Kill Your Darlings appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie offered a stylized but appealing presentation.
For the most part, sharpness appeared positive. However, fine detail was lacking in some wide shots. Although these were minor instances, they meant that the delineation wasn’t quite as consistent as I’d like. I noticed no issues with shimmering or jagged edges, and edge haloes weren’t a factor. Source flaws remained absent.
As one might expect from a period flick like this, Darlings provided a subdued palette. Colors tended toward a desaturated bent with a tendency toward a yellow or blue feel, but they seemed clear and well-developed within those constraints. Blacks showed good depth and darkness, while shadows were solid. This was a “B”-level presentation.
Given the film’s character scope, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Darlings didn’t boast a great deal of dynamic material. Nonetheless, it had its moments. We got a lot of music, and those elements spread to the various speakers in a satisfying manner. Otherwise, we stayed with environmental elements; street scenes, storms and some drug-induced moments opened things up in a satisfying way.
Audio quality was good. Speech was natural and concise, as the lines lacked noticeable concerns. Music came across as vivid enough; some of the 1940s recordings held back the fidelity to a degree, but the score and songs remained winning. Effects didn’t have a ton to do, but they were full and clear; the occasional louder elements showed positive punch as well. While nothing here impressed, the track was good enough for a “B“.
When we move to the disc’s extras, we begin with an audio commentary from writer/director John Krokidas, writer Austin Bunn and actors Daniel Radcliffe and Dane DeHaan. All four sit together for a running, screen-specific look at story/character areas, cast and performances, sets and locations, costumes, cinematography and music, period details, and some other areas.
Overall, this becomes a decent but unexceptional chat. It covers a reasonable array of topics, though I would like to know more about the facts behind the fiction; that subject doesn't receive much exploration. We also find too much happy talk along the way. Still, the commentary moves at a good rate and examines enough of the film to deserve a listen.
We hear more from the actors via In Conversation with Daniel Radcliffe and Dane DeHaan. This six-minute, four-second piece features the pair in front of an audience as they take questions from moderator Jenelle Riley. They talk about what led them to their roles, thoughts about their co-stars and crew, and aspects of their performances. Despite the brevity of this piece, it includes a good mix of notes.
The other two commentary participants show up in a one-hour, five-minute, and 42-second Q&A with director/co-writer John Krokidas and co-writer Austin Bunn. Unlike “In Conversation”, this Q&A doesn’t place the pair in a live setting; instead, they sit in Bunn‘s living room and answer a mix of questions they’d heard. These look at what interested the pair in the movie’s subject matter and launched the film, story/character/screenplay areas, their working relationship, and other aspects of the filmmaking processes and their personalities.
Krokidas and Bunn come across as more engaging and informative here than in their commentary. That track was reasonably good but “Q&A” seems tighter and more packed with details. Perhaps because they don’t have to share time with the actors, the chemistry between Bunn and Krokidas becomes more apparent, and they interact well to make this a strong piece.
On the Carpet at the Toronto Film Festival lasts seven minutes, 29 seconds and shows cast and crew as they arrive. We then hear from Krokidas as he introduces the movie at its premiere. It’s a forgettable clip.
Seven Deleted Scenes fill a total of seven minutes, 20 seconds. These tend to either expand existing scenes or add moments about secondary characters; for instance, we see more of Allen’s macho roommate. None of these seem bad, but they feel unnecessary.
The disc launches with ads for The Invisible Woman, The Armstrong Lie, Tim’s Vermeer, Blue Jasmine and Wadjda. These also show up under Previews and we find the trailer for Darlings as well.
A second disc gives us a DVD copy of Darlings. It includes all the same extras as the Blu-ray.
Maybe someday we’ll get a good movie about the “Beat Generation”, but Kill Your Darlings doesn’t deliver that film. While I don’t think it flops, it comes with a lack of focus that makes it meander. The Blu-ray provides mostly positive picture and audio along with a nice roster of supplements. Parts of Darlings work but this ends up as an inconsistent experience.