Jagged Edge is quite a popular thriller. It showcases the acting abilities of the two actors, Glenn Close and Jeff Bridges. You get the sort of acting you'd expect; that is two accomplished and masterful performances.
Jagged Edge is one of the seminal thrillers from the 80's - a slick, well produced, evenly paced courtroom drama that never fails to keep your attention until the final fadeout.
It is however deeply manipulative and its characters are merely veneers in an attempt to steer the story.
And who is to blame for this? Not director Richard Marquand who does a workmanlike job, rather it is writer Joe Eszterhas whose script is a portent of his later work - Basic Instinct.
Let's give away some basic plot. Bridges plays a newspaper magnate. He's in this position due to his rich wife. His wife winds up dead, murdered in a ritualistic and sexual manner. Evidence shows infidelity and divorce and significant motive.
Did he do it? Close plays his defense attorney. The evidence is thrown in piecemeal and introduced through the case much to counsels' surprise. New witnesses pop up and the jury is constantly swayed left and right. Add to that some strange turns in the relationship between legal counsel, prosecution and the defendant.
So how is it familiar to Basic Instinct? 'Basically' both films utilise enough evidence to either convict or free the defendant. This is a standard structure for courtroom dramas. However in Basic Instinct, the killer is never revealed and the viewer is left wondering if he or she did it. In Jagged Edge the killer is revealed.
Is it good to present a script that spoonfeeds evidence in such a deliberate manner? And is it good to then present a killer (any killer?) in such an obvious manner? Or is it better to do a Basic Instinct and let the debate begin?
The video is anamorphic and of decent quality. I think the compressionist did quite a good job on what is a 1985 film. I felt the picture was a bit overwarm but that's just my impression. Skin tones looked a little 'over red'. There were also some places where I would have preferred a bit more sharpness and clarity, but that's not the DVD at fault, rather the original print. This disc is single layer.
All in all, I doubt any studio could better Columbia's effort.
The audio is Dolby Stereo at 192k/s. Firstly the volume is very low. I had my preamp turned up to just below where there was noticeable system noise. This was close to 0dB which is a bit odd.
I did not hear much rear ambience so most of the audio is limited to the centre. There is also limited front channel steering. The score is fairly unobtrusive and did not make an impact on me. Vocal intelligibilty is very good which is the most important thing.
The extras are limited to a set of cast bios for Close, Bridges and director Marquand whose name is familiar with Star Wars fans - he directed Return of the Jedi.