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UNIVERSAL

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Cory Finley
Cast:
Anya Taylor-Joy, Olivia Cooke, Anton Yelchin
Writing Credits:
Cory Finley

Synopsis:
Two upper-class teenage girls in suburban Connecticut rekindle their unlikely friendship after years of growing apart and hatch a plan to solve both of their problems-no matter what the cost.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$1,224,430 on 549 Screens.
Domestic Gross
$2,830,775.

MPAA:
Rated R.

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish DTS 5.1
French DTS 5.1
English DVS
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French

Runtime: 92 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 6/5/2018

Bonus:
• Deleted Scenes
• “The Look of Thoroughbreds” Featurette
• “Character Profiles”
• Previews


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RELATED REVIEWS


Thoroughbreds [Blu-Ray] (2018)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 10, 2018)

Most films that focus on teenagers lean toward comedy or romantic drama. On the other hand, 2018’s Thoroughbreds takes a much darker path.

Lily (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Amanda (Olivia Cooke) maintained a friendship as kids but grew apart. As high school students, though, they reconnect despite opposite personalities. Lily keeps herself buttoned-up, whereas Amanda says what she wants without internal censorship.

Lily clearly loathes her arrogant, controlling stepfather Mark (Paul Sparks), and Amanda decides she needs to do something about it. As such, they come up with a plan to kill him, one that involves local low-level drug dealer Tim (Anton Yelchin).

Thoroughbreds comes from unusual roots, as writer/director Cory Finley originally intended it to become a stage production. Some of that remains obvious because a lot of the story takes place in one location, but Finley manages to open up matters well enough that this doesn’t feel like a “filmed play”.

Though less outrageous and satirical, Thoroughbreds shows a clear psychological debt to 1988’s Heathers. While that film didn’t establish the genre of the teen-related black comedy, it dominates the field and its overtones continue to show up decades later.

Thoroughbreds doesn’t work as well as the 1980s classic, but it makes its own mark and turns into an absorbing thriller, one that establishes its own personality. While we can see influences from other efforts here, the end product still seems fairly fresh.

Finley gives Thoroughbreds a tight, controlled feel that fits its emotionally disabled protagonists. As the film progresses, we can see that Lily suffers from greater impairment than initially obvious, and the manner in which the movie keeps the story regimented reflects her distorted attempts to overcome these issues. While the movie remains subdued, we always feel a rage desperate to burst forth.

This slow-boil atmosphere adds a lot to Thoroughbreds, and the creepy atmosphere gives the movie real impact. Though not “style over substance”, the visual design and subdued emotional range bring out the tale’s depth.

Good performances help, and our two leads do very well. Cooke tamps down emotions as Amanda but she doesn’t seem contrived or robotic, and Taylor-Joy makes Lily’s inner workings clear without showiness.

The supporting cast adds to the effort as well, though I wish the script let Mark come across as less reprehensible. The film wants to show two sides to the character and let us view him as a potentially decent man who does what’s best for Lily, but the end result lacks that nuance and just paints him as a prick. A bit more breadth would’ve helped.

Still, even with that hiccup, Thoroughbreds becomes an involving tale. It offers a chilly neo noir with enough impact to make it compelling.


The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B-/ Bonus D+

Thoroughbreds appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie came with a positive presentation.

Sharpness largely worked well. A couple of interiors demonstrated a smidgen of softness, but the majority of the flick displayed nice delineation and accuracy.

I noticed no issues with shimmering or jaggies, and edge haloes failed to appear. Print flaws also failed to mar the presentation.

Thoroughbreds went with palette that favored a chilly form of teal, with some orange tones tossed in at times. Within the movie’s color design, the hues seemed solid.

Blacks were dark and deep, while shadows demonstrated nice smoothness. This was a consistently satisfying image.

As for the DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix of Thoroughbreds, it showed scope typical of its context. This meant a limited soundscape without much to make it stand out from the crowd.

A chatty film, much of the soundfield remained limited. The score opened up the track in the most prominent way, and some broader scenes – like at a party – used the side/rear channels acceptably well, but this stayed a decidedly restrained mix most of the time.

Audio quality seemed good. Speech was distinctive and natural, without edginess or other issues.

The percussive score seemed bold and dynamic, while effects showed nice clarity and accuracy. Again, nothing about the mix impressed, but it suited the story.

Two Deleted Scenes appear here: “You Don’t Know Her Name?” (1:28) and “Condolences” (0:25). The former offers more of the plotting between Amanda and Lily, while the latter shows a delivery to Lily. Neither adds substance.

A featurette called The Look of Thoroughbreds runs three minutes, 39 seconds and includes comments from writer/director Cory Finley, production designer Jeremy Woodward, producers Alek Saks and Kevin J. Walsh and actors Olivia Cooke and Anya Taylor-Joy.

We learn a little about visual design and influences as well as photography. It’s a short but mildly effective piece.

Four Character Profiles finish the package. These fill a total of six minutes, seven seconds and cover “Lily” (1:31), “Amanda” (1:48), “Tim” (1:21) and “Mark” (1:28).

We find notes from Taylor-Joy, Cooke, Finley, Walsh, executive producer Ryan Stowell, and actor Paul Sparks. The “Profiles” look at cast, characters and performances. We don’t really learn much useful information here.

The disc opens with ads for Tully, The Strangers: Prey at Night, Gringo and Unsane. No trailer for Thoroughbreds appears here.

An unusually dark effort for a film that concentrates on high school students, Thoroughbreds delivers an impressive mix of black comedy and drama. With strong performances and a tight hold on themes and visuals, it turns into an engrossing effort. The Blu-ray provides very good picture along with adequate audio and minor supplements. Though not something that’ll appeal to a broad audience, Thoroughbreds works for viewers in the mood for something a bit sinister.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.3333 Stars Number of Votes: 3
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