A Simple Favour (4K Blu-ray) (2018)

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Released 12-Dec-2018

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Audio Commentary-3!
Featurette-Many
Alternate Ending
Deleted Scenes
Outtakes
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2018
Running Time 116:50
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Paul Feig
Studio
Distributor
Lions Gate Ent.
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Anna Kendrick
Blake Lively
Henry Golding
Andrew Rannels
Case ?
RPI ? Music Theodore Shapiro


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Atmos 7.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.00:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 2160p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.00:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
Spanish
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

A Simple Favour (A Simple Favor in the US and on the Ultra HD disc) is a film that deserves to be seen more than it has been. It is a very modern thriller with two excellent female leads, supported by a good cast. It is exciting, well played from a suspense perspective and also includes some great comedic elements. It did reasonable business at the box office, just under $100m globally including a very creditable $7m in Australia. It is not amongst the Top 50 films of the last year in the US but certainly should have been. Considering things like Blockers and Tag did better this is disappointing.

The story revolves around single mom, Stephanie Smothers (Anna Kendrick) who lives in suburban Connecticut, in a place called Warfield. Her husband died in a car crash and she keeps herself involved by volunteering for everything and creating an online mummy vlog which has a decent subscriber base. One afternoon as she is picking her young son Miles up from school, he asks if a friend of his, Nicky, can come over for a play date. Stephanie agrees to the idea but wants to check with Nicky's mom first as Nicky is new at the school. Nicky's mom rolls up in a flash car, dressed in high fashion. Emily Nelson (Blake Lively) is nothing like the other mothers in suburbia. She runs PR at a major fashion house, modeled on Tom Ford. She agrees to the play date but only if Stephanie comes to her house as she badly needs a stiff drink. Stephanie quickly gets tipsy and reveals secrets about her life. Their relationship develops and Stephanie quickly believes that Emily is her new best friend. Emily on the other hand is quite secretive, doesn't want her picture taken and could just be using Stephanie for free babysitting. Stephanie also meets Blake's husband, Sean Townshend (Henry Golding) who is an author that doesn't write any more after one successful novel.

Things really heat up when Emily asks Stephanie to pick up Nicky after school one day but then disappears. After a couple of days, Stephanie becomes quite concerned, getting the police involved and mentioning it on her vlog. She teams up with Sean to investigate what has happened to Emily.

This film is very entertaining, well directed by Paul Feig, best known for action comedies like the new Ghostbusters and Spy. It is notable that Melissa McCarthy films directed by him are generally better than the ones not involving him. The three leads do a great job, with the two female leads putting in excellent performances. Some great music selections and score by Theodore Shapiro also add to the atmosphere. The real locations look great and are much better than using sets. Due to the storyline involving high fashion the costumes are excellent. There are some good twists but you could but you could certainly accuse the film of being a little far-fetched at times. Highly Recommended.

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Transfer Quality

Video

The video quality is excellent with no obvious flaws.

This is another new release from Roadshow featuring Dolby Vision which certainly adds to the colour of this film especially. If you are not Dolby Vision capable, the film will play in normal HDR10 and still looks great. You can certainly see the difference from the included Blu-ray version especially in terms of brightness and colour reproduction. It is presented in the OAR of 2.00:1 on the Ultra HD disc but in 1.85:1 on the Blu-ray. It is my understanding that this is a 2K digital intermediate upscaled for 4K. Regardless it looks wonderful without quite hitting the heights of the best Ultra HD discs.

The film is very sharp, clear and detailed with wonderful colours, showing off the costumes and sets which are a highlight of this production.

There aresubtitles available in English for the Hearing Impaired which are clear and easy to read plus Spanish.

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

Audio

The audio quality is excellent.

The main audio track here is Dolby Atmos (resolving as True HD 7.1 on non-Atmos systems). In addition there is a Audio Descriptive track in Dolby Digital 2.0 plus a Spanish track in Dolby Digital 5.1. The Blu-ray version only has DTS HD-MA 5.1.

The audio is excellent, highlighted by the music which sounds fantastic. The film itself does not involve lots of action but things arealways handled well with good surround sound effects and use of the subwoofer as required.

High quality stuff.

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

Extras

The extras are on the 4K disc and the accompanying Blu-ray (except the commentaries). They are 1080p HD regardless. There is a large selection including three commentaries.

Menu

The menu includesmusic.

Special Features intro by Director Paul Feig (0:17)

Not worth your time.

Commentary - Director Paul Feig

A high quality commentary where he discusses the influence of Hitchcock, use of black comedy, casting, using the vlog as a device to drive plot, shooting in Toronto, costumes, locations, themes, editing and more. He is funny, warm and chatty. Well worth a listen.

Commentary - Director Paul Feig, Blake Lively, Anna Kendrick and others

A less interesting commentary which is more joking around and saying how wonderful things are. Probably the one to skip.

Commentary - Director Paul Feig with the cinematographer, writer, costume, producer, etc

Another high quality commentary which includes lots of interesting detail and information about the writing approach, changes from the book, costumes, use of them during the film to drive themes. Well worth listening to.

Gravestone Martinis (19:40)

A making of featurette focused on the relationships between the characters and the three main actors. Good stuff.

Suburban Noir : The Visual Style of A Simple Favour (12:27)

Another making of featurette that focuses on production design, costumes, cinematography, locations, etc. Well worth a look.

Dapper Director Diaries (10:34)

On set video diaries, Feig talks about various scenes, locations and shooting them.

Love Triangle (6:11)

Making of the shooting scene and the physical blood effects used.

Style by Paul (4:46)

Featurette about Paul Feig's suits and walking sticks.

Flash Mob Making of (5:23)

Making of a scene which was subsequently cut from the film. Unnecessary.

Dennis Nylon (4:55)

Featurette on the design for the high fashion world and the character of Dennis Nylon.

A Simple Playdate (4:33)

Featurette about the kids' roles and staging a fight between them.

Alternate Ending - Flash Mob (5:57)

Available with or without director intro. A superfluous idea that was sensibly cut from the film.

Gag Reel (3:30)

OK, some minor amusement.

Deleted Scenes (11:49)

Available with or without director intro. Loads of extra scenes, some funny, mostly expendable.

Bookmarks Functionality

R4 vs R1

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

This release seems to be the same format globally.

Summary

A very entertaining thriller/black comedy.

The video quality is excellent especially in Dolby Vision.

The audio quality is excellent.

The extras are overflowing on the disc.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Tuesday, January 08, 2019
Review Equipment
DVDSony UBP-X700 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player, using HDMI output
DisplayLG OLEDC8PTA 55. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 2160p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into amplifier. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationMarantz SR5012
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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