TITLE: Your Friends & Neighbors (1998) • R • 1:39:57
Amy Brenneman, Aaron Eckhart, Ben Stiller, Catherine Keener
Neil LaBute (Director)
If you are one of those people who like to have all of the movies that you watch have CLEARLY defined "Good" Guys (who are as pure as the driven snow [and, USUALLY just as boring]) — and, for those very same movies to also have just as CLEARLY defined "Bad" Guys (who are OBVIOUSLY "bad" — usually, in a WAY over-the-top, one-dimensional, unrealistic kind of way), then stay VERY far away from this, and ALL other movies by Neil LaBute. Neil LaBute likes to peer behind the curtain, and take a close-up and unvarnished look at the everyday motivations and actions — warts and all — of "normal" people. His characters tend to be VERY "human" (read: flawed [as, are we all — but, hopefully not to the extent that the people in this movie are]) in their motivations and actions — which tends to make some of your more strait-laced viewers VERY uncomfortable (particularly those who want to think of their follow man as being inherently "good" [whatever THAT means]).
While I wouldn't want ANY of the characters in this movie as either a friend or a neighbor, I did THOROUGHLY enjoy watching them interact with each other. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
See the other reviews for more detail and/or other opinions regarding the plot of the movie.
VIDEO: 2.35:1 • Color • 480p • MPEG-2 (5.2 Mbps)
Within the confines of the DVD format, this transfer exhibits very-good picture quality. This film features richly saturated colors, good contrast and very-good shadow detail. In addition, relatively fine detail (for a DVD) is evident in the brighter scenes and in many of the close-ups of actor's faces, their hair-styles and their clothing. Also, there are no obvious artifacts such as banding, specks, white dots, hair-lines or color fluctuations to detract from the image. Overall, this movie's presentation on DVD has very good picture quality, and should satisfy all but the pickiest viewers.
AUDIO: Dolby Digital 5.1 (384 Kbps)
This movie's 5.1 soundtrack, while not having any of the sonic pyrotechnics of recent soundtracks, does, however, do everything in an, at least, passable fashion. The dialog is very clear and well-placed (which is VERY important, in a dialog-driven movie), with all voices being easily understood. The musical score is well-recorded, and well-integrated with the on-screen events. The surrounds, while not very active, usually do an adequate job of conveying the on-screen location (nearly all of which are indoors). Unfortunately, there is no deep bass — but, the content of the movie doesn't particularly call for it. This is a "workmanlike" audio presentation, that does not embarrass itself, and serves its visual presentation quite well. Most listeners should find that it has much more than acceptable sound quality.
NOTE: The 5.1 soundtrack is NOT the default audio track — therefore, one should go to the "setup" menu and select the 5.1 soundtrack BEFORE starting playback of the movie.
EXTRAS: Director's Commentary (with producer Steve Golin)
Cast Bios & Filmographies
None of the extras were reviewed.