Killers (2014)

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Released 17-Dec-2014

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action / Horror Trailer-x 3 for other films
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 2014
Running Time 131:57 (Case: 137)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Kimo Stamboel
Timo Tjahjanto
Studio
Distributor
Gryphon Entertainment Starring Kazuki Kitamura
Oka Antara
Ray Sahetapy
Luna Maya
Ersya Aurelia
Rin Takanashi
Mei Kurokawa
Case Alpha-Transparent
RPI ? Music Fajar Yuskemal
Aria Prayogi


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     In Tokyo Nomura (Kazuki Kitamura) is a murderous psychopath who abducts, tortures and murders women, recording their deaths on video which he later posts on-line. In Jakarta Bayu (Oka Antara) is a journalist whose career was destroyed after he attempted to publish the truth about the corrupt and abusive businessmen Dharma (Ray Sahetapy). Bayu’s life continues in a downwards spiral; he is separated from his wife Dina (Luna Maya), whom he still loves, although his relationship with his pre-teen daughter Elly (Ersya Aurelia) is still strong.

     One evening while researching on the web Bayu comes across a video posted by Nomura. Some days later Bayu is brutally assaulted by two armed men after he takes a taxi. In the struggle Bayu shoots and kills both men; using his phone he videos their bloody bodies and posts the footage on the net. Nomura sees the video, and sensing a kindred spirit in Bayu he makes contact. Bayu is nothing like the psychopathic Nomura, but having shed blood he becomes obsessed about taking revenge on Dharma. The email contact between Nomura and Bayu continues, having an effect on both men.

     In Tokyo Nomura witnesses an apparent suicide attempt by a young woman and a boy. He becomes intrigued and follows the woman. She is Hisae (Rin Takanashi), who runs a flower shop, and the boy is her autistic brother Soichi. While Nomura cultivates a friendship with Hisae, he continues to abduct and murder women on camera while in Jakarta Bayu starts his crusade against Dharma, including killing one of his paedophile associates and posting the video. Bayu can live with himself as he believes his actions are justified, but then he attempts to get to Dharma, but kills Dharma’s son instead. In Tokyo Nomura abducts the prostitute Midori (Mei Kurokawa) and is about to torture her on camera as Bayu looks on when Hisae calls at his house. In both Tokyo and Jakarta things are spiralling out of control and when Nomura travels to Jakarta matters come to a bloody conclusion.

     Killers is a Japanese / Indonesian co-production directed by Kimo Stamboel and Timo Tjahjanto, otherwise known as the Mo Brothers, although they are not related. The result is a well-made film about life, family and revenge that is complex, violent, bloody, disturbing and brutal but with a surprisingly moral core. The film is full of parallels, contrasts and juxtapositions; the emotionless, cold world of Nomura and Tokyo is portrayed with a blue colour palate and natural, if muted, colours and a steady camera, while the heated, emotional world of Bayu and Jakarta has a brown colour palate and chaotic camera movements. The music and sound also provide contrasts: the original music and sound design (which includes bursts of loud noise) by Fajar Yuskemal and Aria Prayogi, who performed similar duties on The Raid, is juxtaposed with beautiful classical music by Vivaldi and Bach, providing an obvious counterpoint.

     Another plus for Killers is the excellent performances by Kazuki Kitamura, who makes a cool, charismatic psychopath, and Oka Antara as a man who loves his wife and daughter but who cannot control what his life has become. When Nomura says “I though you understood me” at the end, we understand both points of view but know that he could not have been more wrong.

     Killers is violent and bloody, but it is also a compelling and complex film, with things to say about values, violence family and life itself which elevates Killers above the usual splatter fare.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Killers is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, the original ratio, and is 16x9 enhanced.

     This is not really a print to show off your system. Close ups are sharp and reasonably detailed, but a number of backgrounds do look glary and soft. As noted, colours in Tokyo segments are muted with a blue palate, those in Jakarta are browny. In any case, the blood is a vibrant deep red, blacks are solid, shadow detail fine and skin tones natural.

     There was aliasing evident in some scenes and the end titles shimmered. Otherwise artefacts and marks were not evident.

     English subtitles were in a clear white font. I noticed a couple of minor errors only.

     The layer change took place during a scene change at 64:27.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The audio is a Japanese / Indonesian / English Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448 Kbps. The Tokyo segments are in Japanese, the Jakarta in Indonesian while Nomura and Bayu converse in English.

     Dialogue was clear, the English easy to hear despite the accents. The film’s sound design, by Aria Prayogi and Fajar Yuskemal who also did the score, is busy and loud, especially in the club segment or where a loud, discordant noise occurred for effect. Music and other effects, such as impacts, filled the rears and the subwoofer supported the noise, music and impacts. Classical music by Vivaldi and Bach was also used to good effect in the sound mix.

     I did not notice any lip synchronisation issues.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Trailers

     On start-up there were trailers for Rec Apocalipsis (1:19), Open Windows (1:13) and Willow Creek (2:09). The same trailers may be selected from the menu.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     There is a Region 2 UK release of Killers that looks to be the same as our release. There is not a Region 1 US release listed at the moment.

Summary

     Killers is rightly rated R in Australia for “high impact violence and themes”. It is certainly violent and bloody, but nothing is gratuitous and the questions the film asks about family and life itself are important. The excellent acting does not hurt either, making Killers an unexpected treat.

     The video and audio are fine, trailers for other films are the only extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Thursday, January 22, 2015
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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