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October 12, 2009
New Town Killers Blu-Ray Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
None28/9/2009Eagle EntertainmentRichard Jobson
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4DTS-HD MA 5.1MA15+Dougray Scott

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Dougray Scott in New Town Killers.

When I received New Town Killers in the mail I had no idea what to expect. The only thing I recognised from the cover of the movie was the name Dougray Scott - an actor many of you would know from movies such as Hitman, Mission Impossible II and Season 3 of Desperate Housewives. So what's this movie about then?

Two private bankers, Alistair and Jamie, who have the world at their feet get their kicks from playing a 12 hour game of hunt, hide and seek with people from the margins of society. Their next target is Sean Macdonald a parentless teenager who lives with his sister on a housing estate on the outskirts of Edinburgh. She's in debt, he's going nowhere fast. Sean agrees to play for cash. He soon realises he's walked into twelve hours of hell where survival is the name of the game.

I've seen some people talking about this movie online about how it's a demonstration of the divide of "have" and "have-nots" in society. Those with money and power can control those struggling with life, for right or wrong. After seeing the movie, yes, that could be described as one of the main themes, but in reality this movie isn't one to question your morals to any great extent, but is a pretty good thriller with some interesting characters, decent acting and a passable story.

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12 hours on the run...
Having said that New Town Killers could have been a great chase movie, but the director seems incapable of keeping the action flowing for a long time. Indeed there are moments where you wonder why Alistair and Jamie don't pursue Sean harder and conversely it's hard to understand just why Sean doesn't hide better in smaller, hidden locations. In terms of acting Dougray Scott is particularly bad-assed while James Anthony Pearson is pretty good as the hunted Sean.

All-in-all New Town Killers is a solid, occasionally tense, chase movie in the same vein as The Running Man and The Fugitive, but just no where near as good. Still, this is worth a rental if the story gets you interested.

When New Town Killers was presented in cinemas it was done so at the aspect ratio of 2.35:1 but this Blu-Ray release, as seems to be the case with several Eagle Entertainment releases, has been mastered at 1.78:1 to fill the entire widescreen TV. That's a bit of a disappointment to me, if a film is made for a certain aspect ratio it should be kept as such for release on home format.

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Dougray Scott with a big gun.
Moving beyond that how does this release fare? Surprisingly well actually. Encoded using the AVC MPEG-4 codec this transfer is pretty sharp with good detail levels and solid black levels. It's not a triple-A release video wise, but is a solid release.

Eagle Entertainment have included two audio tracks on this disc - a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track (24-bit, 48Khz) and a Dolby Digital 5.1 track encoded at 640kbps. Given that the lossless DTS-HD track often runs at 5Mbps or so there is a marked improvement over teh regular Dolby Digital track with increased clarity and channel separation. That's not saying that the Dolby Digital 5.1 track is terrible, it's not, and those that can't run the lossless track will still be fairly impressed with the overall result here.

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Waiting at visitors reception.
Sadly, and as seems to be a constant with Eagle Entertainment discs, there are no subtitle tracks on this disc which is disappointing.

Sadly there's not much in the way of extras here - in fact Eagle seem more inclined to promote other discs, and the upcoming release of The Red Baron. A bit disappointing.

The Making of New Town Killers (19:32): A bit better then your standard "making of" documentary this featurette includes interviews with the cast and crew about the making of New Town Killers.

Image Gallery: We lost count but there are around 100 images here from the production of the film, and rather pointless images from within the film itself.

Trailers (11:10): Trailers for An American Affair, Rockaway, Battle for Haditha, Turn The River, Dolan's Cadillac (trailer in HD) and The Red Baron (trailer in HD).

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New Town Killers is quite entertaining.
The Red Baron: Pixomondo Visual Effects Featurette (11:59): Obviously put on this disc for the upcoming Blu-Ray release of The Red Baron this is nonetheless an interesting look at the amount of, and effort that went into, the visual effects for this movie. It's worth a look.

The Red Baron: Music Clip - Reamonn: Open Skies (4:35): A music video clip from the upcoming movie The Red Baron.

As a movie I didn't actually mind New Town Killers. Performances are pretty good and the audio visual transfer is solid. If you like dramatic, action movies then this is probably worth a look if you need something to do.

Review By: Dave Warner


Note: All images in this article are Copyrightę Eagle Entertainment. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.