Good People Blu-ray Review
Average Plot. Average Characters. Average Film. Average Blu-ray.
Whether you regard this as undeniably sub-par theatrical fare or a halfway decent direct-to-video thriller, there’s nothing whatsoever original about Good People’s solid but by-the-numbers plotting.Boasting a surprisingly strong cast for this kind of standard thriller, even the best efforts of James Franco, Tom Wilkinson and Kate Hudson can’t really save this from playing out as just another B-movie crime thriller where almost every piece of the story has been played out before in one film or another. Indeed, were this to have been released in the late 80s / early 90s, amidst some of its most obvious contributors, it might have been a small but relatively popular hit. A quarter of a century later and we just expect more from films than clichéd snarling villains, vulnerable hero couples who are struggling with debt and having no joy getting pregnant, and who clash with said villains over blood money that just falls into their lap. Throw in some corrupt cops, that one good cop, and some bigger villains looking for the smaller villains and you’ve got the staple ingredients of a hell of a lot of films.Franco and Hudson are questionably convincing as US couple who struck out Stateside and are now struggling with their supposed fresh start renovating an inherited dilapidated house in London, whilst a wasted Wilkinson fares better as the one cop who isn’t actually corrupt (the portrayal of widespread police corruption and bribery, and the proliferation of firearms, makes you wonder whether this originated as a US tale set during the 80s), whilst weasely go-to Brit villain Sam Spruell (Taken 3, Legend, Child 44) tortures his way across London with seeming police-authorised impunity. With an increasingly preposterous plot, things go to a whole new level once the finale kicks in, which is unfortunately more reminiscent of Home Alone than Straw Dogs. In many ways Good People doesn’t actually do anything wrong, but that’s arguably only because it sets its sights so low in terms of original ideas.
Lionsgate’s Region B-locked release of Good People provides a strong, satisfying video presentation.
Promoted in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.78:1, the 1080/AVC-encoded High Definition presentation certainly does a commendable job with the limited material, providing a suitably glossy, detailed image which is far from impressive – and won’t win any demo awards – but is arguably more than the average film deserves, delivering the uninspired cinematography with keen observation and accurate representation. Detail remains hard to fault, on both close-ups and the few longer shots we get, with strong skin textures, clothing weaves and background flourishes, whilst the colour scheme is bland and restricted, but also largely serves its purpose in the grand scheme of things. We get hints of digital defects – some light banding and faltering black levels at the extremes – but nothing to really distract from whatever enjoyment you can get from the piece, and very little you’re really going to notice unless you look ver closely. It’s a strong, well-rendered video presentation, far from faultless but also equally far from fatally flawed.
On the aural front things are just as unexceptional and unmemorable.
The film’s accompanying soundtrack is a strong offering which promotes keen clear and coherent dialogue across the fronts and centre channels, and decent observation of the limited effects on offer – fleeting gunshots hit with reasonable impact, but don’t carry any significant weight, with action sequences instead reliant on a distinctly bland score in a feeble attempt to crank up the tension. Atmospherics bring busier interiors to life, from hospital rooms to pool bars, but the surrounds aren’t exactly given a workout and the LFE channel phones-in its contribution. It’s hard to describe it as a poor track, but easy to regard it as far from a good one.
ExtrasNothing but a single worthless three minute Making Of ‘Featurette’.
This pretty average film gets a suitably average Blu-ray release.
Sure, the video's arguably better than it deserves, but the audio's pretty unexceptional and the extras are largely non-existent, leaving this an uninspired release of an uninspiring film. Good People doesn't do anything wrong, but doesn't do anything in particular right either.
You can buy Good People on Blu-ray here
Our Review Ethos
To comment on what you've read here, click the Discussion tab and post a reply.