Good People (Blu-ray)

October 20, 2014 6 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

Maybe it’s the pessimist in me, but I have to think that when something happens that’s too good to be true – it probably is.  I don’t expect to find a winning lottery ticket floating in the wind and certainly don’t expect to find a bag of money in an apartment. We’ll get to the latter later (say that five times fast), but the point is that everything happens for a reason.  Now moving onto James Franco…well you either love him or you love to hate him. I find myself (for now) in the first category. I’ve enjoyed Franco as an actor for over a decade and some of his performances, namely those in Howl, 127 Hours and This is the End, are worth note. Yes, I realize that he’s pretty much everywhere and in everything, but his overexposure isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Let’s bear in mind this guy got his PhD from Yale and this is someone who never has to work another day in his life. Ok, so maybe he flirts with 17 year-old girls online, but hey we’ve all got faults!  Still, it’s nice to see him in something different and along with Kate Hudson, who has finally stopped making romantic comedies, we’ve got Good People.

Financially struggling couple Tom and Anna (James Franco and Kate Hudson respectively) have exhausted their money trying to restore their London flat. London isn’t exactly the cheapest place to live, but let’s look beyond that.  When they find their roommate dead, they also find a bag of money containing nearly $400,000. What to do? The couple start spending the money almost immediately, albeit with the best intentions (she uses it for fertility treatments). However when the police (Tom Wilkinson) come investigating, it could spell trouble.  As it turns out the people they really need to be leery of are the rival gangs that the money belongs to. The money is a result of a heroin deal gone bad. And in the middle of it all is Genghis Khan (Omar Sy), a man of few words but we also know he’s the bad guy because of the way he’s depicted on the cover of the Blu-ray.  Will Tom and Anna manage to get themselves out of the mess they’re in or will they suffer the same fate as their roommate?

Look, when you find a bag of money in your dead roommate’s closet – you don’t keep it. I don’t care how hard up for cash you are, these things don’t just happen – especially with a corpse within spitting distance. Granted, I realize that if they just gave the money to the police there wouldn’t be a film, but still. Having said that, the film is good…for about the first hour. It’s nice to see both Franco and Hudson play against their typecast roles and Wilkinson turns in a decent performance as a “been there, done that” London cop. The real scene-stealer is Omar Sy who had a small part in X-Men: Days of Future Past (he was Bishop) and he’s got presence for sure.  Yes, the movie is full of clichés, but that’s to be expected. Director Henrik Ruben Genz has made his English debut and I do think he’s got potential. As for Good People – it’s a passable action movie, but not something I’ll watch time and again. Give it a rental.

Video: How’s it look?

The 1.78:1 AVC HD image is a bit unique to say the least. It’s crisp and clean, though there are several “dirty” shots of London throughout. This seems to have the look that a lot of newer films have with the background being a bit fuzzy which lends the way for the subjects to appear in a 3D like state. It’s a bit hard to describe, but it’s a pretty cool effect. Of course detail is razor sharp and I’d imagine that when a man is being killed by having a pool ball shoved down his throat, you’d want to make sure you see every detail, no?  Black levels are strong, but a bit inconsistent though it’s an overall good-looking image.

Audio: How’s it sound?

A Dolby TrueHD mix can be found on this Blu-ray and it’s got a few moments that really made me stand up and take notice. Unfortunately those moments are few and far between. By and large, the front stage is the most active, though surrounds chime in from time to time to offer a bit of support.  I don’t recall the LFE being too involved and if they were, it wasn’t that memorable. Vocals are strong and crisp, the American accents of Franco and Hudson mesh will with those from “across the pond.” It’s a nice mix, but nothing too exciting.

Supplements: What are the extras?

  • Making-of Featurette – This is about as standard as they come – the EPK masquerading as a supplement. We get some talking heads and behind the scenes footage of the film. Nothing of substance here.

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