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directed by Andrew Niccol
USA 2014

 

Still technically a pilot, Major Thomas Egan (Ethan Hawke, GATTACA) feels like a coward blowing up targets in Afghanistan with weaponized drones (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) with a joystick at a military base only a few minutes from his Las Vegas home. On his sixth tour (three of which have been UAV tours), he is already a seething mass of self-recrimination and self-pity oblivious to his wife's (MAD MEN's January Jones) feelings of neglect, his son's (Zion Rain Leyba) behavioral issues, and daughter's (Sachie Capitani) background adorableness. Not long after he is assigned to train Airman Vera Suarez (THE BRAVE ONE's ZoŽ Kravitz, daughter of Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet), Lieutenant Colonel Jack Johns (Bruce Greenwood, THE SWEET HEREAFTER) announces that they will be collaborating with the CIA on a handful of missions that do not officially exist. In the CIA's "prosecution" of signature strikes (patterns of behavior) over the air force's usual personality strikes (known persons), Johns, Egan, and Suarez become frustrated with the overriding of their own training, instincts, and even their sense of honor ("Was that a war crime, sir?"). With an escalating sense of guilt for having "no skin in the game", Egan pushes Johns to recommend him for another flight tour of duty without realizing just how much his desire to fly again has alienated him from his family. As his home life crumbles, it may take an act of defiance on the "battlefield" for Egan to feel he has truly made a difference. The AMERICAN SNIPER-lite script feels a few drafts short of adequate with Thomas' downward spiral illustrated with vignettes of gambling, drunk driving, and explosions of anger while neither his marriage or the rest of his family life is sufficiently established for the viewer to care. Whether the film's heavy-handedness is also an effect of the sketchiness of the scripting is less certain. For every powerful little moment like Hawkes' offhand "Why do we wear our flight suits," Greenwood's colonel is saddled with lines like "Don't ask me if it's a just war; for us, it's just war." The finished product is regrettable as Egan's internal struggle is conceptually very compelling and could have been more cerebral and actually character-driven rather than just going through the motions of an awards-bait character study.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 15 May 2015 (USA)

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DVD Review: Arrow Films - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Arrow Films

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:38:09 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.49 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles English HoH, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Arrow Films

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
� Behind the Scenes (16:9; 14:25)
� Interview with director Andrew Niccol (16:9; 6:02)
� Interview with actor Ethan Hawke (16:9; 4:44)

DVD Release Date: August 3rd, 2015
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

 

 

Comments

Shot with the Arri Alexa XT and Panavision lenses, GOOD KILL looks slick and sharp on anamorphic, dual-layer DVD with some shots looking intentionally flat as the Las Vegas cityscapes are viewed from overhead to parallel the drone surveillance of the Middle Eastern settings. Colors are pushed mostly towards the warm and sun-scorched in both settings. The clipping of the top and bottom of the drone display text is more suggestive of being poorly-designed graphics rather than an actual cropping of the frame. The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is restrained but active when it needs to be (the explosions are viewed by camera from thousands of miles away so they do not have the same impact one expects on a 5.1 track from a more conventional action film). Extras include the behind the scenes featurette also present on the American Blu-ray and DVD releases as well as two exclusive interviews. Arrow has also released the film on Blu-ray.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

Also available on Blu-ray:

 

 

Distribution

Arrow Films

Region 2 - PAL

 



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