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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - August, 2012

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 "Friends With Kids" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Clements

movie-august-2012-friends-with-kids

Synopsis

A group of six very close friends enters a new dynamic in their relationships when the two married couples in the group have kids.  The changes are dramatic but not always welcome or positive.  So the two unmarried members of the group, Jason (Adam Scott) and Julie (Jennifer Westfeldt), open a discussion about a better model on the marriage/kids/divorce cycle.  Their plan is to have a child between themselve, out of wedlock, share custody all the while dating other people.  They aren't in love after all and so the child rearing process will be a breeze without all the strings attached.  It is a bold experiement designed to let them have the best of both worlds and it leads everybody in their circle to question their beliefs about friendship, family and love.

Specifications

  • Lionsgate
  • 2011, Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 47 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC
  • English 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio
  • Starring:  ennifer Westfeldt, Adam Scott, Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Chris O'Dowd, Megan Fox and Edward Burns
  • Directed by Jennifer Westfeldt
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras: 
  • Violence: No
  • Sex: Yes
  • Language: Yes

Commentary

This movie is billed as a romantic comedy and with a cast that includes Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph and Chris O'Dowd, it might be expected to be another laugh fest.  The movie has some light and funny moments, but don't be fooled - this movie is more of a drama than a comedy.  It has some strong commentary and story elements that really make you mindful of your feelings about true love, marriage and family.  It has an intelligent script with solid acting throughout.  Although some of the rapid fire banter between the stars was off-putting at first, I did connect with the characters in the end.  Plus I loved the beautiful location shots of New York.

Technical

This is another excellent video transfer from Lionsgate.  Solid blacks and shadows are served up in the many indoor and night scenes.  Detail is excellent and really draws you to the location shots in Manhattan and Brooklyn.  Flesh tones and saturated colors are solid and beleivable.  The audio is more than servicable with good environmental envelopment, natural voice reproduction and a healthy musical score with thumping bass when called upon.

Extras

This is a single disc package with a surprising array of Special Features, all of which are done in HD.  The extras are an Audio Commentary with Jennifer Westfeldt, Jon Hamm and William Rexer; a making of featurette, "Making Friends With Kids"; "Fun with Actors and Kids" - Ad-libs and Bloopers; "MJ Rocks at Video Games" Megan Fox shows Adam Scott how to play Gears of War; "Scene 42: Anatomy of a Gag" and a Deleted Scenes Reel.