Office:
$30 million.
Opening Weekend:
$3,035,618 on 2141 Screens.
Domestic Gross:

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS X
English Audio Descriptive Service
English Dolby 2.0
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

102 min.
Price: $24.99
Release Date: 11/20/2018

• Audio Commentary from Co-Directors Jonathan and Josh Baker and Screenwriter Daniel Casey
• Enhanced Visual FX Breakdowns
• “Thicker Than Water” Documentary
Bag Man Short
• “Learned Behavior” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes
• Previews & Trailer
• DVD Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Kin [Blu-Ray] (2018)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 13, 2018)

A family drama with a science-fiction spin, 2018’s Kin introduces us to Eli Solinski (Jack Reynor), a troubled teen who shirks school to steal copper from abandoned buildings. During one of these expeditions, he discovers dead alien soldiers and confiscates a powerful weapon of theirs.

Into this circumstance steps Eli’s older brother Jimmy (Jack Reynor), recently released from prison. Jimmy owes a major debt to local gangster Taylor Balik (James Franco) and combined with Eli’s extraterrestrial acquisition, this leads to various dangerous entanglements.

Kin flopped at the box office, and perhaps bad reviews harpooned it, as the movie earned a poor 30 percent at Rotten Tomatoes. I wonder if some audience confusion emerged as well, for I think the trailers mixed “family drama” and “sci-fi thriller” in such a muddled way that potential viewers didn’t know what to expect.

Like most people, I didn’t view the film theatrically, partly because of those bad reviews, but also because it left screens after about 20 minutes. Now that I’ve seen Kin, I can’t say I missed anything, as it offers a slow, dull experience.

Whereas the trailers promised a pretty vivid action flick, Kin instead delivers much more of a road trip tale. Much of the movie follows Eli and Jimmy as they escape from Detroit to Lake Tahoe, a destination where they feel they will be safe.

Despite the figurative hellhound on their trail, Kin produces little tension or excitement during this journey. We get generic bonding among the brothers – and the stripper (!) they pick up along the way – but little to make the trek intriguing or compelling.

Once they arrive in Tahoe, matters turn a little more dramatic – but just a wee bit, as the prior two acts don’t set up the movie for an exciting finale. Kin develops its characters in such a bland, rudimentary manner that we don’t especially care what happens to them in the end.

Because Kin fashions itself as more of a road drama than a sci-fi thriller, its attempts at action toward the end feel half-hearted. These seem to exist more because the trailers promised them than because the movie wants them, so these stabs at excitement fizzle.

In addition, Kin offers a wholly ridiculous “reveal” at the end that nearly caused me to throw a rock at my TV. Of course, I won’t state what we learn, but it seems like such an absurd development that it nearly harpoons the whole film.

Or it would if Kin wasn’t such a drag already. With Franco, Dennis Quaid and Carrie Coon in tow, it boasts a pretty solid cast, but it can’t do anything with the talent, so it winds up as a slow-paced bomb.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus A

Kin appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The image worked well.

Sharpness appeared strong. Only minor softness appeared, so the movie usually remained tight and concise. I saw no signs of shimmering or jaggies, and print flaws remained absent.

In terms of palette, Kin tended toward standard teal and orange, though some scenes boasted a broader sense of color. These hues showed good representation within stylistic constraints.

Blacks were dark and tight, and shadows seemed smooth. The movie consistently looked solid.

Downconverted to DTS-HD MA 7.1, the film’s DTS X soundtrack became an engulfing mix. The track came with instances of dynamic information, mainly during action-oriented sequences, and those popped to life in an exciting fashion.

Much of the flick went with more ambient audio, and those segments succeeded as well. These contributed a good sense of atmosphere and formed an involving sensibility throughout the film, factors that made this a pleasing mix.

Audio quality seemed solid. Music was bold and full, and effects followed suit, as those elements appeared accurate and dynamic, with deep, tight bass.

Speech remained natural and without edginess or concerns. Though not totally action-packed, this became a reasonably broad, involving track.

Despite the movie’s commercial failure, the Blu-ray comes with a good assortment of extras, and we open with an audio commentary from co-directors Jonathan and Josh Baker and screenwriter Daniel Casey. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, various effects, photography, visual and sound design, music and connected domains.

Though the track starts a little slowly – and includes too much happy talk along the way – the commentary ultimately works pretty well. We get a nice array of production details in this breezy, engaging piece.

An eight-part documentary called Thicker Than Water runs one hour, 51 minutes, 25 seconds. It presents comments from Jonathan and Josh Baker, Casey, producers Jeff Arkuss, Dan Cohen and Shawn Levy, editor Mark Day, production designer Ethan Tobman, cinematographer Larkin Seiple, costume designer Lea Carlson, VFX executive producer Shawn Walsh, VFX supervisor Dave Morley, VFX producer Tara Conley, compositing supervisor Keenen Douglas, property master Mike Genereux, composers Mogwai, sound designer Joseph Fraioli, and actors James Franco, Michael B. Jordan, Jack Reynor, Dennis Quaid, Zoe Kravitz, Myles Truitt and Carrie Coon.

In “Water”, we learn about the film’s origins, influences and development, story/characters, the Bakers’ impact on the shoot, cast and performances, sets and locations, various effects and cinematography, wardrobe, weapon design, music and sound, and general summary thoughts.

In other words, “Water” covers a wide array of production topics, and it does so well. It offers a lot of details about different parts of the shoot, so we learn a lot about the film. Expect an informative ride here.

Next comes a featurette entitled Learned Behavior. In this 59-minute, 14-second piece, we hear from Josh and Jonathan Baker as well as fellow filmmakers Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert, Kevin Smith, Dan Trachtenberg and special features producer Laurent Bouzereau.

Presented as a panel discussion, we learn about Blu-ray/DVD bonus materials and their creation/impact. The various filmmakers offer some good thoughts, but the best information comes from Bouzereau, as he brings fun memories of his experiences on major projects.

An Enhanced Visual FX Breakdown fills 13 minutes, 52 seconds. In this, compositing supervisor Keegen Douglas leads us through the first half of the reel and VFX supervisor Dave Morley covers the second half.

As implied by the title, this reel gives us notes about various visual effects in the film. It seems a bit dry but it still manages to offer some good information.

10 Deleted Scenes take up 11 minutes, 22 seconds. (A 30-second “Intro from Editor Mark Day” also appears.)

These tend toward additional character moments and a little more exposition. Obviously most of them don’t last very long, so they fail to add much that would impact the story. They’re short tidbits without a lot of substance.

For a look at the inspiration for Kin, we get Bag Man, a short from 2014. It lasts 14 minutes, 39 seconds and shows the skeleton of what would become Kin.

This means we get a young African-American who finds an alien weapon. The rest of Bag Man proceeds on a much more limited scale. It’s not a fascinating tale, but it’s more effective than the boring feature film.

We can view the short with or without commentary from the Bakers. They discuss what led to the film’s creation as well as some production specifics. We learn a few good notes here.

The disc opens with ads for Robin Hood (2018), Uncle Drew, Divergent, Ender’s Game and Gods of Egypt. We also get the trailer for Kin.

A second disc presents a DVD copy of Kin. It includes the commentary and the FX breakdowns but lacks the other extras.

Though it promises ample sci-fi oriented excitement, Kin instead focuses on family drama. This becomes a mistake, as the movie limps along with its turgid stabs at a character effort. The Blu-ray brings very good picture and audio along with an extensive roster of bonus materials. While it receives strong treatment on Blu-ray, Kin sinks as a movie.

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