• Good People



    Released By: Millennium Entertainment
    Released On: October 28, 2014
    Director: Henrik Ruben Genz
    Cast: James Franco, Kate Hudson, Omar Sy
    Year: 2014
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    The Film:

    In 1994, a rather independent British film was released by the name of Shallow Grave. The plot of the film involved three people who decided to get a new flatmate, who turned up dead a short time after moving in...with a suitcase full of money. Chaos ensued as the police got more suspicious over the death and as acquaintances of the dead man came looking for their cash, causing the former friends to turn against each other.

    It's no coincidence that Good People, based on the book by Marcus Sakey, would draw comparisons to Danny Boyle's first film. Parental hopefuls Tom and Anna (Franco and Hudson) have moved to London from Chicago in the wake of a miscarriage, and an inheritance in the form of an old house. Hoping to quickly fix the home up to supplement his flailing income as a landscaper and renovations worker, Tom finds that the house is in far worse shape than he could've imagined, so much that he receives an eviction notice on the apartment that they're renting. Life doesn't seem to be that grand at all, compounded by the noisy fella they've sub-letted the basement out to. Fortunately, a solution arrives when their rambunctious tenant turns up dead of a heroin overdose, leaving behind a bag with almost half a million pounds hidden in the ceiling.

    Of course, if Tom and Anna had turned the money over to the police during the investigation, the movie would've ended a whole lot sooner. Instead, they decide to wait for two weeks to see if anyone comes looking for the cash; a decision that is promptly broken when Tom decides to pay off the credit cards and get themselves squared away rent-wise. This decision, safely said, is a poor one. Tom's sudden flurry of cash activity alerts already suspicious Detective John Halden (Tom Wilkinson), and his late renter's former partners become suspicious of the couple when a search of the basement apartment turns up a whole lot of heroin hiding in the ceiling, but not the cash that came from the same heist of a ruthless drug kingpin. And speaking of that drug kingpin, well, he wants his money back as well, and the people responsible for stealing it from him.

    Caught between a rock and a number of hard places, Tom and Anna have no choice but to turn to Detective Halden, who agrees to let them off of the hook if they act as bait for the bad guys. But with a corrupt police department and a few choice kidnap victims for the criminals to take advantage of, the couple realize that they're going to have to straighten things out themselves.

    Good People definitely has a number of similarities to Shallow Grave, there's no denying that. However, there are a number of things (spoilers that I won't mention here) that make it well worth seeing. Performances across the board are very good....yes, even Kate Hudson...and Omar Sy's Kingpin Khan is riveting in the little screen time he's given. Henrik Ruben Genz, while no stranger to directing (mostly TV), does an exceptional job at keeping the camera moving when it needs to, but not being afraid to let it linger when building suspense. Speaking of suspense, the music by Neil Davidge is perfect for the film, never ramping up into the silly "Action Sequence" score freakouts that so many films are guilty of. The score is quiet and ominous for the most part, just slightly letting loose when appropriate.

    With the combination of the pacing, competent editing and a 91-minute runtime, Good People doesn't get boring or feel too long. And while a number of reviews do seem to dwell on the similarities between this and Danny Boyle's directorial debut, there are enough differences and a gruesomely satisfying conclusion to make Good People worth checking out.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Good People comes to blu-ray from the folks at Millennium Entertainment in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer framed at 1.78:1 that looks great. The cold colour temperature reflects the mood perfectly, and noise/artifacts are non-existent.

    The Dolby TrueHD audio track (there's also a Dolby Digital 2.0 track) is balanced nicely with tasteful use of the surrounds. No hisses or pops are present, and dialogue is balanced nicely with the score and sound effects.

    Sadly, the only extra to be found on the disc outside of a Trailer Reel is a Making Of Featurette (2:52) that contains short interviews with some of the cast, the director, and associate producers discussing the film.

    The Final Word:

    Despite a rather lackluster selection of supplements, Good People is a decent film with great performances that I definitely felt was worth seeing.


    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!