New Town Killers (Blu-ray) (2008)

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Released 28-Sep-2009

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Making Of
Gallery
Featurette-Special effect of the film The Red Baron
Music Video
Trailer
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2008
Running Time 100:15
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Richard Jobson
Studio
Distributor

Eagle Entertainment
Starring Dougray Scott
Alastair MacKenzie
James Anthony Pearson
Liz White
Charles Mnene
Case Amaray Variant
RPI ? Music Stephen Hilton


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 EX
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (64Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Unemployed teen Sean Macdonald (James Anthony Pearson) lives in a scummy Scottish housing estate with his sister Alice (Liz White), who is up to her eyeballs in debt to some rather unpleasant types. Just as things are starting to look grim for young Alice, two men (Dougray Scott and Alastair Mackenzie) from a neighbouring wealthy suburb, who seem unusually familiar with the situation, offer Sean exactly the right amount of money to sort out his sister's woes if he plays a game of hide and seek with them over the course of one night. It all seems easy enough until Sean realises that the men don't just want to catch him.

    New Town Killers is another in the recent resurgence of genre filmmaking from the UK, where National Lottery funding seems to be doing a great job of making pulp attractions for the masses (such as this) as well as funding experimental/arthouse/bland drama that nobody much cares for but makes funding bodies feel important (pretty much all that Australian film bodies fund). New Town Killers is far from the best in recent Britsploitation, but it certainly makes for a fun ride thanks to Dougray Scott's great bad guy. Scott steals every scene he is in, even those that are clearly intended to provide moments for other characters, and his character is a brilliant echo of middle to upper class angst. One particular maniacal rant about his hatred for dole bludgers and welfare mothers is far and away the highlight of the film. It is a welcome departure from his warm, cuddly Desperate Housewives persona!

    The story itself is a bit clumsy and peppered with cliché - think The Most Dangerous Game dumbed down, under the guise of "giving it some edge", for modern youth. There is a fair bit of filler in the story to boot. Enough so that cutting the 100 minute runtime back to around 90 minutes could have made for a much better film. Most of the characters and the actors playing them, save for Dougray Scott, are quite bland, yet each is allotted a fairly generous amount of screen time. It is all good enough for disposable b-grade fun, but could have been much more with some judicious editing or if the rest of the film had lived up to its one great character.

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Transfer Quality

Video

Disclaimer: Please note that this disc has a video resolution of 1080p. It has been reviewed on a display device with a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL). More information can be found here.

    The film is presented in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio in 1080p.

    The video looks very good. The image is clear and sharp. It features a mild, even, level of grain present throughout that gives a filmic look without obscuring the image substantially. There is a good level of detail in the many dark scenes of the film. The film features a faintly stylised colour palette that highlights reds somewhat whilst playing down other colours, but maintains natural-looking skin tones.

    There is no sign of any compression artefacts or film artefacts in the video.

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

Audio

    The film features a lossless English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track and a lossy English Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kbps) audio track. Both tracks sound excellent, although the surround mix was a little underwhelming.

    The dialogue throughout is clear and easy to understand. Most of the characters have rather toned-down Scottish accents. The dialogue is at a good level in the mix an appears to be well synchronised to the video.

    The surround mix creates a reasonably immersive environment, but fails to really amp up the energy during the chase and action sequences. The subwoofer is given a reasonable workout.

    The film features a rocky, alternative electronic score that is thematically driven from the film's theme song, which was written by late 70's-80s singer-songwriter Richard Jobson and Scottish alt-rockers Isa & the Filthy Tongues.

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

Extras

    The disc features a couple of so-so extras related to New Town Killers, as well as a couple of extras for the unrelated film The Red Baron in a presumed (and for my money successful) attempt to promote that film. All are presented in rather fuzzy-looking SD.

Making Of Featurette (19:32)

    A reasonably broad making-of featurette. Thankfully it is a little more than just an advertorial and is reasonably interesting as far as these things go.

Image Gallery

    A stack of stills from the film, just in case your pause button wasn't good enough.

Trailers

    A stack of trailers for other films, including The Red Baron, Turn The River, The Rise of the Footsoldier and Dolan's Cadillac.

The Red Baron Effects Featurette (11:59)

    An effects production featurette for the movie The Red Baron. This featurette is somewhat more interesting than the featurette included for New Town Killers and certainly makes the aerial scenes from that movie look spectacular.

Reamonn 'open Skies' Music Video (4:35)

    A music video for the theme song to the movie The Red Baron. A fairly middle-of-the-road rock affair, with some classical strings added in for maximum emo-effect.

R4 vs R1

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

    At the time of writing, New Town Killers has not been released on Blu-ray or DVD in any other regions.

Summary

    A disposable Britsploitation chase flick, made a bit more interesting thanks to a deliciously callous baddie.

    The video and audio are both very good. The extras are fair, although the more interesting extra content on the disc relates to a completely different movie.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Friday, October 16, 2009
Review Equipment
DVDSony Playstation 3, using HDMI output
Display Samsung 116cm LA46M81BD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX2016AVS. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX2016AVS
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, 100W centre and 4 surround/rear speakers, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

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