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Friends with Kids Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec:  English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: R
  • Run Time: 107 Mins.
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • Blu-ray Release Date: July 17, 2012
  • List Price: $39.99

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:3.5/5]

Jennifer Westfeldt (Ira & Abbey; Kissing Jessica Stein) takes the reins as lead actress/writer/producer/director in Friends with Kids, a romantic comedy with indie style aimed squarely at the adult crowd and attacked with an intelligent zeal.

Westfeldt stars alongside Adam Scott and together the two play longtime friends and Manhattanites Julie and Jason whose close-knit group of friends have all begun pairing off, having kids, and moving to Brooklyn. Feeling left out, the two decide to have a child of their own together, but avoid the messy relationship stuff that has been spoiling the lives and friendships of their other friends leaving them free to date other people and to find “the person.” Initially, this situation works out well, and their friends, who include couple Leslie and Alex (Maya Rudolph and Chris O’Dowd) and Ben and Missy (Westfeldt’s real-life partner Jon Hamm and Kristen Wiig) are completely impressed at the ease with which Julie and Jason manage to keep it all together, sharing their chores, their responsibilities towards their son, and avoiding any awkwardness. It all begins to take a tumble, however, when Jason meets a beautiful dancer MJ (Megan Fox) and Julie starts dating great, considerate businessman Kurt (Edward Burns). What starts out as a friendly skiing trip amongst the group of friends ends in a rambling, drunken outburst by Ben who, through his actions, reveals the unhappy nature of his marriage and through his words, forces Jason and Missy to confront the harsh truth about the choices they have made.

Westfeltd’s film takes a sharp twist in tone from this point, losing some of the breezy and even keeled handling it achieved in its first two acts. From then on, both her direction and dialogue sort of fumbles towards what we already know to be the obvious conclusion of every romantic comedy. There is also too much of a reliance on blaming the men in the end, when the whole film began as two friends both equally showing a disdain for marriage and having kids.

Even with these minor flaws, Friends with Kids cannot be dismissed outright. The dialogue is witty, intelligent, and at times raw and unexpected. It is the sort of comedy that grownups with kids would want to see, not the pablum aimed at people stuck in junior high we are normally force fed.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Friends with Kids was shot with Arri Alexa cameras and Cooke S4 lenses using Kodak 35mm film. This AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement on Blu-ray from Lionsgate looks strong given the source material and sort of film this is. As expected given the extremely recent vintage, the image is impeccably clean with no real source damage to speak of and a very fine grain texture overlaying what is a nicely detailed and widely contrasted image. Midtones, in particular, filled with earth tones with splashes of primaries, are rich and shadow detail is delicately nuanced.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

There’s isn’t much to comment on with this DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack. It provides clean dialogue and a solid midrange with mildly extended low frequencies to support the AAA soundtrack, but the surrounds are rather dead, having only the slightest bit of ambience added in.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

The bulk of the extras for Friends with Kids is made up of bonus footage in the form of deleted scenes and bloopers while the “making of” is nothing out of the ordinary. Everything is provided in 1080p.

The supplements:

  • Audio commentary with Jennifer Westfeldt, Jon Hamm, and William Rexer
  • Making Friends with Kids (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:08:10)
  • Ad-Libs & Bloopers:
    • Fun with Actors (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:07:28)
    • Fun with Kids (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:04:26)
  • Scene 42: Anatomy of a Gag w/ Optional Commentary (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:05:06)
  • MJ Rocks at Video Games w/ Optional Commentary (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:03:49)
  • Deleted Scenes w/ Optional Commentary (1.78:1; 1080p/24):
    • Jason at Work – Original Version
    • Jason at Work – post-baby-original
    • “There are no cabs in Brooklyn”
    • Samantha Bee
    • Julie’s First Date: Pete
    • Kurt & Missy Cook Dinner
    • Moving to Brooklyn Montage
    • Season’s Passing – Original

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

I didn’t know exactly what to expect going into a viewing of Friends with Kids. I think maybe I thought it would be your average, everyday rom-com. While there are moments where it does bear a passing resemblance, like some distant relative, you’ll find no “meet cute” here nor will you come away from this film with an unbearable toothache – perhaps just a mild one.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Friends with Kids on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Download Friends With Kids on iTunes

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

[amazon-product]B007L6VP46[/amazon-product]

Purchase Friends with Kids on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Download Friends With Kids on iTunes

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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