Blu-ray Review “Killer Joe: Unrated Director’s Cut”

Actors: Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Thomas Haden Church, Juno Temple, Gina Gershon
Directors: William Friedkin
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Lionsgate
Release Date: December 21, 2012
Run Time: 102 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

“Killer Joe” received some controversy behind it when it was released in theaters with its NC-17 rating. But controversy is nothing new to the Academy Award-winning director, William Friedkin, known best for “The Exorcist” and “The French Connection”. This dark comedy is based on the play by Pulitzer and Tony Award winner Tracy Letts and it converts well to the screen. I wasn’t sure what to expect at first but “Killer Joe” is a real surprise hit of the year. It packs some amazing performance from Matthew McConaughey, which was both ferrous and yet funny. The genre of a dark comedy is always a hard line to walk well, “Killer Joe” may not be for everyone.  But if you enjoy Friedkin then I would definitely recommend checking this unique film out.

Official Synopsis: When 22-year-old Chris (Emile Hirsch) finds himself in debt to a drug lord, he hires a hit man to dispatch his mother, whose $50,000 life insurance policy benefits his sister Dottie (Juno Temple). Chris finds Joe Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), a creepy, crazy Dallas cop who moonlights as a contract killer. When Chris can’t pay Joe upfront, Jose sets his sight on Dottie as collateral for the job. The contract killer and his hostage develop an unusual bond. Like from a modern-day, twisted fairytale, “Killer Joe” Cooper becomes the prince to Dottie’s Cinderella.

The Blu-ray presentation comes with a sharp 1080p transfer and DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio track.  BOth not ground-breaking but very clear and sharp. Since this film was released NC-17 in theaters, the film arrives on Blu-ray in this Unrated Director’s Cut.  There will also be an R-rated DVD version released but I prefer the director’s vision of the film.  The Unrated Director’s Cut will also feature an exclusive audio commentary track from director William Friedkin, highly recommended. The rest of the special features are decent but not spectacular. There is a featurette called “Southern Fried Hospitality: From Stage to Screen”, takes us through from the beginning.  Besides that there is some footage from SXSW including a Q&A with Cast and an intro by William Friedkin.  Wrapping up, there is the Red Band Theatrical Trailer included.

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