Mar 022019

Kalifornia is one hell of a road trip of a movie that excels thanks two amazing performances from Brad Pitt and Juliette Lewis, and if this film had found any traction, Pitt at the very least should’ve gotten an Oscar nomination.



— Shout Select | Collector’s Edition —

Genre(s): Drama, Suspense/Thriller
Shout Factory | R/Unrated – 117 min. / 118 min. – $34.93 | March 5, 2019

Date Published: 03/02/2019 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Dominic Sena
Writer(s): Stephen Levy & Tim Metcalfe (story), Tim Metcalfe (screenplay)
Cast: Brad Pitt, Juliette Lewis, David Duchovny, Michelle Forbes
Features: Featurettes, Interview, Theatrical Trailers
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), English (DTS-HD MA 2.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.35
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 48.75 GB (Unrated), 47.51 GB (Theatrical)
Total Bitrate: 42.96 Mbps (Unrated), 41.85 Mbps (Theatrical)
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

Shout Factory provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 3.75/5

Plot Synopsis: Brian Kessler (DAVID DUCHOVNY) is a writer, and his girlfriend, Carrie Laughlin (MICHELLE FORBES), is a photographer. They’re working on a book about serial killers, and planning a trip across the country to document the sites of famous serial murders. To cut costs, they set up a ride-share with strangers, Early Grayce (BRAD PITT) and his girlfriend, Adele Corners (JULIETTE LEWIS). But what they don’t know is that Early is a violent sociopath in the middle of his own serial killing spree.

Quick Hit Review: Kalifornia is a movie I’ve heard about and even had in my collection, but for whatever reason never got around to watching it. All these years later, and I have to admit, although it’s not perfect (will expand in a bit), this is one disturbingly effective little road trip suspense-thriller that featured two, award-worthy, performances from a young Brad Pitt prior to him blowing up to Hollywood stardom and Juliette Lewis successfully portraying a psychologically damaged woman.

On the downside, David Duchovny, more or less playing the main character (and narrator), kept me from giving this a higher score. The problem is, his deadpan and dry line delivery does not work for that character (unlike The X-Files where it was perfection) and anytime he would speak just came across as dull and ineffective, especially when he’s acting opposite Brad Pitt’s demented Early character. Playing the dutiful girlfriend to Duchovny, Michelle Forbes (marking her feature film debut) actually wasn’t half bad, getting a couple nice scenes, albeit nothing terribly memorable.

Kalifornia marked Dominic Sena’s directorial debut though he wouldn’t go onto make another film until 7 years later with Gone in Sixty Seconds and Swordfish a year later (should be noted, both of those are personal guilty pleasures of mine) and then Whiteout and Season of the Witch, neither of them were any good… And since then, nothing else. Sena seems like the plug-n-play kind of filmmaker so nothing unique about his style, though with Kalifornia, does certainly keep the uneasy tension up once the road trip begins.



This release comes with a matted slip cover and the interior cover is reversible revealing the movie’s original poster artwork.The features are on the lighter side with a new Interview (23:36) with Director Dominic Sena; the Original Featurette () with behind-the-scenes footage; Original Interviews (2:35) with Brad Pitt, Juliette Lewis, and lastly Trailers & TV Spots (5:50).


VIDEO – 4.0/5

Kalifornia comes to Blu-ray with both the Unrated and Theatrical Versions (making its Blu-ray debut) on separate discs, though I decided my first viewing was to be the former. With that in mind, the 1080p high-definition transfer (MPEG-4 AVC codec) does look rather good, detail is sharp while the natural film grain and noise was left intact and thankfully any restoration work didn’t just undergo some digital washing and artificial sharpening. Colors are on the more saturated, although not overly, in keeping with the southern locales and all around tone.

AUDIO – 3.75/5

The disc includes a 5.1 and, as routine for Shout, 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio tracks. The 5.1 track, which is the default, does sound good, dialogue comes through the center channel with fine clarity and although this is not a movie with a ton of action, there is some modest depth such as gunfire not to mention the score from Carter Burwell.


OVERALL – 3.75/5

Overall, Kalifornia is one hell of a road trip of a movie that excels thanks two amazing performances from Brad Pitt and Juliette Lewis, and if this film had found any traction, Pitt at the very least should’ve gotten an Oscar nomination. This “Collector’s Edition” release under the “Shout Select” line offers up above average video and audio transfers though the features are on the lighter side.





Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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