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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL )
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • French: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  Subtitles
    English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Dutch, Arabic, Portuguese, English - Hearing Impaired, Italian - Hearing Impaired
  Extras
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Featurette - "True Crime: True Stories" recounting a reporter's true life experience that parallels the movie
  • Music video
  • Documentaries - "The Scene of the Crime" with Interviews of cast and crew

True Crime

Warner Bros./Warner Bros. . R4 . COLOR . 122 mins . MA15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Bring on the latest in a long line of greats from Actor/Director Clint Eastwood. He's getting pretty old and it shows in this movie. Even so, he's mastered the ability to tell a story that doesn't rely heavily on spoon feeding a dumb audience. He knows we're smart people and treats us as such.

True Crime focuses on the impending death of convicted murderer Frank Beachum by lethal injection. Reporter for the Tribune Michelle Ziegler (Mary McCormack) was on the case to write up a human interest piece on this 6 year case but comes to an unfortunate end after a tragic car accident.

Steve Everett (Clint Eastwood), a womansing, boozing husband, also a reporter, has now been assigned to the case but as usual, Everett has a nose that seems to sniff out the not-quite-right in his tasks and soon finds himself snooping for evidence to prove that Beachum did not commit the crime. The problem is, Beachum is about to be executed at midnight and Everett only has 12 hours to rescue his family situation, convince his boss Alan Mann (James Woods) and his politically correct editor Bob Findley (Denis Leary) that his hunch is true and to get someone with the power to call off the deadly procedure.

Some great performances from all the main cast including Denis Leary and newcomer Isiah Washington. The movie takes us through some highs and lows as Everett comes across a necessary piece of evidence but then loses it's weighting.

  Video
Contract

The transfer is of exemplary quality. Another one of those 'better' efforts from Warner Brothers. The film shifts between dark night scenes to bright day scenes to the always problematic office scenario with so many straight line possibilities that entice the aliasing to rear its ugly head. Alas, it doesn't, well not to the extent seen in some bad transfers.

Black levels are fine and shadow detail is generous. Detail in general is very prominent and I'd say the transfer was one of the sharper jobs I've seen in a while.

There were no mpeg artifacts present on this dual layered disc so good use was made of the extra space available.

  Audio
Contract

A very good soundtrack that doesn't go beyond the movie in terms of unecessary 'effects'. Although quite subdued, the musical soundtrack makes slight use of the surrounds as do some key scenes, particularly in the jail cell and the car chase.

Dialogue is mostly clear and intelligeble. At the beginning when we are first introduced to James Woods, the conversation between him and Clint is largely unintelligible, even at reference level and upping the center channel.

Non remarkable but suitable to the cause.

  Extras
Contract

A fine helping of extras not normally seen on warners discs.

  • Animated Menus - note this disc as one of the few that Warners has released that avoids the obligatory warners logo and bases the menu around the theme of the movie with accompanying animation and music.
  • "The Scene of a Crime" - A 9 minute look at the movie based around interviews with key cast. Nothing great.
  • True Crime: True Story - A 22 minute recount from a reporter of a similar experience whereby he saved a convicted 'innocent' man from experiencing 55 years of jail when his testimony was proven true after a reporter decided to follow his hunch and delve deeper into the case. The movie is not based on this story even though it does exhibit clips from the movie to show the parrallelism.
  • Music Video - Why Should I care? performed by Diana Krall. A beautiful sounding voice and a nice song.

  Overall  
Contract

This was probably one of the sleepers on 1999 as I found it very entertaining indeed although predictable and somewhat unclear as to the outcome until the final scene. Highly recommended.


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