Prior to Village Roadshow announcing this Blu-Ray release it was not a film I was familiar with, but that's not surprising given it never hit theatres in Australia. But a quick investigation, and a look at the cast list alone had me hooked. Matthew McConaughey (The Lincoln Lawyer), Emile Hirsch (Speed Racer), Juno Temple (The Dark Knight Rises), Gina Gershen (Face/Off) and Thomas Haden Church (Spider-man 3) are all fantastic actors, and dropping them into Tracy Lett's 1993 play was certain to generate interest. So with all the cards in place, we checked out the film, Killer Joe...
When 22 year old drug dealer Chris has his stash stolen by his mother, he has to come up with six thousand dollars quick or hes dead. Desperate, he turns to Killer Joe when he finds out that his mothers life insurance policy is worth $50,000. Although Joe usually demands cash up front, he finds himself willing to bend the rules in exchange for Chris attractive younger sister, Dottie, until the money comes in.
We must point out that this Blu-Ray containss the 102-minute original version of the film, not the 98-minute cut version. We're not actually sure if the shorter version was to fit it into the ratings in some territories, but this certainly isn't a film for youngsters with scenes of violence, nudity and sexually explicit content. The R18+ rating is well deserved so be wary of who's seeing this film.
From the opening moments when Chris is knocking on the front door (at the 1:30 mark or so), you know this is going to be a great sounding film with plenty of surround sound use. The audio has been encoded with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (16-bit/48Khz) track and as expected the audio is crystal clear. Dialogue, and the manu profanities, is prioritised and even when in a strip club with loud music playing the dialogue is easy to understand.
Besides the primary English track there is only one other audio option, an Audio Descirptive track in Dolby Digital 2.0 at 256kbps. As with so many other films it's disappointing that the Audio Descriptive track misses out on surround sound, and thus a little more immersion.
Subtitles are also limited with a single English Descriptive Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired. Subtitles are coloured according to who's talking on-screen, but are accurate to the lines of spoken dialogue.
Upon starting the Blu-Ray you will encounter an Anti-Piracy Ad (0:38), and trailers for Lockout (1:33), The Expendables 2 (2:16), and Looper (1:47). All great looking movies, and the trailers are all skippable... but what about the "real" extras besides the Digital Copy of the film? Read on...
Interviews (13:06/HD): Interviews with Matthew McConaughey (2:15), Emile Hirsch (3:55), Juno Temple (3:17), Gina Gershen (1:58), Thomas Haden (1:41) and director William Friedkin (4:59). With only a couple of minutes with each actor there isn't anything too in-depth here but there are a couple of interesting moments from Matthew, Emile and the director William in particular.
Review By: Dave Warner